Green Signal, Aviemore & Pitlochry Stations.(Network Rail Images)
Network Rail has awarded Siemens a £20m contract for re-signalling sections of the Highland mainline – which will help reduce journey times for customers on the key inter-city route.
Work will include significant re-signalling of both Aviemore and Pitlochry stations which will see the historic semaphore signals replaced with colour lights which. The signalling work will be delivered in tandem with platform extensions at Pitlochry and the extension of the double track section to the north at Aviemore station. The project will also see three private level crossings near Pitlochry upgraded as well as further work at Inverness, Kincraig and Slochd.
Route Map-3.(Network Rail Image)
These works will help deliver an hourly service, with average journey times reduced by around 10 mins and enable potential improvements to the times of the first and last trains between Inverness and the Central Belt and to provide a better distribution of calls at the intermediate stations between Perth and Inverness on ScotRail’s newly refurbished InterCity trains (HSTs), which will start to be introduced on the route later this year.
This phase of work on the Highland mainline is scheduled to be completed next March ahead of the introduction of the new timetable in May 2019.
Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said:
“The awarding of a further contract for work on the Highland mainline is another important milestone in this Scottish Government funded project, which is on track to complete in spring 2019.
“The signalling works between Inverness and Perth enable far more efficient crossing of trains, which combined with infrastructure enhancements, will contribute to delivering faster and more frequent journeys between Inverness and the Central Belt.”
Matthew Spence, route delivery director for Network Rail, said:
“Upgrading the signalling on the Highland mainline is vital to deliver more and faster trains on the line, improving stopping patterns and providing better connectivity for customers.
“We will work throughout to deliver in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while minimising disruption for both lineside communities and passengers.”