Scotland in Focus: Highlands prepare for 2020s

A PROGRAMME OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IS BEING PURSUED ON SCOTLAND’S LONG RURAL ROUTES, REPORTS JAMES ABBOTT

Flow Country: unit No 158704, forming the 16.00 Wick to Inverness service, about to cross the river Helmsdale, south of Kinbrace on 15 July 2019.
NIALL LAYBOURNE

Scotland's Highland rail routes are famous the world over. The Harry Potter steam train, the Highland Sleeper, the Road to the Isles: these romantic images resonate with a wide audience. They help to draw in the tourists, underlining the role of the Highland routes as bastions of the rural economy as well as essential travel lifelines. Systra estimates that over the UK as a whole, tourism by rail has increased by 30% in the last 10 years, generating £510 million for the economy: a substantial part of that will have been spent in Scotland.

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