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

A Day of Contrasts

Recently I went by rail to Edinburgh for the first time for a long while. It turned out to be a day of contrasts. For a start the sight of a six coach train was surprising but I soon realised the need for this was brought about by the heavy demand for booked seats with family groups heading off on the first day of the school holidays. The contrast was on the journey home when there were just two coaches.

I am not a very good at reading during a train journey, soon getting quite queasy, so resort to watching the scenery go by. Here the contrast is with the lack of real and safe opportunities when driving. It is marvellous scenery through which to be conducted and makes a comparison with the urban areas.

In case I did get the opportunity to read I bought myself a rail magazine. After a spell of window gazing I had found myself with another contrast. I had been musing about the advantages of having very few opening windows on the train and how it reduces the opportunity to throw litter out. Imagine my surprise to discover an article putting forward the view as to how some of our linesides are so disgraceful. It was nice to see that our lines are so clean.

The last contrast of the day was to witness a bike in transit. Having published some articles on the subject of carrying bikes I thought it was all straightforward. How naïve! The bike in our compartment wouldn't fit properly anywhere, even in the space provided for a wheelchair and everytime the trolley came through the door we were treated to quite a performance.

Enjoy this issue. Thank you for your correspondence and to the member in Orkney who is under the impression I am American, I'm an ex-Londoner who can't use his American based spell checker properly!

Take up the challenge!

In the previous issue we asked for suggestions for a title for this newsletter. The committee has received a few submissions, so thank you. However, we don't feel that we have yet received the best one so keep thinking and if you are at the AGM perhaps you'll make share your thoughts with us. Please send your contributions to the Editor and we'll make our choice at a subsequent committee meeting.

Roger Piercy - Newsletter Editor