Network Rail and Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust are to continue their winning rail safety partnership for another year.

Over the 2018/19 season the rail company and football club worked together to deliver football coaching classes with a rail safety theme to more than 11,000 kids across Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire.

Funded by Network Rail’s Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project, and supported by the British Transport Police, the rail safety message will be rolled-out through the Community Trust’s programme of holiday football camps and its extensive schools football curriculum.

The £330m Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project is doubling the track and improving signalling systems on the line between the two cities – meaning more trains and faster services will soon be using the route.

Graeme Stewart, Network Rail senior sponsor for the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project, said: “This has been an excellent initiative which has delivered exceptional results as we’ve seen a 93 percent improvement in rail safety awareness among the young people involved.

“From December we’re going to be running more trains with faster journeys on the line and those changes mean we need to keep highlighting the importance of rail safety to young people.

“Trains take a long time to stop, up to the length of 20 football pitches, and anyone who is hit by one is likely to be killed or badly injured.

“That’s why our message is very simple – stay safe, stay off the tracks.”

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.

Local passenger benefits from the project include:

  • Increase in services that call at Inverurie each weekday from 45 to 76, with a similar improvement on Saturdays.
  • This will mean up to three trains per hour and includes two additional morning peak trains into Aberdeen and an additional evening peak train out of Aberdeen.
  • An improved cross-city service, with 27 trains per day between Inverurie, Dyce, Stonehaven and Montrose. This includes an additional direct morning peak service from Montrose to Dyce and Inverurie.
  • Additional early and late services between Elgin and Aberdeen.