Tuesday 14 Feb 2006


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Around 100 abseilers and technical experts will be working for Network Rail in the Highlands carrying out nearly £3 million of work on the railway. The specialist four-week project, which begins on Saturday 18 February, will involve removing vegetation and cutting through the thick rock at the side of the line to ensure its long-term stability.  Plans are also in place to start a three month project to improve the sea defences in the Kyle of Lochalsh area with around 20,000 tonnes of rock ‘armour.’ David Simpson, Route Director, said: “The work is very specialist and can only be done when no trains are running. We wanted to make the most of the temporary line closure and so we’ve planned a full programme of work and have a large, experienced team on hand. “The work we do now is part of our ongoing commitment to Scotland’s railways and will reduce the need for further maintenance in the future.”  Assessments have already taken place to find out where work needs to be carried out along the rock-face. Wire netting will be used to retain loose stone as the cutting takes place. This work is part of a continuing programme of investment in the area. Work will also be carried out to the sea defences at 10 locations between Duirinish and Kyle of Lochalsh, subject to final approval from the Scottish Executive.  Natural rocks, each around 600mm in size, are placed down to protect the embankment from erosion by the sea. Mr Simpson added: “The rock has been specially chosen to match with the surrounding area. Care has been taken to protect the environment – for example, an otter survey has already been carried out to help us ensure we don’t disturb the local wildlife.” We are working closely with our colleagues at First ScotRail who have organised alternative transport for affected services.
  • Buses will replace trains between Kyle of Lochalsh and Stathcarron while the work takes place
  • On Friday 17 February, the 15.23 Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh service will terminate at Strathcarron, with a replacement bus service running between Strathcarron and Kyle of Lochalsh calling at Attadale, Stromeferry, Duncraig, Plockton and Duirinish
  • From Saturday 18 February until Sunday 19 March, all services to and from Kyle of Lochalsh will start from and terminate at Stratchcarron. A replacement bus service will operate between Stathcarron and Kyle of Lochalsh, also calling at Attadale, Stromeferry, Duncraig, Plockton and Duirinish. The 07.25 Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness will start from Strathcarron with a replacement bus service running between Kyle of Lochalsh and Strathcarron  
  • As a result, some trains may be altered and incur an extended journey time. Passengers can contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 for service information

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Scotland
0141 555 4109

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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