A £20 million contract will see Siemens undertake re-signalling work on the Highland mainline as the rail industry continues to embrace technology so that business, freight and passenger journeys improve.
Network Rail has awarded the contract which will see significant re-signalling of the Inverness to Perth route, with a number of railway stations in the region expected to benefit from signalling works.
The 190km route is part of a wider project funded by the Scottish government – worth £57 million – that will see the Inverness to Perth line link with the Highland capital and the Central Belt.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport, commented: “The awarding of a further contract on the Highland mainline is another important milestone in this Scottish government funded project, which is on track to complete in spring 2019.
“The signalling works between Inverness and Perth enable far more efficient crossing of trains, which combined with infrastructure enhancements, will contribute to delivering faster and more frequent journeys between Inverness and the Central Belt.”
At the Aviemore and Pitlochry stations, re-signalling will include the installation of colour lights to replace the semaphore signals; both stations will also see platforms extended, while level crossings near Pitlochry will also be upgraded.
As with the drive towards electrification in Scotland, re-signalling works will bring benefits for businesses who will have shorter journey times and there will be more calls to the intermediate stations between Perth and Inverness, bringing more services to the region.
Network Rail’s route delivery director, Matthew Spence, added: “Upgrading the signalling on the Highland mainline is vital to deliver more and faster trains on the line, improving stopping patters and providing better connectivity for customers.
“We will work throughout to deliver the most efficient and cost effective way possible while minimising disruption for both lineside communities and passengers.”
This work on the line will be completed next March.