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

Committee Meeting, 25 February, 2006. Inverness.

Present: Mike Lunan (ML), Richard Ardern (RA), Iain MacDonald (IM), Roger Piercy (RP), Angus Stewart (AS), Gavin Sinclair (GS)
Apologies: Ron Stevenson (RS)

Minutes of last committee meeting, 10 December, 2005, were agreed.

The Financial Statement provided in advance by RS was approved.

AS updated on membership details. Since November, there have been 3 new members and 2 Community Councils have renewed their membership.

ML advised the Committee of his detailed meetings with MPs and MSPs - John Thurso, Jamie Stone, Rob Gibson and Maureen Macmillan.

Papers prepared and published by RA/RP since December include:

ML member of Caithness Transport Forum and briefed the Committee on some projects.

ML has emailed members of the petitions committee re the recent Association of Caithness Community Councils petition.

ML had a cab ride from Inverness to Thurso accompanied by a Driver Manager. ML is to meet Ron McAulay, Director Network Rail and First ScotRail to discuss issues relating to speed restrictions, level crossing sightings and other operational issues. Input received from ScotRail Driver Manager and Frank Roach.

A paper is being drafted by the Committee setting out rolling stock issues - 158 refurbishment and potential cascades of other rolling stock types onto the Far North Line. This will be developed and refined before the next Committee meeting with a view of being made public in time for the next newsletter.

GS advised of timetable changes in June 2006:

and December 2006:

Working with Frank Roach, GS has developed several timetable options for the December 2007 timetable.

ML will meet local journalists Gordon Calder and Ian Grant to discuss recent articles in newspapers.

Highland Rail Partnership AGM, Perth, 21/2 - RA, elected as a Director representing Friends (Far North, Kyle and West Highland Lines) updated the Committee on developments:

May newsletter - ideas discussed for a 'Caithness' themed newsletter. New members, Mr & Mrs Bradford of Reay will be invited to contribute following an excellent paper sent to RP.

ML is drafting a response to the Public Transport Users' Committee for Scotland.

RP submitted a paper:- Consultative Draft of the Highland Council Access Strategy 2006 - 2011.

GS, who works part time with Hertfordshire Rail Tours will arrange FoFNL literature to be available on board the Easter Highlander charter train when it visits Wick in April.

Next meeting 27 May, Thurso.
Gavin Sinclair, Secretary