We’re upgrading the railway between Aberdeen and Inverness to improve connectivity, support more services and improve journey times.

The Aberdeen – Inverness Improvement Project is a Scottish Government funded project to upgrade the railway infrastructure between Aberdeen and Inverness.

The project, which will be delivered in phases, will provide incremental benefits throughout the life of the scheme. Phase one of the project is due for completion in 2019.

What’s happening?

Phase one of the scheme aims to deliver enhanced commuter services into each city and to facilitate the capacity for new stations at Kintore and Inverness Airport.

The following works have already been completed between Inverness and Elgin:

  • signalling enhancements between Nairn and Elgin
  • platform extensions at Elgin
  • the relocation of Forres station
  • loop extension of the track at Forres

We are now concentrating on major engineering works to redouble the track between Aberdeen and Inverurie alongside signalling and infrastructure works along the route.

What will it deliver?

Upon its completion in 2019, phase one will deliver:

  • Capacity for new stations at Kintore and Inverness Airport.
  • Hourly service between Inverness and Elgin.
  • Later last train from Inverness (in response to passenger demand).
  • Increased reliability and no detriment to journey time between Inverness and Aberdeen (even allowing for new station stops at Kintore and Inverness Airport).
  • Further enhancements to the December 2019 timetable once east end interventions are completed.
  • More through services to the central belt via Aberdeen.
  • Half hourly Aberdeen to Inverurie service – with more services in peak hours.
  • New Elgin to Aberdeen early morning and late evening services.
  • Extended platforms at Insch to support the introduction of longer High Speed Trains.

Timeline

  • New fully accessible station at Forres completed.
  • Extended platforms at Elgin now accommodate longer High Speed Trains.
  • Fully upgraded signalling between Inverness and Keith (with Nairn, Forres and Elgin signal boxes removed).
  • Installation of new second track and signalling equipment between Aberdeen and Dyce.
  • Installation of new second track and signalling equipment between Dyce and Inverurie (with Dyce and Inverurie signal boxes removed).

By 2019, passengers will benefit from the following service improvements:

  • Introduction of hourly service between Inverness – Elgin providing 1,300 additional seats each day.
  • Extended platforms at Insch to accommodate longer High Speed Trains.
  • Majority of Aberdeen to Inverness services formed of High Speed Trains providing 1,400 additional seats each day.
  • Introduction of half hourly all day service between Aberdeen – Inverurie, providing 3,000 additional seats each day.
  • Additional Elgin – Aberdeen early morning and late evening services.
  • New through services between Inverurie – Montrose reducing the need to interchange at Aberdeen.

Programme updates and disruption

We're regulated to work in a way that minimises impact on train services.  This means that some of our work is required to be undertaken at night time.  It is also safer for our staff and contractors to deliver work when trains are not running.

Notification letters will be sent to affected residents but, wherever possible, we will provide the most up to date information regarding noisy or disruptive work on this web page and on Twitter.

From 4 May – 19 August 2019  the project will close the line between Dyce and Inverurie and Huntly in the following pattern:

Saturday 4 May – Friday 14 Jun (6 weeks) – Bus replacement Dyce to Inverurie

Saturday 15 Jun – Friday 9 Aug (8 weeks) – Bus replacement Dyce to Huntly

Saturday 10 Aug – Monday 12 Aug (3 days) – Bus replacement Aberdeen to Inverness

Tuesday 13 Aug – Monday 19 Aug (6 days) – Bus replacement Aberdeen to Huntly

Project line closures

The works between Aberdeen and Dyce has been completed safely and successfully. Here's a summary of what was completed:

76,000 tonnes of eathworks spoil removed
8.75km of new troughing
65,000 tonnes of ballast used
Installation of new signals
19,000 sleepers
10km of new rail
72km of cable
3.75km of track drainage

Contact us

For any comments or questions regarding the project, please contact our 24-hr Network Rail national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

For the latest information, you can follow us on Twitter @NetworkRailA2I

You can also submit any questions or queries by email to aberdeeninverness@networkrail.co.uk.