Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Summer Newsletter

We apologise for the lateness of this edition, but works at Pitlochry Station and the Armoury Park have taken up much of our time and then the TV series filming for Channel 4 began! We are also preparing for a presentation to be given at the ACORP awards in Glasgow in October, the first time the event has been held in Scotland. It will be wonderful to host Community Groups from the rest of the UK and treat them to some Scottish hospitality and enjoy a Ceilidh.
Ceud Mile Failte

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

A busy summer for us with works going on at Aviemore and Pitlochry to accommodate the new HST's next year in Spring.

June Book signing

A very successful Book signing was held at Pitlochry when David Meara came along to Pitlochry Station bookshop to sign copies of his latest book, Anglo Scots Sleepers. Another first for us.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

The Partnership have just held their 3rd AGM in the Birnam Institute, with invited guests John Yellowlees and Graham Atkins of the Scotrail Alliance.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

The Heritage Map is finished and has had a soft launch at all our communities. It has been very well received by everyone, they said, "if this doesn't persuade folk to go on the train, nothing will, it is beautiful." The Panel part of the Project is still moving along slowly! Other things keep coming along, so we are fire fighting all the time with time and resources to keep on top of projects, events and meetings.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Kingussie Station

Kingussie Rail Art Project

After eighteen months of hard work, the art project to produce railways posters for Kingussie is complete. Unfortunately completion came too late for submission to the annual ACORP awards, but there’s always next year, so watch this space!

Without the co-operation of the Society of Badenoch and Strathspey Artists Association (SBSA - based at the Iona Gallery in Kingussie) this project could never have taken place, so huge thanks are due to them. Paintings from ten of their members were chosen for transformation into railway posters. The first step was to have the paintings turned into high definition digital images, done by Kingussie based professional photographer Edward Smith. The images were then sent on to a graphic designer to be transformed into railway posters. This entailed weeks of work and a great deal of communication between the designer and HML CRP project manager before the resultant images were ready to be signed off. Once this had been achieved the completed poster images were sent to a specialist printer to be run off as full sized railway posters. There was a bit of a wobble at this stage in case the measurements were wrong but of course they weren’t, and the new posters fitted the frames perfectly.

Poster Artists

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Back row L to R: Alan Hunt, Bob Kinnaird, Sandra Barras. Front row L to R: Jean Noble, Anisa Caine, Ailsa Schofield (HML CRP Project Co-Ordinator)
Photograph Courtesy of Frances Porter Strathspey & Badenoch Herald

The completed posters are now installed on Platform 2 at Kingussie brightening it up beautifully, which was the whole idea. Judging by the comments we’ve heard people really seem to like them, as we’ve been asked if we’re going to produce any more and whether they are available to buy. An Exhibition to showcase the original paintings will be held at the Iona Gallery in Kingussie from Tuesday 23rd October up to and including Saturday 27th October. We are also in discussion with the multi-national advertising company responsible for the electronic advertising displays at Glasgow Central Station with a view to putting on an electronic display of the posters and advertising the exhibition, but as yet this has not been finalised.

An Example of the Posters

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Jellicoe Line Interpretive Panel

A panel explaining what the “Jellicoe Line” was, has finally been installed in the waiting room at Kingussie. Now any passengers wondering what the Jellicoe Line commemorative plaque relates to can read all about it.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Blair Atholl Station

Two MacFarlane benches have been noted, a possible restoration project with the four at Pitlochry. This looks like a distinct possibility now.

Pitlochry Station

Lots of things happening at Pitlochry right now!! We must congratulate Bam Nuttall with their excellent community engagement, Stuart Mackay has been extremely helpful.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Dunkeld & Birnam Station

Latest news on Transport Scotland plans seems to favour a tunnel, so perhaps the Station building is safe for now. We would like to ask Doddie Piddock along to look at a Social Enterprise Venture here eventually.

Down the Track

We are making plans for our own "Travelling Classroom" in Spring 2019 and would like to thank the Basil Death Trust for having faith in us and making a very generous grant towards this project. More news on this later.

ScotRail Update for Highland Main Line

We are in regular contact with ScotRail on the Timetabling and Upgrades for our line. They are working very hard to get the best timetable for passengers and freight and the CRP understand the concerns raised by communities at Kingussie and Dunkeld and Birnam have been addressed by their current work in progress.

We believe the latest draft timetable will meet the needs of all the communities along the route as:

- Dunkeld & Birnam has a 2 hourly service all day – the remaining issue is having two arrivals into Perth before 9am and this is still being worked on.
- Kingussie has a call around 07.40am in the first direct service to Glasgow
- Other stations receive an even distribution of calls throughout the day as proposed in the consultation timetables.

The updated draft timetable will not be circulated until agreement on changes to times has been reached with all the other operators on the line.

We are delighted to hear too, that due to capacity issues this summer, from December 6 of the current 22 HML services each day will be formed by HST's. Initially these trains will be in "classic" form, ie same as operated by LNER with slam doors. They will progressively be changed over to the refurbished trains as they come in from overhaul. Each of these services will have around 40 more seats, more luggage space and toilets compared to current trains. More services will be formed by HST's in the May 2019 timetable change.

October Board meeting

We look forward to welcoming Professor Paul Salveson to speak at our next meeting, this is third time lucky for Paul, illness and "The Beast from the East" prevented him talking to us on two previous occasions.


Watch our Facebook page or Twitter page for further information.