Moray consultation meeting with ScotRail chief being planned

Rail upgrades – but still issues for passengers in Moray.

A PUBLIC MEETING between rail users in Moray and the Managing Director of Abellio ScotRail, Alex Hynes, is being requested by Moray’s MSP.

Richard Lochhead acknowledged that there has been significant investment by the Scottish Government in the Aberdeen to Inverness line serving Moray.

However, concerns continue to be raised by constituents about the reliability of services, anomalies with fares and the shortage of seating on commuter services.

Now the MSP has written to the Alex Hynes, who took over as Managing Director of Abellio ScotRail last year, inviting him to meet Moray’s rail users and to hear first-hand some of the issues for passengers locally.

Recent rail improvements to the line at Elgin and Forres, which aim to increase services and cut journey times between Aberdeen and Inverness, worth £80 million including 1.5km of new track at Forres and the new Forres rail station.

There has also been 1.2km of new track at Elgin, extended platforms and the updating of the level crossing to a full barrier CCTV crossing. Work also saw redundant signal boxes removed at both Elgin and Forres with upgrades to the signalling system between Elgin and Inverness.

Mr Lochhead said: “We’ve seen significant investment in the actual rail infrastructure in Moray from the Scottish Government, with a new train station at Forres and improvements on the line to allow for an increased service and will help cut journey times, which is great news.

“That £80million investment in Moray’s rail infrastructure is the biggest rail users have seen in a lifetime and will be of huge benefit in the long term.

“Local rail users however do have some concerns about the service provided by ScotRail, particularly around the cancellation and reliability of trains and the lack of capacity on busier services used by commuters.

“I think it is really important for the Managing Director of ScotRail hears directly from Moray’s passengers as to how local rail services can be improved, so I hope that Alex Hynes will accept my invitation to take part in a public meeting to get a better understanding of rail users’ experiences here in Moray.”