Ten days of pain for commuters begins as Network Rail close the line

ENGINEERS GOT DOWN to work last night in one of the most intense work phases yet to deliver improvements to the Aberdeen to Inverness rail link.

The line between Inverness and Keith is now completely closed with bus services taking over from trains during the ten-day project.

Network Rail say that their main contractor BAM Nuttall will work around the clock during this period to complete the 1.5km of new track in Forres, finish the new Forres Station and its link road and complete 1.2km of new track in Elgin.

Work will also see the platforms at Elgin extended and the Wards level crossing upgraded to full-barrier with CCTV. At both Elgin and Forres current signal boxes will be removed in line with upgrades to all signalling systems between Elgin and Inverness.

Replacement bus services will operate between Inverness and Keith from today until start of service on Tuesday, October 17.

Matthew Spence, delivery director for Network Rail Infrastructure Projects in Scotland, said: “The Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement project will transform train travel between the two cities and the work we are undertaking over the next ten days is vital to the delivery of the project.

“Our engineers will be working around-the-clock to complete this complex programme as quickly as possible.

“We understand the inconvenience these works will cause to some passengers, residents and motorists and we are working hard to keep disruption to a minimum.”

The Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project is a Scottish Government-funded scheme to improve journey times and increase capacity on the route between the two cities.

The project will provide a day-time hourly commuter service between Inverness and Elgin by December 2018 and a half hourly service between Aberdeen and Inverurie by the end of 2019, and increase end-to-end services to an hourly frequency in the longer term.

These new services will help to improve the flexibility the railway can offer the expanding communities around the two cities – opening up new job and leisure opportunities.

Anyone with questions about the work can contact aberdeeninverness@networkrail.co.uk or call Network Rail’s 24 hour helpline on 03457 114141.