On 9 August Network Rail issued a press release announcing the beginning of the trial at Scotscalder of the Far North Line Review Team's Request to Stop system, devised by Frank Roach of HITRANS. The equipment became operational on Monday 15 August.
This is part of a £5m package of investment in the line's radio signalling system (RETB) which will achieve several other benefits to speed and reliability. Network Rail has upgraded existing radio communication masts and antennas and installed new equipment at Muir of Ord, Invergordon, Kildonan and Wick stations to enhance radio coverage.
The Scotscalder trial is being closely monitored to ensure safety and reliability, and a period of dual running is in place to make sure the new system is fully working.
Early indications are good, and a Network Rail spokesman said, "The trial is going positively with the system being well received by passengers, drivers and signallers, and it is all building towards proving its functionality to enable the rollout at further Request to Stop stations later this year."
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: "This will improve performance and it's a really positive step for the operation of the route."