THE ABERDEEN to Inverness (A2I) line reopened in full on 20 August following a closure between Aberdeen and Huntly. The 15-week closure enabled completion of double-tracking between Dyce and Inverurie and upgrades to the signalling system between Aberdeen and Huntly.
Over 10 miles of new rail has been laid and 19 bridges refurbished or replaced, with double-tracking covering a 16-mile stretch in total. Lead contractor Bam Nuttall has also begun work on a new station at Kintore, due to open in May 2020. Resignalling, the responsibility of Siemens, has seen control at Dyce and Inverurie transfer to the Highland panel at Inverness.
This summer was the second in a row to see a blockade at the Aberdeen end of the route, with the December timetable this year marking the culmination of the first phase of the A2I project. At the timetable change services will be increased at the east end of the line, with Inverurie seeing a rise from 45 to 76 calls each weekday. There will also be a 27 trains per day cross-Aberdeen service between Inverurie, Dyce, Stonehaven and Montrose.
Timetable improvements at the western end of the line between Inverness and Elgin were delivered in December 2018, with a new station at Dalcross under construction to service Inverness airport.