LETTERS : Highland sleepers a vital link

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The Independent Online
I SHARE your concern about the proposed withdrawal of Motorail and some Highland sleeping car services.

Here in the country's second largest conurbation we now have no overnight through trains to Scotland, despite the fact that the Plymouth-Glasgow train passes through Birmingham each night! A few years ago, several night services came through Birmingham, which I can confirm were well-patronised. Seating accommodation has since been withdrawn from many night services, and on our last two weekend trips to Scotland we actually travelled to London to secure an uninterrupted journey to Glasgow on the "Night Caledonian". It is not difficult to suspect that this steady deterioration in overnight Anglo-Scottish services is a prelude to complete withdrawal, a suspicion confirmed by the relatively poor marketing of these trains which could provide invaluable links to the Highlands, encouraging the local economy and tourism.

All this is in marked contrast to France, where remarkably good Motorail and overnight services link the Channel ports and Paris with the Mediterranean coast and French alps.

Alan Wilkinson Sutton Coldfield, W Midlands

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