scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Railway Cuttings


More transport for less money goes on offer to tourists and overseas visitors from Sunday 4th January when the revamped 'Freedom of Scotland' Travelpass for 1998 goes on sale.

ScotRail and Scottish Citylink have joined forces to include a substantial road transport element in this popular travel package.

The price of an 8 day out of 15 Travelpass reduces to £93 from the £110 cost of the 1997 ticket which did not include bus travel.

The pass offers unlimited travel on all trains using the ScotRail system, the Glasgow Underground, CalMac and Strathclyde PTE scheduled ferries, plus discounts on P&O ferries.

In addition the following CityLink routes are covered:
Kyle of Lochalsh to Uig; Inverness to Ullapool; Oban to Campbeltown; Wick to John O'Groats and Oban and Fort William to Inverness.

Travelpasses with a validity for 4 days out of eight and 12 out of fifteen are priced at £64 and £122 respectively.

(ScotRail Press Release)


The handout from the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) to ScotRail was bigger than the total of £4.2 million performance payments to all other passenger train operators and was in recognition of running most of its trains on time. The bonus had been reduced by a penalty of £15,000 for changing details of ScotRail's timetable at short notice.


Auto Shuttle Express is a new company exploiting the gap left by the demise of Motorail. ADVANTAGE - You get to travel in comfort by train whilst they transport your car by road. DISADVANTAGE - £475!

(With apologies to The Independent.)


ScotRail Managing Director Alastair MacPherson announced at a press briefing recently that as from the start of the summer timetable on May 24 the £3 charge for accompanied bicycles is to be scrapped. However, it will be necessary to make advance reservations on Express and rural route trains. At the same press briefing Henry McLeish, Transport Minister, announced that ScotRail is to receive £150,000 of funding to put more bikes onto trains, under the Scottish Cycle Challenge Initiative. Equivalent amounts of investment will be made by ScotRail and Porterbrook, the rolling stock leasing company, and the money will be used to increase the cycle carrying capacity on more than 70 trains.

The accommodation will be doubled on the 46 Class 158 ScotRail Express trains and in addition 30 Super Sprinter Class 156 will have secure cycle racks installed to increase capacity to a minimum of 5 bikes per two car unit.

It would be nice to think that representations made by our members to Alastair McPherson when he addressed the AGM had some bearing on the decision to scrap the charge.

A multi-agency initiative involving the Highland Council and the Health promotiion Unit has resulted in the appointment of a Cycle Promotion Officer for the Moray Firth Area. What we need now are ideas to stimulate more bicycles being transported up the Line.

(ScotRail Press Release)