THE WEEK DID not end well for rail passengers on the Inverness to Aberdeen line with further frustration blamed on signalling failures over the weekend.
Earlier this week the service was hit when a wandering pheasant was blamed for Wednesday’s delays for early morning commuters heading for Aberdeen.
Then the busy service from Forres at 6.20am, Elgin at 6.34am and Keith at 6.55am was halted in its tracks – leaving 132 passengers stranded between Huntly and Insch after the train hit the bird – and that damaged the engine.
A spokesman for ScotRail Abellio said: “As this happened on a section of double track, we are bringing a train alongside and will transfer all passengers and take them to Huntly. We arranged buses to help them complete their journeys.”
The incident had a knock-on effect for other services on the line throughout the day.
Passengers were left frustrated yet again on Saturday when a signal failure caused the a delay of over two hours on the lunchtime train between Moray stations and Aberdeen – with similar delays to those heading in the opposite direction on the 12.46 and 1.38pm services from Aberdeen to Inverness.
Last month the ScotRail Abellio Chief Exective Phil Verster faced his critics in Elgin Town Hall when dozens of angry passengers quizzed him over poor service on the line. His visit was the result of an invitation by Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead, who had received representations from a large number of constituents over cancelled or late trains and overcrowding.