Rail improvements in the Highlands

A total of £57 million is being invested in improving the Highland Mainline, which will allow more and faster journeys between Inverness and the Central Belt.

We’re bringing some major changes to the Highland Mainline. The entire timetable for this vital route is being completely redrawn, and will see average journey times reduced and an extra eight journeys between Inverness and the Central Belt each day.

Alongside community groups the length of the route, we’ve developed a proposed new timetable that’s more reliable, benefits everyone and delivers more services than ever before.

The feedback we have gained so far has been very positive, and we have also been advised on how we can make further improvements at Dunkeld and Kingussie – this is something we are currently working on.

Please note: these timetables are only drafts. They don’t show connecting services. We’re working to improve timetables across the country and we’ll do all we can to make connections as simple as possible.

How will reliability increase?

Upgraded signalling will be installed at Aviemore and Pitlochry stations. This will mean that arriving trains no longer have to stop and wait for trains going in the opposite direction.

To allow this work to take place, the car park at both Aviemore and Pitlochry station will close on the following dates:

Closed 23:00 Saturday 27 October 2018 - Open 05:30 Monday 29 October 2018

Closed 23:00 Saturday 3 November 2018 - Open 05:30 Monday 5 November 2018

Closed 23:00 Saturday 10 November 2018 - Open 05:30 Monday 12 November 2018

Closed 23:00 Saturday 17 November 2018 - Open 05:30 Monday 19 November 2018

Closed 23:00 Friday 23 November 2018 - Open 05:30 Tuesday 27 November 2018

Network Rail's website has more information on the upgrades taking place on the Highland Mainline.

How will the new timetable be better?

  • By the end of 2019, there will be an hourly service in each direction between Inverness, Aviemore, Pitlochry to Perth and Edinburgh or Glasgow. Some journeys between the Central Belt and Inverness will be as fast as three hours and two minutes.
  • All stations on the route will benefit from this enhanced timetable, which will see 40 per cent more services between the Central Belt and the Highlands.

What about the trains?

  • We will be introducing our iconic InterCity trains on the Highland Mainline. These will eventually operate all services between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. These trains will provide over 2,500 extra seats each day – that’s a 50 per cent increase on today’s figure.
  • Not only that, they will be more comfortable, have luggage space, and will offer an enhanced food and drink service.

How can you get involved?

  • We’ve been consulting with customers and community groups along the route to get feedback on their draft timetable plans
  • If you have any questions about the upgrade work, you can contact @NetworkRailHML on Twitter.