Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Spring Newsletter

Welcome to the HML CRP Spring Newsletter. Since our last posting we survived "The Beast from the East" and it brought with it a lot of snow! Central Belt seemed much harder hit than us up here. The winter lasted 5 months this year, but as last year May has brought temperatures in the high 20's and the real threat of forest and moorland fires and drought to contend with.

We have been very, very busy, our Public Meeting had to be cancelled on March 1st and resulted in Professor Paul Salveson being marooned in Pitlochry for two days, he wrote a witty account of his journey home in Salvo.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

The Spring flowers at our Stations were 5 weeks late in showing their faces up in Highland Perthshire and the Cairngorms. Strangely despite the weather and travelling difficulties, the HML CRP managed 2 meetings in quick succession before the end of our financial year. Although we had to cancel our Open meeting in early March, we managed to re-schedule to the 22nd and used the morning to catch up with the Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire Station Liaison Group and meet Wullie Clark from Transport Scotland, Wullie is hopefully going to attend all our future meetings. A very full day with the local liaison group and CRP joining together for a presentation on the new HST's in the morning.

We have been watching the drivers carrying out driver training on the HML over the past few weeks, all very exciting. We have also updated the usage figures for our 8 stations and there have been a few interesting changes, particularly at Dalwhinnie!


22nd March

We managed to re-schedule the Open meeting to 22nd March so that Scott Prentice - ScotRail, Graeme Stewart - Network Rail and Stuart Mackay - BAM Nuttall could give presentations to the local communities. It was a very interesting and informative event and well attended and appreciated by our three local communities with stations, although we had someone from Falkirk attend too!

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

26th March - Fam trip for map

We went on a Familiarisation trip to note the must sees from the train, accompanied by Jules Akel, our designer on 26th March, joining up with Roy Brown in Carrbridge for a breakfast meeting, Jules misbehaved on the 1717 bridge! Getting very excited about this project now.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Steam Train Great Britain

We were so lucky to enjoy a double visit from the Great Britain, and even better, it was in Pitlochry Station for 40 mins, to allow the ScotRail services to overtake, all the video enthusiasts were out in force, capturing some lovely footage of this majestic train on our stunning line. Chatting to the passengers, they were all having a fantastic trip.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

1st May - Badenoch meeting

On 1st May the HML CRP held an open meeting in Talla Nan Ros Hall, Kingussie in conjunction with the Cairngorm National Park Authority.

Sally Spaven of the HML Community Rail Partnership chaired a packed and lively meeting on the HML Improvement Project and specifically the new Draft proposed timetable to be introduced from May 2019.

Graeme Stewart of Network Rail presented the plans for new passing loops at Pitlochry and Aviemore which enables the introduction of a new "hourly Intercity" timetable with Scott Prentice - Head of Business Development Scotrail explaining the drafting of the proposed timetable. Damien Briody of Transport Scotland was also in attendance.

The slides from the presentation including the current draft timetable is available from our web site here.

Comments should be sent to highlandmainline@networkrail.co.uk

May 8th - Spring Board Meeting in Pitlochry
Brian Barnsley and new Line Action Plan

Most of our Spring meeting was taken up with work on a new up to date Line Action Plan, we were staggered to find we are working on 22 different elements once we got it all down on paper. Once finalised we will put it up on our website, so local communities can see our future plans.

Heritage Project

The Heritage Project is picking up speed, we have been busy travelling up and down the line, taking photos, writing text and noting Must-sees from the train. The map seems to be moving faster than the panels, but we are delighted with work completed so far.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Cairngorms National Park

Badenoch Great Places Project have appointed Dr Oliver O'Grady as Project Officer and he is coming along to our Summer Board meeting in Aviemore to give us a presentation on the project and how we could become involved with the three Badenoch Stations.

Kingussie Station

Work continues on the Interpretation panel to accompany the Jellicoe Plaque.

The Art Project is moving along, we have 14 paintings currently with the Graphic designer for finishing touches before heading off to the printers. Very excited about this project, possible entry for ACORP awards!

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Pitlochry Station

BAM Nuttall have now been awarded the contract and we have been in contact with the team and how we can best work together at the Railway Station and Armoury Park. Stuart Mackay has been extremely helpful and Gavin Llewellyn- Project Manager came along to the Pitlochry in Bloom AGM to outline plans and discuss options for re-instatement. The Bloom have looked after Pitlochry Station and the Armoury Park for around 20 years, it is all very exciting, and we can't wait. Lots of community consultation and talks going on.

Aviemore Station

Work continues on the Interpretation panel to accompany the Jellicoe Plaque. Sadly the Planners declined the application for the Caledonian Sleeper Totem. A condition was that it had to be painted red and cream to match the Heritage colours of this Listed Building, so it looks like no Totem for Aviemore.

Carrbridge Station

The initial application for the Caledonian Sleeper Totem was declined by Planning due to its proposed location in front of this fine Victorian building. A second application in a different location was passed, but a mass of underground cables prevented installation. We understand it will now go to Fort William.

Scotrail Railway Safety Workshops

We are delighted that Kat Wilson was able to visit the remaining Primary Schools on Highland Mainline during May. Between the 10th and 16th she visited Pitlochry, Newtonmore, Carrbridge, Blair Atholl and Logierait. Last year she visited Dunkeld & Birnam and Kingussie, so that means all schools on our line have now received Rail Safety Sessions. Schools said:" Excellent safety workshop, pitched at exactly the correct level." "It was active and thought provoking. The children were given time and space to think and contribute". " A good combination of activity and discussion".

We can now start work on an Educational Programme for next year and get some of the children out on the train!

Coming up in June

We are delighted to welcome David Meara Author on Saturday June 9th, who will be signing copies of his latest book "Anglo Scots Sleepers" in the Waiting Room. The book was very successfully launched a few weeks ago in the Caledonian Club in London and we are excited, along with Pitlochry Station Bookshop, that David is coming along to Pitlochry!

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

June 9th to June 16th

Alongside this event is the Pitlochry Art Walk, originally devised by Melt Gallery, this year it has been organised by a group of local artists. During the week a wide variety of Perthshire Artists and makers will be showing their work in cafes and shops and the Pitlochry Station Bookshop. Follow the footprints all along the High Street. www.pitlochryartwalk.co.uk

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

And finally...

We are delighted to have been asked by ACORP to participate in the Good Journey Project and are now busy working with them and the Cairngorms Business Partnership to promote tourist attractions along the route. This has come at a very good time for us, as it was Phase 2 of our plans anyway.

And secondly, over the last few months, Cross Country Trains have funded a successful pilot producing interactive promotional materials for a number of community rail partnerships around the country. They are now keen to extend this project to any CRP in England, Scotland or Wales who is interested in taking part. We are very keen to be involved in any tourism project for HML, so we are following this one up too. We are hoping Alice Mannion ACORP Tourism & Heritage Officer, can make it up to our June meeting and hear about the Badenoch project and see what we have on our line.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership
Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Have a great summer, we are going to be busy planting as soon as the danger of frost has passed and then we look forward to a visit from Tracy Stevenson to see what we get up to in the Highlands!


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