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

Frank Spaven and the Development of Railways in Scotland

It is a shock to realise that it is now ten years since the death of FoFNL's first Vice-President and founder member, Frank Spaven. His contribution to the development of railways in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands, is constantly remembered in many ways and is marked by the well-used memorial seat on platform 2 at Inverness station. His son, David, is a rail consultant and author based in Edinburgh and is also Scottish Officer for the Rail Freight Group.

The Beeching report was published 50 years ago in March, 1963 and proposed so very many railway closures in Scotland. Frank, as a Civil Servant in the Scottish Development Department, was involved in the subsequent evaluation of the proposed closures. Many of Frank's copies of the closure proposal notices can now be seen in the Highland Archives. The Scottish Association for Public Transport, of which he was also Vice-President, produced a 36-page booklet to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012. Many of the photographs are by Frank and many others of his photographs have appeared over the last few years in various books with which David has been involved.

FoFNL is only a youngster, but even we celebrate our 20th birthday in 2014. Maybe there could be a booklet with a range of photographs by Frank Spaven, Frank Roach and others? If anyone is able to help out with this, could you please get in contact?

Richard Ardern