Kyle of Lochalsh Line

The Kyle of Lochalsh Line is a primarily single track railway line in the Scottish Highlands, running from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh. Many of the passengers on the trains are tourists but one can also expect to meet locals visiting Inverness for shopping, and commuters. All services are provided by Abellio ScotRail and run to Inverness. Most services run to or from Inverness; one daily train runs beyond Inverness to Elgin (in the current 2016 timetable) having in the past come from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen. No section of the line is electrified and all trains on the line are diesel-powered, as are all other trains in the Scottish Highlands.

The route was built in three sections:

Latterly the Strathpeffer Branch operated between 1885 and 1951.

In the 1960s the line was listed to be closed under the Reshaping of British Railways report, however it was reprieved and services continued.

In 1989 the bridge over the River Ness at Inverness was washed away, leaving both it and the Far North Line stranded, but new “Sprinter” trains were brought over by road, and a temporary yard was built to service them at Muir of Ord. The section of line along Loch Carron is particularly troublesome and prone to landslides, often closing that section.

Whilst undeniably a rural line, a historic term in the Act of Parliament for the railways here and around Inverness means that one through service per day is operated over the line towards Aberdeen (see above), whereas all other services start and finish at Inverness.[citation needed]

From 1999 onwards, the then ScotRail operator, National Express, began the removal of the Class 156 “Sprinter” trains. Their replacement was to be the faster, higher standard Class 158s. These trains offered a better all round travelling experience, with air conditioning, improved speed, lighting, seating, storage and general comfort. There is now a dedicated fleet of Class 158 units based at Inverness serving the Kyle of Lochalsh line, the Far North Line to Wick and Thurso, and the Aberdeen to Inverness Line. The next franchise owner First ScotRail had continued the current situation, with improvement to the depot facilities at Inverness.

During the winter months there are three, generally 2 car services, per day in each direction, with no Sunday services. During summer months, Monday to Saturday services increase to four in both directions, mostly running as 4 cars, with two services in each direction on a Sunday.

As of December 2008 service enhancements have meant the introduction of four daily trains all year round, Monday – Saturday.

The stations on the line that have passing loops are Muir of Ord, Dingwall, Garve, Achnasheen and Strathcarron. Only Dingwall and Kyle stations are staffed phone holder belt, however all stations along the route have lighting and passenger information posters with train timetable details. Most have passenger information telephone points fitted so that remote customer service staff can be contacted. Normal office hours apply. Along the route there are 29 bridges and 31 cuttings.

The Kyle of Lochalsh Line was featured in Eddie McConnell’s lyrical documentary The Line to Skye (1973) with commentary by Scottish writer William McIlvanney, commissioned as part of Ross & Cromarty’s campaign to keep the line open at a time when it was threatened with closure. The film follows the train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, describing the communities, landscape and wildlife along its route, while contrasting the frustration of motorists with the relaxation of the journey by rail.

In Stephen Durrell’s 1939 documentary West of Inverness, the importance of the Kyle of Lochalsh line to the crofters of the West Highlands is demonstrated through its role of transporting passengers, mail best fuel belt, parcels, food and livestock to and from their communities. The film shows the LMS steam locomotives that operated the line at this time.

In the episode of Great Railway Journeys of the World “Confessions of a Trainspotter” (1980), Michael Palin travels from London to the Kyle of Lochalsh and returns with the railway station’s sign.

Video 125 Ltd. produced a driver’s eye view documentary of the line in 1987, when the service was still operated using loco-hauled trains, in this case motive power being provided by Class 37 no. 37262 named Dounreay after the nuclear power station. Narration was by Paul Coia.

Nicholas Whittaker travelled the line both ways during the summer of 1973, an experience he wrote about in his 1995 book Platform Souls.

As with the other railway lines of the western Highlands (the West Highland Railway and the Callander and Oban Railway), John Thomas wrote a comprehensive and highly readable history, The Skye Railway.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) is a state agency within the New York State Executive Department charged with the operation of state parks and historic sites within the U.S. state of New York. As of 2014, the NYS OPRHP manages nearly 335,000 acres (523 sq mi; 1,360 km2) of public lands and facilities, including 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, that are visited by over 62 million visitors each year.

The agency that would become the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) was created in 1970; however, the history of state parks and historic sites in New York stretches back to the latter part of the 19th century. Management of state-owned parks, and guidance for the entire state park system, was accomplished by various regional commissions, private organizations, statewide advisory councils is meat tenderizer bad for you, and divisions within other state agencies prior to the establishment of NYS OPRHP, which grew from the framework created by these earlier organizations.

State-level procurement and management of parks in New York began in 1883, when then-governor Grover Cleveland signed legislation authorizing the appropriation of lands near Niagara Falls for a “state reservation”. Two years later, the Niagara Reservation, known today as Niagara Falls State Park, opened to the public. The park is claimed to be the oldest state park in the United States, and was the first established via eminent domain.

