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

Letter To The Editor

13 Henderson Square,

Dear Sir,

As a member of Friends of the Far North Line, I take a keen interest in the railway north of Inverness. I frequently write to the Friends and to ScotRail. Over the past few years, I have written mainly on the same topic, that of the timing of trains in and around Inverness. Again I outline what I believe to be some very important points.

(1) The 08.47 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh train should be re-timed to depart Inverness later, at say, 08.55, allowing the connection from Aberdeen at 06.25. I fail to see why ScotRail haven't bothered to re-time the 08.47, can you? (2) The Dingwall commuter service should be re-timed to depart Inverness later at 07.40, allowing a connection from Elgin at 06.47, which arrives in Inverness at 07.32. Conversely, the return train from Dingwall would depart at 08.10, arriving in Inverness at 08.35. (3) The 09.52 Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness train on Sundays should be re- timed to arrive in Inverness at around 12.10 to allow passengers to travel to Aberdeen on the 12.17 Inverness to Aberdeen Express. At present, passengers travelling on the 09.52 have a three-hour wait at Inverness. Therefore, the present 10.45 should be re-timed to depart Inverness later and cross with the train from Kyle of Lochalsh at Dingwall. An earlier re- timing of the 10.45 is not possible due to the 10.30 Inverness to Wick train. (4) Sunday trains should run all year round on both the Far North and Kyle lines. The winter timetable should see one train in either direction, possibly running in the late afternoon. (5) The last train from Aberdeen to Wick departs Aberdeen at 13.10 and passengers have a two-hour wait at Inverness. I have been pushing ScotRail to re-time the 15.22 Aberdeen to Inverness train to arrive in Inverness earlier, providing a through service to Wick rather than to Kyle of Lochalsh. (6) Better use should be made of the unit forming the 09.55 Wick to Georgemas Junction service. It should depart Wick earlier and go direct to Thurso. It would return from Thurso as the connecting service out of the 07.00 at Georgemas Junction, to Wick. (7) I welcome the introduction of new trains on the route. How much faster will the journey times be? What timetable diagram can we expect next summer? Will there be through services between the North and Aberdeen. Edinburgh and Glasgow.

I hope that I have put forward some constructive points. I would be interested to hear your (or the committee's) views on the points raised.

With best wishes,
Yours Sincerely
Gavin Sinclair