Monday 31 Oct 2005


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
A team of rail workers will travel to the north of Scotland this week to carry out £2.5 million improvements to the railway. Network Rail is sending more than 150 workers to County March and Altnabreac, near Forsinard, for eight days to renew the track and help bring more reliable – and comfortable – train journeys to passengers. David Simpson, Network Rail Route Director, said: “Passengers will feel real improvements in their train journeys once we’ve replaced the existing jointed track with the continuously-welded kind. Train rides will feel much smoother and quieter and the new track will improve reliability. “Carrying out such major works in just over a week is a challenge, but we’ve got an experienced and committed team on hand. The workforce is so large, we’re told we’ve booked nearly every board and lodging within the local area.” The work includes completely renewing the track and ballast, and replacing the ageing timber sleepers with more environmentally-friendly steel ones. Network Rail is working closely with the train operating companies, who are providing alternative transport while work is carried out between Saturday 5 November and Sunday 13 November. First ScotRail Inverness / Wick and Thurso services will be retimed to start from and terminate at Helmsdale. A replacement minibus service will operate between Scotscalder and Helmsdale calling at Thurso, Forsinard, Kinbrace and Kildonan. A replacement bus service will also operate between Wick / Thurso and Helmsdale. Please note that Altnabraec Station will be closed. Passengers should also be aware that the 12.59 bus from Thurso to Helmsdale will start from Scrabster for ferry connection.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
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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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