The State Reservation on the St. Lawrence was authorized in 1896, and by 1898 it included modest state holdings in the Thousand Islands region of New York. During the early 20th century, the state continued to expand its public parks system with several large additions, including Letchworth State Park in 1906, Fire Island State Park (known today as Robert Moses State Park) in 1908, John Boyd Thacher State Park in 1914, Enfield Glen State Park (today’s Robert H. Treman State Park) in 1920, and Allegany State Park in 1921. A coordinated effort to protect portions of the Hudson Palisades from the damaging effects of quarrying resulted in the creation of a number of state parks in the 1910s and 1920s, including Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Park.

Throughout these early acquisitions, the state lacked a formal statewide agency or organization to coordinate management and development of state parks. Instead, parks were managed by independent regional commissions, such as the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, or by organizations such as the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. To address the need for statewide coordination, the New York State Council of Parks was created by legislation adopted on April 18, 1924. The council served to plan development and set standard policies for all New York state-owned parks, reservations, and historic sites that were not under the authority of the New York State Conservation Commission (which notably included those lands that comprised the Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks and Catskills). Its formation was supported by governor Alfred E. Smith and based on plans by Robert Moses, who became the council’s first commissioner; Moses would remain in charge of the council until 1963.

The council initially included representatives from regional park commissions and other organizations involved in park management, including the Conservation Commission and the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. Prior to the creation of the Division of Parks (see below), the State Council of Parks was the highest-level organization overseeing park management in the state.

Although it later became an advisory body, the council continues to this day, known officially as the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It includes representatives from the following departments and commissions as of 2014:

A reorganization of New York’s state government took place in 1926, which resulted in the creation of the New York State Conservation Department. The newly formed Conservation Department included a Division of Parks which assumed responsibility for management of New York’s parks and historic sites. The Council of Parks continued as a constituent unit of the Division of Parks. The council was also at this time given the additional responsibility of planning highway improvements to enable access to park facilities.

Although the Great Depression of the 1930s reduced available funding for New York’s state parks, the period was a time of development of existing parks’ facilities. Construction teams comprising workers employed through federal programs such as the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Civil Works Administration, and Works Progress Administration cleared woodlands, performed maintenance tasks, and built roads, trails, golf courses best fuel belt, buildings, and furniture for New York’s parks through the 1930s and early 1940s.

As the Depression came to a close with the United States joining World War II in 1941, New York State was managing 74 parks welcoming a combined 20 million visitors annually. However, the Division of Parks’ responsibilities were reduced in 1944 when 27 State Historic Sites were placed under the jurisdiction of the New York State Education Department. These sites were eventually returned to the Conservation Department in 1966; in the same year, the New York State Historic Trust (which later became the New York State Board for Historic Preservation) was created to help guide their management.

New York’s park system continued expansion after World War II ended. The creation or completion of various parkways in the state, such as the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Lake Ontario Parkway, received priority during the 1950s. As visitation to New York’s state parks increased following the war, new lands were sought for state parks, including unsuccessful attempts to expand into the Forest Preserve. Increased funding for parks made available in the 1960s did allow for the purchase of several large tracts throughout the state for parkland development. The state also began at this time to expand into new areas, such as an increase in boating facilities and establishment of parks within New York City.

A major shift in New York’s park management came in 1970 with legislation that created the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which was tasked with all responsibilities of the former Conservation Department, with the exception of managing the state’s parks and historic sites outside of the Forest Preserve. The former Division of Parks was upgraded to become an independent agency, known as the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation. Legislation enacted in 1972 gave the agency direct control of New York’s park lands, with the State Council of Parks and regional commissions retaining an advisory role in management. The agency’s name was updated in 1981 to its current form, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP).

The state park system underwent a period of rapid expansion during former governor George Pataki’s administration. Between 1995 and 2007, Pataki, along with then-parks commissioner Bernadette Castro, opened 28 new state parks. Although the governor was lauded as a conservationist for his actions, the new parks increased financial burdens on the NYS OPRHP, whose funding for operations remained steady. In 2010, a statewide fiscal crisis led to an announcement that 55 state parks and historic sites would be closed. The threatened closures were eventually averted, with budget shortfalls made up through reduced staffing and hours at many parks, closure of some internal facilities such as campgrounds and golf courses, and increases in user fees.

The 2010 fiscal crisis resulted in decreased availability of funds for maintenance and upkeep at New York’s parks. To help address an estimated $1 billion in needed repairs, $143 million in funds were made available in 2012; the money came from a combination of state, federal, and private grant sources. Sustained funding for repairs was announced in 2015, with the state planning to spend $900 million by 2020 at parks and historic sites throughout the state.

As of 2014, the NYS OPRHP administered: