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£400k platform change at Inverness station 'cannot be justified'

By Ian Duncan

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It had been suggested changes to platforms could boost flexibility at Inverness railway station.
It had been suggested changes to platforms could boost flexibility at Inverness railway station.

A proposal to make platforms at Inverness railway station more 'flexible' has been put on hold.

A new £400,000 platform scheme at Inverness station has been blocked because the benefits “can’t be quantified” by ScotRail, it has been revealed.

The move would have improved the flexibility of train use at the terminus.

Currently Inter7City trains, which travel along the Highland main line from the central belt, are restricted to one platform in the city’s station as, with five passenger coaches, and a power car at each end, they are significantly longer than ScotRail’s diesel trains.

Details that the plans would not go ahead followed an FOI request related to an item in ScotRail’s October board meeting minutes where the strategy for the Highland Mainline was discussed.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “Within the paper, an update was provided on a proposal to make changes to the signalling at Inverness station to better accommodate the Inter7City trains, however this proposal has not been progressed.”

The scheme was developed in conjunction with Network Rail to provide “co-acting signals” at platforms three and four, removing the present berthing restrictions for the longer trains.

The meeting heard changes could improve efficiency and enabling targeted marketing of specific services at the station; and better manage service failure, disruption or late running.

The spokesman said: “However, at present we cannot quantify these sufficiently to justify the capital cost and disruption of delivering the scheme and it has been paused.”

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