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23.10.17

Forres station to ‘transform’ Scottish rail travel

Scotland’s newest station has been officially opened as part of the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project.

It is hoped that the project, funded by the Scottish Government, will transform rail travel between the two cities and slash journey times.

The station was completed during the recent 10-day closure of the line, whilst the railway was moved onto a straighter, double-tracked alignment to the north of the old station.

As a part of the project, the station car park has more than doubled in size, with 58 parking spaces, including three disabled spaces, four oversized spaces and two electric car charging points.

The station’s two platforms are also linked by a fully accessible footbridge and lifts.

During the closure, Network Rail and its contractors constructed 5km of new track in Forres, 2km of new track in Elgin, extended platforms and upgraded the level crossing in Elgin, removed redundant signal boxes at Elgin and Forres, and upgraded signalling systems between Elgin and Inverness.

Opening the station, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “The improvements to our local rail infrastructure is a real boost to commuters and rail passengers locally, as well as to the local economy, and I know everyone is looking forward to shorter journey times on the line.”

Accompanying Lochhead at the opening, Alex Hynes, managing director of ScotRail Alliance, added: “Across the country, we are delivering the biggest transformation of our rail network since Victorian times as we work with the government to create the best railway Scotland has ever had.”

Humza Yousaf, Scottish minister for transport, praised those working towards delivering the improvements: “It is extremely promising to reach this milestone in the first phase of the Aberdeen and Inverness rail enhancement project.

“The delivery of these works to programme is a testimony to the hard work and commitment of all of those involved. Network Rail will now move forward with delivering the improvements between Aberdeen and Inverurie by the end of 2019.”

Both Hynes and Yousaf are writing about Scotland’s railway for the next edition of RTM, set to hit desks on 31 October. Grab your free copy by subscribing here.

Comments

Pdeaves   23/10/2017 at 13:56

Couldn't find a picture more Forres-like? Or is the new build both multi-track and electrified?

Pdeaves   23/10/2017 at 14:39

Update: that's better!

Andrew Gwilt   23/10/2017 at 19:51

Another good achievement from Network Rail by building a new station to replace the old one and to have new stairs and lifts and yes the new station looks very nice. Similar to what Lea Bridge station was rebuilt and reopened last year and even Cambridge North station that opened this year. Well done Network Rail.

Rob Turnbull   24/10/2017 at 08:24

Very nice. Now can we please have the Hawick, Carlisle extension of the Borders Railway please. It's long overdue

Garyh   24/10/2017 at 14:03

Spellcheck alert !! It is Richard LOCHHEAD, not Lockhead

GW   24/10/2017 at 19:04

But where is the canopy to stop passengers getting wet between the building and the train? Lovely when the building is locked!

Jerry Alderson   24/10/2017 at 20:13

Sorry to say, Andrew, that the £50m Cambridge North does not show the railway at its best. I pity Greater Anglia who were handed a station that was not designed for passengers. More thought (and probably money too) was put into catering for the occasional freight train than the needs of passengers, and I write as someone who has used it quite a few occasions.

Andrew Gwilt   24/10/2017 at 23:15

True. Jerry Alderson. Very true.

Jerry   25/10/2017 at 06:48

Very true Andrew? You’ve been saying until now that Cambridge North is this fantastic achievement.

Andrew Gwilt   29/10/2017 at 00:20

Ok. There’s me speculating. Again.

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