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

May 2009 Timetable Review

The new timetable implemented on 14 December has worked well and the May 09 timetable offers small improvements primarily to improve connections at Inverness.

The 1236 Wick - Inverness calls additionally at Beauly to facilitate a connection from there into the 1711 Inverness - Aberdeen. This also allows for a regular passenger to have a through journey from Invergordon to Beauly, after 1600 each weekday, as this was severed in December.

Northbound, the 1011 Glasgow - Inverness is accelerated to arrive Inverness 1327 thus connecting into the retimed 1332 Inverness - Kyle of Lochalsh. The associated retimings between Inverness and Dingwall allow for the 1356 Inverness - Wick to depart 3 minutes later and still maintaining the 1815 arriving time at Wick.

Sleeper connections that were initially removed from the December timetable and then reinstated, remain in the May timetable thus the 1600 Wick - Inverness will continue to call at Fearn, Alness and Beauly.

The only significant retiming is the late evening Tain service which will depart Inverness later at 2109 thus allowing a connection out of the 1741 Edinburgh - Inverness. As a reaction, the Friday and Saturday late night service will depart Inverness later at 2330.

The Sunday service is as now with Kyle of Lochalsh having a second peak summer service. This means the 1804 Inverness - Wick is retimed to depart Inverness at 1755 and detach the Kyle portion at Dingwall. Regrettably the overall journey time to Wick is extended by 9 minutes. This applies for the peak summer only when the Kyle service operates. There is no second summer service between Inverness and Wick as in previous years as these services were lightly loaded. The resources have been used to provide additional services between Inverness and Tain which commenced in December 2008.

Unfortunately the 1254 INV - EDB has been brought forward to 1247 (arriving EDB 1623) to allow the 1011 ex GQS to arrive INV earlier at 1327. This is a regrettable 22 minute deceleration of the 12.47 train since 2004. The HML upgrade cannot come soon enough to make some of these single line constraints a thing of the past.

Gavin Sinclair