Passenger services have started operating at Scotland’s newest station following completion of work on the new rail interchange for Inverness Airport.
Scottish Government Transport Minister, Jenny Gilruth was joined by local children from Croy primary school to mark the official completion of the station on Thursday ahead of it opening to passengers.
The station –constructed over a 15-month period – will improve transport links to the new town of Tornagrain and to the growing Inverness Airport Business Park, acting as a catalyst for further investment and sustainable economic development in the region.
The new station is part of a wider £42m Scottish Government investment in Scotland’s Railway.
The project also delivered a new 950metre passing loop which will allow trains on the single line to pass in the opposite direction, renewal of 7 kilometre of track, and installation of an updated innovative signalling system. This will add capacity to this route, build resilience, and enable future freight growth encouraging removal of HGVs from the roads.
Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport said: “I am delighted that Inverness Airport station is now complete. The site was one of my earliest visits as Transport Minister and gives me a first-hand opportunity to see the significant progress that has been made in a short space of time.
“The £42 million package provided by the Scottish Government, including the station and wider rail network infrastructure investment will build resilience and additional capacity. By making rail a more attractive option, we can encourage more people to choose this sustainable transport option as an alternative to the car.
“By providing easy access for nearby communities to the key cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, we can encourage inward investment and housing growth, which will both support the local and wider economies.
”I’d like to thank everyone involved for the collaborative working that has delivered this fantastic new station.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway said: “This new station is part of our commitment, alongside the Scottish Government, to expand the rail network and open-up Scotland’s Railway to new communities.
“The opening of the station at Inverness Airport is an exciting development that has the potential to transform the area by improving transport connectivity and triggering further investment and economic growth around the site.
“We look forward to services calling at, and passengers using, Inverness Airport and to seeing the positive impact the station will have in the area in years to come.”
Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Destination Development Director, said: “The opening of Inverness Airport Railway Station is fantastic news for the region as it will not only improve accessibility but also help deliver economic and social benefit to the area.
“Our aim for Scotland to be recognised as a globally recognised responsible destination includes a long-term commitment to increase promotion of public transport and active travel.
“This new station will enable visitors to easily transfer from the airport to the station by bus, walking or cycling and then into the city by train – or onwards to further explore this beautiful region.”
Inglis Lyon, Chief Executive, Highlands & Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) said: “HIAL has a long-standing commitment to work closely with Transport Scotland, airline operators, partner agencies and local communities to ensure the long-term sustainability and connectivity for the Highlands and Islands.
“The last 12 months have brought a mixture of both optimism and challenge for HIAL, and the opening of this airport railway link is a major step forward in terms of recovery for the airport and surrounding business park.
“It is important we do all we can to support our customers and partners by working together to build back confidence in air travel, and the new rail link will be a significant factor in that process for Inverness.
“Inverness Airport plays a key role in opening the Highlands to the rest of the world, and it is huge for the area that we join major airports around the world in having a designated rail link. My congratulations to all involved in making this happen.”
Inverness Airport will be served by 35 ScotRail trains per weekday in each direction operating between Inverness and Aberdeen.
The new station at Inverness Airport includes;
- Two new 160m long station platforms and associated furniture (waiting shelters, seating and ticket machines)
- A new footbridge crosses the railway, incorporating stairs and lifts on either side, allowing for step-free access. The lift shafts are 10m in height, and the main bridge span is 15m long and 2.49m wide, weighing 9 tonnes
- Access Travel paths have been provided from both platforms – From Platform 1 this leads towards Inverness Airport, and from Platform 2 towards the new town of Tornagrain
- Lighting columns throughout the site and associated infrastructure / equipment including CCTV
- The access road from the roundabout to the new car park has been widened and improved with drainage installed
- A new 64 space car park has been provided which includes 4 blue badge spaces and 10 EVC spaces
- Cycle storage facilities are provided with space for 20 bikes on each platform
- Across the station there are 90 security cameras, 24 public address speakers, 7 public information screens and 2 induction loops
- The airport terminal can be accessed by an 800m walk via footpath or by bus-link via Stagecoach airport bus services 11 & 27 (which have been diverted to call at the new station)
Photo and video credit: Network Rail