Highland line friends are given pre­sen­ta­tion

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

PRE­SEN­TA­TIONS from two ma­jor train com­pany of­fi­cials fea­tured in last week’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of a group pro­mot­ing the devel­op­ment of train ser­vices in the West High­lands.

Friends of the West Highland Lines wel­comed Alex Sharkey, head of op­er­a­tions at Net­work Rail, and Alas­dair Smart, tourism man­ager at Sco­tRail, to the Alexandra Ho­tel last Fri­day, May 12.

Mr Sharkey out­lined plans for cut­ting veg­e­ta­tion on the West Highland Line (WHL). He said £ 50,000 is avail­able for the work.

He said: ‘This year we were go­ing to spend some money do­ing the Kyle of Lochalsh line but be­cause the veg­e­ta­tion is so bad on the WHL we have de­cided to spend all of the £ 50,000 on it and try to get ex­tra funding to do the Plock­ton area.’

Mr Sharkey ex­plained the cost of main­tain­ing and re­new­ing the WHL is around £11m a year and mil­lions have been spent in Scot­land on drainage, fol­low­ing bad storms. On the devel­op­ment and fu­ture of the line, the idea of bring­ing more freight trains was dis­cussed. ‘In the next cou­ple of years we need to be look­ing at en­cour­ag­ing freight onto the rail­ways. There needs to be con­ver­sa­tions about what freight we can lift on to the rail­ways to take it away from the roads.’

Im­prove­ments to Banavie swing bridge should be fin­ished in six weeks. Mr Sharkey, who vis­ited the bridge be­fore the AGM, said con­cerns about ‘po­ten­tial ac­cess to the work­ings un­der­neath the bridge’ are be­ing ad­dressed. Con­cerns about peo­ple who are vis­ually im­paired know­ing when the bridge was go­ing to swing were also raised.

A buzzer to sound the bridge be­gin­ning to swing was sug­gested.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.