Rail update

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On 7 September it will be the 150th anniversary of the completion of the scenic railway line between Perth and Inverness via Grantown and Forres. The shorter line via Carrbridge and Tomatin was not opened until 1898. How well have we looked after these assets since then?

Perhaps the Scottish Government will use this anniversary to tell us (at long last) what are the detailed plans for implementation of its priority improvement strategy for the line.

This promised to speed up journey times between Edinburgh and Inverness by 35 minutes to a headline two hours and 45 minutes.

The improvements introduced in December 2012 delivered a one-minute average gain southbound and an average nine minutes northbound, but much of this merely caught up with slippage that had occurred since the original announcement in 2008.

It is important that both passengers and freight should be able to make a realistic choice not to have to travel on the roads.

This would help the climate change targets too, as would realisation of the Hydro Board’s 1950s ambition to electrify the line.

R J Ardern

Southside Road

Inverness

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