New station at Forres marks A2I progress

First train at Forres: staff welcome a Class 158 into the new station after the October blockade. Courtesy Network Rail

THE NEW station at Forres has opened, forming part of the first stage of improvements on the Aberdeen to Inverness line (A2I – p60, October issue).

A 10-day closure of the line has allowed Network Rail and contractor BAM Nuttall to build the new two-platform station on a new straighter section of track, replacing the old single-platform station on a curve.

The improvements at Forres have seen 5km of new track built along with a link road to the new station, which is fully accessible and has a larger 58-space car park.

The closure, which ran from 7 to 17 October, also saw improvements further east at Elgin, where the loop through the station has been extended and platforms lengthened ready to accommodate the HSTs ScotRail will introduce on the route from next year. The level crossing at Elgin has been modernised, and is now controlled by CCTV from Inverness. The signal boxes here and at Forres have both been removed, with control moving to a new Highland workstation in the Inverness signalling centre; new colour light signals have also been installed at Nairn by Siemens, the signalling contractor for A2I.