Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Winter Newsletter

Yet another busy few months on the Highland Mainline. Lots of television watched, folk visiting and travelling on the train to collect awards. Another packed edition for you, lots of wonderful things to report on. We have, as usual, been very busy and we have our first Meeting of 2020 this month and our penultimate of the current year. That will be why the snow has finally decided to put in an appearance this week!

Scotland - The World's Most Beautiful Railway

Scotland - The World's Most Beautiful Railway commenced transmission on August 26th on More 4 at 9pm. We hope some of you managed to watch this series, we did manage to make the cut in a couple of episodes and it should be going out on Channel 4 this winter.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Travelling Classroom

We are delighted to announce we have been working away at the pilot for our exciting new Project with our Primary Schools. With the generous support of the Basil Death Trust, LNER Customer and Community Support and ScotRail we have been able to take on a P/T Voluntary Education Officer and we welcomed Daisy Chapman Chamberlain from Community Rail Lancashire up for two days to discuss the project and meet the first group of children at Pitlochry and lead a session on the Railway. A very exciting time and the children’s enthusiasm was fantastic, the greatest fun was role play and trying on uniforms. Very good results with the Railway Quiz and delightedly for us nearly all our first group had been on a train. Next we hope to gather all and any Educational Resources already available and are looking at the Victorians, Engineering and Bridges. Leading on this project is Janice Macdonald, who has already visited Newtonmore and shortly Blair Atholl and Logierait.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

We would like to ask if there are any staff, retired or working who would be interested in helping us out by giving short talks to the children in school. Please contact us on info@highlandmainlinecrp.co.uk

We look forward to welcoming the CCiF team from LNER up for a visit later this Spring.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Highland Fling - Community Rail in the City

We have now had two of our three prize winners come up for their wonderful stay in Scotland. This was due to the fabulous generosity of the many businesses who stepped up to promote our wonderful line and offer prizes.

The Smiths stayed at the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry and enjoyed some golf at Blair Atholl course, a little browse round House of Bruar, a private tour with the Archivist at Blair Castle (and a look at some very rare documents not on public display concerning the Jacobites and Queen Victoria), a meal at the historic Moulin Inn, which dates back to 1695 and a night out at Pitlochry Festival Theatre to see “Summer Holiday”.

Lauren Pascolutti won the break at Fonab Castle Hotel and enjoyed a days Cookery Course at Ballintaggart Farm Cookery School, a visit to a Whisky distillery, a meal at the historic Moulin Inn and a night at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

We are also happy to tell you that “Highland Fling” received third place in the new Tourism and Heritage Award from ACORP in Telford in October.

Carrbridge Station

We are aware of a few instances of the wrong platform information being displayed, we have flagged this up with ScotRail and asked that is addressed, it would appear that Platform 2 is the preferred side, unless there is a delay or passing through train. We will keep raising this issue for you, as we know how difficult it can be to wait with buggies/luggage, only to find you are on the wrong platform!

Kingussie Station

Kingussie has been having some new track bed put in over the past while. Flooding is still an on-going problem with the Gynack Burn running under the railway line and we have viewed the SEPA report.
Click here to view the report.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Aviemore Station

The Highland Line Restaurant put on a superb night with Hamish Napier playing “The Railway” in November. We are pleased to hear our CRP member, Lorraine Elliott is keen to extend the Station Adoption planting for 2020 and we have also met with Peter Crane of CNPA re signage for the Railway Stations within the National Park.

Pitlochry Station

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

BAM Nuttall brought the Macfarlane 7 fountain back to Pitlochry Station in August and hosted a wonderful tea party for the residents who live at Fishers View Court, next to the Station. And what a cake we had!

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

We were absolutely over the moon that Pitlochry Station won a National Rail Award in September, the Best Medium Station in the UK! And even more so that Nigel Harris came along to unveil it on the 24th October.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

The Pitlochry Station Bookshop building project to expand into the disused toilets on the UP platform is finished, this will give the volunteers a much needed sorting and storage area. We welcomed Andy Savage in January to perform the honours of “cutting the ribbon” and the first Chairman and Honorary President Norman McCandlish. We are glad the Victorian Urinals have been cleaned up and will be covered with Perspex, instead of being boxed in, a possible “Doors Open Day” in future. The project did hit a slight snag, in that the door lintels were discovered to be rotten, but our good friend Andy Savage of NRHT stepped in to finance new ones, so just a slight delay.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Scaffolding is up around the wooden 1898 Highland Chalet building, as Network Rail finish off repairs to the roof and chimneys, another step into full restoration of this most photographed building.

The Barrel train and tubs have had a freshen up and at last, the black containers are back from David Ogilvies in Kilmarnock after being refurbished, they look stunning. Thanks to Pitlochry in Bloom for doing that. We have yet to make a start on the restoration of the Armoury Park. A lot of work for the Station Adopters Group "Pitlochry in Bloom".

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

Azuma Launch

The new Azuma was launched from Inverness on 10th December and we were delighted to be invited along to the new “Highland Chieftain” experience. An early 7am start, but we were extremely well looked after and such fun was had on the trip, including a most delicious breakfast and a few treats.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

ScotRail Timetable Update

This week should see delivery of the 11th Inter7city HST to ScotRail, bringing the total required a bit closer. We have been advised that until there are at least 25 of the 26 sets, the improved HML timetable cannot be introduced with confidence. Wabtec's performance between now and April will indicate when the new timetable can be introduced.

Archive Collection

And from our ever expanding Archive Collection, a few photos from Pitlochry and Dalnaspidal, a far cry from the weather now.

Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership

We wish you all a Healthy, Prosperous and Happy 2020. From us all on the Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership team!


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