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

Highland Railway Heritage

With this year being the centenary of the Mallaig Line, Highland Railway Heritage (HRH) are organising a programme of events that will culminate in the Scottish Highlands Rail Festival from 28th September until 7th October. John Barnes, in his capacity as the Project Team Leader for this year's Festival has prepared the following 'appeal'.

"Over the last two years, Highland Railway Heritage has successfully put into operation a system of up-front payments which allows enthusiasts and photographers to contribute towards getting the event off the ground and complement the amount of money obtained from 'bums on seats'. Last year, over £11,500 was obtained in this way; without these payments the highly successful festival would not have been possible. In return for up-front payments, contributors get a participation card which provides a number of discounts and incentives.

"Charitable HRH is dedicated to raising public awareness of Scottish Highland rail heritage through enjoyment and education, and consider the annual autumn festival to be a good vehicle for us to reach this objective. However, just like the last two years, our plans for the festival will come to nothing unless part of the funding is secured in advance."

HRH operates with a mere handful of volunteers, all seconded from Groups like our own, with whom they have prior duties. HRH have therefore decided that future Festivals need to be planned on a rotating basis with the Programme designed around the area where one of the Groups is active. As an HRH founder member FoFNL therefore needs to offer this support - which might fall to us as soon as next year. Your Committee, in good faith, have said we will. We are in serious need of 2 or 3 members prepared to lend a hand to support the Project Team so that we can be assured of a well-loaded steam train running north to Wick and Thurso from time to time, bringing a load of goodwill and extra local custom.

The FoFNL representatives of HRH at Director level are our Secretary and Keith Harman and any one wishing to contact Keith for further details and/or to volunteer to help with publicity or acting as stewards on the trains should contact Keith at 01463 870694