Friday 20 Oct 2017
Official opening for Scotland’s newest station
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead joined ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes to officially open the new Forres station today (Friday, October 20).
The new station is part of the Scottish Government-funded Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project, which is transforming rail travel between the two cities by increasing services and cutting journey times.
The facility was completed as part of the recent 10-day closure of the line, during which the railway was moved onto a straighter, double-tracked, alignment to the north of the old station.
Offering improved passenger facilities, the station’s two platforms are linked by a fully accessible footbridge and lifts.
The station car park has also more than doubled in size to 58 spaces, including three spaces for blue badge holders, four oversized spaces and two charging points for electric cars. A new road bridge over the railway links the station to the town.
Local MSP Richard Lochhead said: “This investment by the Scottish Government in improvements to the line in Moray is hugely welcome and will bring significant benefits to local commuters and rail users.
“I know that the community in Forres has been engaged in the project throughout and I’m delighted that their brand new station is here and open to the public. The improvements to our local rail infrastructure is a real boost to commuters and rail passengers locally, as well as to the local economy, and I know everyone is looking forward to shorter journey times on the line.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Across the country, we are delivering the biggest transformation of our rail network since Victorian times as we work with the government to create the best railway Scotland has ever had.
“This new station is just the first benefit our passengers will see from the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project, which will also bring more commuter services into both Inverness and Aberdeen and shorter journeys between the two cities in the years ahead.”
Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf, said: “It is extremely promising to reach this milestone in the first phase of the Aberdeen and Inverness rail enhancement project. The Scottish Government’s significant investment in relocating the station at Forres, extending the platforms at Elgin, and in improving the signalling will pave the way for faster journeys and more frequent services for those who use this important line regularly.
“The delivery of these works to programme is a testimony to the hard work and commitment of all of those involved. Network Rail will now move forward with delivering the improvements between Aberdeen and Inverurie by the end of 2019.”
During the 10-day closure of the line from October 7-17, Network Rail and main contractor BAM Nuttall worked around-the-clock to deliver:
- 5km of new track in Forres
- The new Forres station and link road
- 2km of new track in Elgin
- Extended platforms at Elgin
- Upgrading of Elgin level crossing to a full-barrier, CCTV crossing
- Removal of redundant signal boxes at Elgin and Forres
- Upgrading of signalling systems between Elgin and Inverness.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.