Video: Aberdeen to Inverness railway project is on time say bosses

Works to improve the rail network in the north-east are taking shape, with the project now past the halfway mark.

Network Rail is carrying out significant improvements on the line between Aberdeen and Inverness to increase the capacity of the line and upgrade the service.

Work on the section between Aberdeen and Inverurie is progressing and is on track to be completed on time.

Some parts of the line are currently single track, meaning trains are not able to pass each other.

However, double track is being laid in some areas to allow more trains and encourage more passengers to travel by rail between the two cities.

Network Rail bosses hope the project will also improve the reliability of services.

The double-tracking of the section is also being carried out in preparation for the construction of a new station at Kintore, due to open in time for new timetables being introduced next May.

In total, 18km of new track has been laid, along with 32,000 sleepers and 72km of cables.

Bosses say developments are also progressing well on other improvements.

Signalling and bridges are being upgraded too, with the Don Viaduct between Dyce and Inverurie strengthened to cope with the increased load. The bridge was built in 1881.

Around 65,000 tonnes of ballast will be used for the whole project, with 76,000 tonnes of earthworks being removed.

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Graeme Stewart, Network Rail’s senior sponsor for the project, said: “The Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project will transform travel on the line between the two cities and open new opportunities for communities on the route.

“Our engineering work is progressing to plan and we appreciate the understanding shown by passengers and lineside neighbours while we deliver this vital investment.”

Services between some stops on the route are being replaced by buses over the summer months so works can be carried out.

The second stage of the line closure is under way, with replacement services between Dyce and Huntly in place until Friday August 9.

For three days from August 10-12 buses will replace trains for the entire route, while the Aberdeen to Huntly section will be served by buses from August 13-19.

North-east region MSP Peter Chapman said: “A lot of people will be looking forward to the August end date for this project.

“It is massive and has caused a lot of disruption.

“But I’d like to think it will make a huge difference to people in the likes of Inverurie.

“A more efficient train route will also take some of the pressure off our local roads.”

Inverurie and District councillor Lesley Berry added: “I think they have done a great job. It’s going to be a massive improvement and it’s long overdue.”