ScotRail has established a new format for disseminating information and gathering views. Regional Roundtable meetings will take place regularly around Scotland and offer the opportunity for key decision makers and local stakeholders to discuss issues pertaining to their area. The first Highlands & Islands Roundtable took place on 7 October in Inverness. FoFNL was well represented, as were the Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership, the Friends of the West Highland Lines and the Scottish Association for Public Transport.
The rail operators were represented by Alex Hynes, Paul McKay, Scott Prentice and Joanne Maguire from ScotRail, and Matthew Spence from Network Rail.
Among the issues covered were post-Covid passenger numbers, electrification, rolling stock replacement and infrastructure plans. There were opportunities for those present to respond to the presentations and ask questions.
Unfortunately on this occasion the meeting time was curtailed, it is hoped that future meetings will not be subject to the same constraints.
This is a useful forum and provides an additional chance to share our views and concerns directly with ScotRail and Network Rail.
In an interview Alex Hynes gave to the Press & Journal while in Inverness he mentioned that consideration will be given on whether to electrify the section of line between Inverness and Tain.
He also spoke about plans for Inverness Station, saying that "The idea is rather than do a cosmetic refurbishment, we do a proper masterplan so we can give Inverness a station to be proud of for the next 30 years"