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Highland mainline destinations given profile boost at London's Kings Cross station awareness day

By Staff Reporter

DESTINATIONS along the Highland mainline have been given a profile boost – as part of efforts to encourage more tourism by rail.

The Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership is taking part in a nationwide campaign encouraging people to explore the historic and scenic destinations and attractions that surround their local railway lines.

And the partnership hit the concourse at London’s Kings Cross station alongside the Atholl Highlanders and cast of Summer Holiday at Pitlochry Festival Theatre to encourage people to take a Highland Fling.

The Community Rail in the City campaign is a flagship annual community rail event that promotes sustainable travel for tourism and recreation and is organised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP).

This year’s event has brought together 39 community rail partnerships – community-based groups that work to help communities get the most from their railways – and partners at 20 mainline stations.

As well as helping tourists access more of Britain through enjoyable, environmentally friendly means, tourism by rail makes a growing and vital contribution to local economies. Rail usage in this sector has increased by 30% over the last ten years, with approximately three million annual visitors using the train as part of their trip, adding £510m to the UK economy.

Sally Spaven from Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership, said: “Community Rail in the City is a great opportunity for us to promote our wonderful railway line to thousands of commuters and potential visitors.

“We know very well that Highland Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park has so much to offer domestic and foreign visitors, from the Beatrix Potter Centre, Blair Castle, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Highland Folk Museum, Cairngorms Reindeer Centre and many historic sites in Badenoch and Strathspey.

“In particular we suggest that it is a great area to visit for the stunning scenery, heritage and wildlife.

“We hope that Community Rail in the City will help us get that across to wider audiences and encourage people to visit by rail rather than car. As well as being a more relaxing and pleasurable way to travel, visiting the Highlands by rail benefits the local economy, and means less traffic, noise and pollution in our communities.”

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