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12/8/2016 - Rail services under discussion at HITRANS events

HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, is staging a twin-tracked rail summit at the Mercure Hotel, Inverness, on Friday 16 December.


The main event is the annual Rail Stakeholder Conference, which will run from 1 – 3.40 pm.. Topics to be covered include:-

  1. Transport Scotland’s Rail Infrastructure Strategy Consultation
  2. Progress on the Aberdeen-Inverness and Highland Main Line Upgrade projects
  3. Developments at Inverness Rail Station
  4. Introduction of the new High Speed Train fleet
  5. Community Rail 


Main speaker is Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, who will be speaking on Delivering a Better Rail Service. Other topics to be covered include Transport Scotland’s Rail Infrastructure Strategy Consultation, progress on the Aberdeen-Inverness and Highland Main Line Upgrade projects, developments at Inverness Station, the introduction of the new High Speed Train fleet and Community Rail.


It will be preceded by the second Points North Seminar, which focuses on the poor performance of the railway from Inverness to Wick/Thurso and Kyle and investigates measures to restore reliability and confidence in the service. The seminar will run from 10 am – 12.15 pm.  Guest speaker will be Phil Verster, Managing Director, of ScotRail Alliance, who will be joined by other key personnel involved in the industry.


Frank Roach, Partnership Manager of HITRANS, who is organising the events, said: “We are delighted to welcome Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing to our annual rail event which focuses on the changes coming in the next 2-3 years: new trains, upgraded routes and station enhancements. The morning seminar concentrates on the problems of the Far North Line. We have a range of presentations from those directly involved in improving reliability and performance in track, signalling and rolling stock.”


Those interested in attending are invited to contact


Points North / Rail Stakeholder Programme


Points North


1000       Welcome  Cllr James Stockan HITRANS Chair


1005       Introduction Frank Roach HITRANS Iain Macdonald


1015       Infrastructure Maintenance Programme   Alex Sharkey Area Director East Network Rail


1035       158 Maintenance   Derek Glasgow ScotRail Fleet Manager Inverness


1055       Performance Improvement Plans /Scotland Route Study   Phil Verster MD ScotRail Alliance


1125       Level Crossings  Simon Constable Head of Route Safety Health and Environment, Network Rail


1150       RETB Next Generation  Ian Whiteley Project Manager Network Rail


1215       Lunch



The Rail Stakeholder Conference


1300       Welcome Cllr James Stockan HITRANS Chair


1305       Introduction Frank Roach HITRANS Iain Macdonald


1310       Rail Infrastructure Strategy Consultation   Frazer Henderson Head of Rail Policy Transport Scotland


1330       Delivering a Better Rail Service Fergus Ewing  MSP Cabinet Secretary Rural Economy and Connectivity


1400       A2I and HML update  Colin Macdonald Programme Manager  Graeme Stewart Scheme Sponsor Network Rail


1420       Overview of HST introduction/Dec 18 Timetable Scott Prentice Head of Business Development ScotRail


1440       New trains for old Peter Strachan MD Caledonian Sleepers


1500       Inverness Station Upgrade Rob Shorthouse Communications Director ScotRail Alliance


1515       Community Rail Partnerships  Sally Spaven Highland Main Line CRP Hege Hernaes West Highland CRP


1525       Skyefall Colin Howell Highland Council, Frank Roach HITRANS


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