Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Autumn Newsletter


On a glorious Indian summer day, the HML CRP held their second AGM in September in the Boardroom at Dalwhinnie Distillery in September. The distillery sits right next to the Highland Mainline and is the highest whisky distillery in Scotland. We are extremely grateful to the distillery for hosting us, a rare privilege granted to few! Our guests were treated to a tour and tasting, a first for some of them.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

We welcomed Brian Barnsley, ACORP Senior Operations Manager to talk to us about the new structure at ACORP, and Eric Guthrie of Tactrans came along to explain about RiR2018 and the consultations which will take place later this year.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Following on from the AGM in September we welcomed renowned author Neil Sinclair, to give a series of talks on the Highland Main Line in our smaller communities. Blair Atholl, Dunkeld & Birnam, Kingussie and Carrbridge all hosted Neil. His talk concentrated on the People (Landowners and in particular Way Staff rather than Station Staff, who are often forgotten). We learned about the "Housewives Choice", a special service to take wives and families from remote cottages along the line to Kingussie for shopping and the cinema, the Cinema announcing it was time for the "Hill Folk" to leave when their train was due to depart. Neil then spoke of the Buildings through the life of the Highland Main Line. Beginning with small wooden structures, prone to fire damage, and larger stone structures as the Railway's finances improved. We were able to see how bargaining between the then Duke of Atholl and Earl of Seafield resulted in some magnificent gate lodges, how Station Masters homes were built alongside Stations as at Dalguise and Boat of Garten and the lost stations along our line, Ballinluig Junction, Guay, Aberfeldy and Killiecrankie to mention a few. He also told of the unfortunate Station Master at Dalwhinnie who burnt the Station building down and then committed suicide, leaving us with the only 1920's building on the line. We learnt a great deal of information from Neil and thank him for coming north to fill us in on the Heritage of the HML.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Our thoughts are now turning to winter, and as most of us are also Station Adopters, we will be busy for the next few weeks, emptying summer bedding and planting up our Stations for the coming cold weather. Our new branded containers have looked magnificent and we shall be filling them with Spring bulbs ready for 2018. We welcomed Louis Wall and some members of SWRAGG to talk to us and the local Station Liaison group about Station Adoption at our October Board meeting.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

We were delighted to hear that both Pitlochry and Aviemore Stations are among the 9 Scottish Stations chosen by Simon Jenkins in his latest book, 100 Best UK Stations. And Perth got a mention too, although it is not within our Partnership.


New Caledonian Sleeper Totems have started appearing along our line too, Pitlochry and Dalwhinnie have theirs, remember you are only two stops from Paris when you board the sleeper at Dalwhinnie!

 
 

And finally...


Pitlochry Station Bookshop received a fantastic award in early October from the Scottish Institute of Fundraising for the volunteers efforts in charity fund raising for 6 Scottish Charities. The Scottish Air Ambulance Service nominated them. We are delighted to say their efforts now top £226,00, an increase from £174,000 this time last year. We are putting it down to the new shelves we helped them purchase!

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

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