Network Rail awarded Siemens a EUR 22.6 million contract (GBP 20 million) for re-signalling sections of the Highland mainline, in Scotland, to reduce journey times for customers on the key inter-city route.
The contract envisages the re-signalling of 190-km sections on Inverness and Perth line, as part of an overall EUR 64.6 million (GBP 57 million) Scottish Government-funded investment in the line linking the Highland capital and the Central Belt. It also includes significant re-signalling of both Aviemore and Pitlochry stations. The signalling work will be delivered in tandem with platform extensions at Pitlochry and the extension of the double track section to the north at Aviemore station. The project will also see three private level crossings near Pitlochry upgraded as well as further work at Inverness, Kincraig and Slochd.
“Upgrading the signalling on the Highland mainline is vital to deliver more and faster trains on the line, improving stopping patterns and providing better connectivity for customers,” Matthew Spence, route delivery director for Network Rail, said.
These works will help deliver an hourly service, with average journey times reduced by around 10 mins and enable potential improvements to the times of the first and last trains between Inverness and the Central Belt and to provide a better distribution of calls at the intermediate stations between Perth and Inverness on ScotRail’s newly refurbished InterCity trains (HSTs), which will start to be introduced on the route later this year.
This phase of work on the Highland mainline is scheduled to be completed next March ahead of the introduction of the new timetable in May 2019.