It is wonderful to see the new two track line between Kittybrewster (Aberdeen) and Dyce timeously completed to reopen the line on 20 August after a thirteen week closure. Well done to all concerned. A similar closure next year should see the Dyce to Inverurie section completed together with modern signalling to be controlled by Inverness.
Early decisions must now be made on dualling much of the 15 mile section between Inverness and Nairn and on what happens in the middle on the 18 miles between Elgin and Keith. A four mile dynamic loop at least? Keith station and the 13 mile section between there and Huntly also merit examination. There are plenty of potential additional passengers for a more frequent clockface timetable on this route. Freight paths are also required for potential timber and whisky related traffic. The new Co-op distribution depot and the expanded Norbord wood plant near Dalcross are not yet being served. This demand cannot be met by the continued existence of long single track sections.
2019 should see some proper intercity trains (HSTs) on the route and extra services at both ends, but for the 91 miles between Inverurie and Inverness, these crippling single track constraints will still exist. There is a long way to go yet to fully modernise this line.