We're investing in the Highland Main Line (HML) to allow more and faster services to run.
The upgrade to the Highland Main Line (HML) supports the introduction of ScotRail’s High Speed Trains (HSTs) and improved timetable. This project is part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing investment in Scotland’s railway.
A programme of infrastructure improvements undertaken in 2012 during phase one of the project has already increased the number of services from 9 to 11 trains per day in each direction.
Phase two of the scheme aims to deliver an hourly service with average journey times reduced by around 10 minutes. With the enabling infrastructure works now complete passenger’s benefits will be realised when the new timetable is introduced in December.
There are two specific locations along the route where enabling works will be carried out:
Aviemore: We have extended the passing loop to the north of Aviemore and carried out associated track and accommodation works as well as re-signalling works.
Pitlochry: We have reconfigured and extended platforms 1 and 2, carried out associated track and accommodation works as well as re-signalling works. The platform works included the removal of the wooden platforms to the south of the station and also the removal of the engineering siding (which allows for the platform extension).
Three level crossings – Dundarach, Prospect Place and East Cottages – have been upgraded as part of the re-signalling works.
These works will enable the longer HSTs to pass each other more efficiently at both stations. The upgraded railway infrastructure together with timetabling improvements and new HSTs will improve connectivity, support more services and improve journey times.
Works to upgrade the line were completed in March 2019 with the introduction of the new timetable in December 2019.
In addition to these works we will be developing proposals to improve the access arrangements within both stations.
What it delivers
- Phase two of the scheme aims to deliver an hourly service with average journey times reduced by around 10 minutes.
- The project will deliver an improved level of service for all stations along the route. The number of ScotRail and long distance trains between Inverness and the central belt will have increased from 11 in each direction at the start of the project to 15 in 2019 – almost a 40% increase. The new timetable will provide an hourly service between Inverness, Aviemore, Pitlochry to Perth and Edinburgh or Glasgow. Carrbridge, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Dalwhinnie, Blair Atholl and Dunkeld & Birnam will have a better spread of services throughout the day to Inverness, Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
- ScotRail forecast that the project will result in 150,000 additional passenger journeys each year, with every station between Perth and Inverness experiencing an increase in passenger numbers.
- These improvements will help make rail a more viable public transport choice for all of the communities along the corridor.
- Improved access arrangements at Aviemore and Pitlochry.
- Enhanced freight operations.
For further passenger and timetabling information please visit ScotRail.
Advance works commence, including de-vegetation and ground investigation / surveys
BAM Nuttall awarded contract for works
Line closures across five weekends
Completion of upgraded line
Introduction of the new timetable
Programme updates and disruption
Network Rail is 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.
Details of the disruption associated with the line closures, including information for lineside neighbours and customers, will be shared in due course.
For further passenger and timetabling information please visit Scotrail.
If you have any questions or concerns, or would like some further information regarding the project, please call our 24-hr helpline on 03457 11 41 41.