Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Summer Newsletter

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

"The Summer Solstice"
Sunrise at 04.17am at Culloden Viaduct on the Highland Main Line.
Photo courtesy of Julie Hindlay


We hope all our followers have continued to stay safe since we came out from Lockdown. It has been wonderful to get out and about again seeing family and friends and using a train. We are finally seeing folk we have not met since February 2020. It is a bit surreal looking back over the past year and the strange few months since Christmas. Let us hope we can continue to make progress and begin to work in a more normal way again.

Most of us have ventured back to the Stations as Station Adopters, we had been keeping an eye on things as part of our daily walks for exercise during Lockdown. We were allowed back to our Railway Stations on April 27th and have been having a big tidy up. John Wilson, our ScotRail Community Liaison Executive paid us a visit on June 2nd, as part of Volunteers Week and it was a glorious day, to make up for the cold, miserable May we had.


We continue to meet by Zoom or Teams and have had a couple of catch ups since our last newsletter. In March Alisdair Smart of ScotRail joined us for a discussion purely about Recovery and Tourism. And we had our regular CRP meeting in May. We have also joined the Tourism Group led by Alice Mannion at CRN and continue to meet and discuss Recovery and the future, most of this group are CRP Project Officers for Marketing, Tourism and National Parks. We think we will continue to hold these Virtual meetings in future to share experience, knowledge and problem solve.

We said farewell to Niall Moran of Tactrans who has moved onto a new job, Good Luck Niall.

AGM by Zoom

It looks as if our AGM later this year will be by Zoom again, however, we may be able to meet outside, we will have to wait and see.

Community Rail Scotland

The CRS Steering group continue to work on drawing up a Constitution and hope to hold an actual meeting sometime in July or August.

Travelling Classroom

We have finally been able to deliver some of our “Blether Bags” and Resource Boxes to the schools we had started to work with in 2019/20. Sadly, the Scottish schools now break up for Summer holidays, but at least it is a start and floorspace in our houses is freed up! We will pick this up after the holidays and see what plans we can put in place for next year.

We keep in touch with Michel Lintermans, our Community Rail contact from the Netherlands and he has been able to start a Community Rail programme at home. Michel was here, for the launch, courtesy of the Dutch Transport Minister to look at a possible twinning programme, the Highlands of Scotland with the Lowlands of Holland, hopefully, that too can be picked up at some point down the line.

For more information and photos please see the dedicated section on our new website

Good News from our Stations

John Wilson, Community Liaison Executive for ScotRail, paid a visit to Carrbridge, Kingussie and Pitlochry on June 2nd, as part of Volunteers Week, it was great to see John again after about 16 months.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership
Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership
Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership
Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership
Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership
Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Dalwhinnie Station

We are delighted to say we finally retrieved the missing “Monty” plaque from Dalwhinnie commemorating Montgomery’s May visit in 1944. It was removed, much to the consternation of the Dalwhinnie community, as it was in need of some restoration. John Wilson had tracked it down last year, but it was under his desk in Glasgow until it was safe to go back into the office. It has been beautifully restored and repainted by Pauline of Signs and Designs of Perth. And will be making its way back to Dalwhinnie Railway Station shortly once all the paperwork is completed.

We are now turning our attention to the Clock!

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Pitlochry Station

The Pitlochry Station Bookshop is now open 6 days a week. Moving up from a four day week, when they first re-opened. They have had lots of customers and income appears to be back up to pre-Covid levels, which is great news for all the charities they support, one of which exists almost entirely on funding from the Bookshop, let us hope this continues.

We continue to explore with our Architect the possibility of internal restoration and use of the two small offices on the Northbound side, storage for our maps and school supplies is becoming an issue, never mind having a meeting space.

Station Adopters, Pitlochry in Bloom, were back in action from the 27th April. We did have a beautiful Spring show, so the Station floral displays looked stunning until late May. As usual the bulbs lasted until the end of May and Pitlochry in Bloom have been busy clearing, painting the train and planting summer bedding, it is looking good.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Newtonmore Station

ScotRail currently have no Station Adopter for Newtonmore since Fran Raw stepped down before Covid and so we are looking for someone to join us and look after the planters. ScotRail supply funding for plants, compost etc. If anyone would be interested, please contact us and we will put you in touch with Tracy who runs the scheme. We do hope someone will step forward.

Good news

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

“All Aboard” for the fascinating story of the railways in Perth and Kinross

Perth Museum and Art Gallery
26th June – 19th September 2021

Opening hours
10am – 7pm every Thursday
10am – 5pm every Friday, Saturday and Monday
10am – 4pm every Sunday

The development of railways in the mid-nineteenth century had a huge impact on people’s lives., both in work and leisure. With the arrival of the railways, travel and tourism boomed, and Perth became the gateway for onward travel to scenic Perthshire towns and the Highlands.

Although some railway lines have since closed, many of these lost lines have found a new role for walkers, cyclists and those interested in exploring Scotland’s railway heritage.

This family friendly exhibition explores the heyday of rail travel and features original objects together with photographs and videos to tell the tale of an important period in our transport history.

You can pick up a copy of the HML CRP Heritage Line Guide at the Exhibition. Come visit us soon.

Very best wishes from us all on Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership team! You can learn a bit more about some of us here.

Stay Safe.


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