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Railhub Archive
2006-03-24 TSC-001
Transport Scotland


New train service for the Highlands

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Transport Scotland

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Transport Scotland

New train service for the Highlands

24 March 2006
source Transport Scotland
type Press release

A new service, operated by First ScotRail, will run from Wick/Thurso to Inverness and has been included in the winter 2006 timetable to start operating on Monday, 11 December.

The new service will improve access to public transport and provide better links to the south as a result of a five year investment package worth £2m, from the new national transport agency, Transport Scotland.

The morning service will operate from Monday to Saturday and as well as achieving the improved journey from Wick to Inverness of four hours will provide connections from the Stromness to Scrabster ferry.

It will take the number of train services running daily from Wick to Inverness to four a day.

Highlands and Islands Development Board, HITRANS and First ScotRail have all given their backing to the new service.

Because the service is aimed at benefiting those travelling from the far north and offer an alternative to the bus, the service will only stop at selected stations which are: Georgemas, Forsinard, Helmsdale, Brora, Golspie, Rogart, Lairg, Ardgay, Tain, Invergordon, Dingwall and Muir of Ord with Inverness as the final stop.

It is hoped the new service will provide greater access to leisure and business opportunities as well as increase links for tourists and potential visitors to the far north.

The new service will leave Wick at 8.13, Thurso at 08.42, and arrive in Inverness at 12.13.

Mr Scott said:

“I am delighted to be able to announce this new service for the Highlands which will start by the end of this year.

"A new service will improve access to leisure and business opportunities for local communities and also increase tourism opportunities. I am also pleased the new service will connect with ferry services from Orkney.”

Mary Dickson, managing director of First ScotRail, said:

"This new service reflects the renaissance that transport is witnessing in Scotland and the Highlands in particular.

"It is on top of the biggest development for the railway in the Highlands in many years – the introduction of Invernet services which delivered Inverness-Wick line improvements including 10 additional journeys per weekday.

"These initiatives are a perfect example of delivering our aspirations in partnership, and underpin levels of investment not seen in generations."

The new Highland train service will be delivered under the current franchise operated by First ScotRail. Transport Scotland has committed £400,000 per year, for five years (£2m) towards this new service.

Railhub Archive ::: 2006-03-24 TSC-001


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