The Aberdeen to Inverness line is approximately 108 miles long and is primarily single track with some passing loops.
The current passenger journey times (around 2 hours, 25 mins) and irregular service (every 2 hours) between Aberdeen and Inverness means that it does not offer an attractive alternative to road travel.
The rail improvements project will be delivered in phases and aims to provide incremental benefits throughout the life of the scheme, with the whole project being delivered by 2030.
The long-term aspirations of the project aim to deliver:
- a 2 hour journey time (end to end);
- an hourly service;
- enhanced commuter services into each city;
- the infrastructure to support new stations at Kintore in Aberdeenshire and Dalcross, next to Inverness airport; and
- increased opportunities for freight.
Phase one of the scheme aims to deliver enhanced commuter services into each city and to facilitate the construction of new stations at Kintore and Dalcross by 2019.
Specifically, these improvements include:
- the redoubling of the track between Aberdeen and Inverurie
- signalling enhancements between Nairn and Elgin
- platform extensions at Insch and Elgin
- the relocation of Forres station
- loop extension of the track at Forres, and
- infrastructure to allow new stations at Dalcross and Kintore.
Future phases of the project will help support an hourly service between Aberdeen and Inverness, with an average journey time of around 2 hours. The exact scope and timing of works to achieve this is still to be determined and will be dependent on sufficient resources being available to support their delivery.
More information on the project