The Far North Line has seen the installation of further request-stop kiosks and will see five new locations come into use from Tuesday the 20th of December.
The latest kiosks are located at:
The innovative request-stop kiosk lets passengers gain access to the next planned service electronically, removing the need to flag down the service using a hand signal in order to alert the driver to make a stop.
The project to install the request-stop kiosks comes as part of a £5m investment package by Network Rail which will see the upgrade to the Far North lines radio signalling system, communications masts and antennas, as well as the installation of new equipment which will improve radio coverage for Muir of Ord, Invergordon, Kildonan and Wick stations.
The project will benefit customers as well as improvements in both the reliability and resilience of the route's communications network.
The stations where the kiosks are being added are geographically remote and see some of the lowest usage in the country and therefore operate a ‘request to stop' facility.
The railway will be enhanced by the kiosks allowing passengers to simply get the service to stop by pressing a button and using the radio system to message the driver.
Passengers who wish to exit the train at any of the stations will still need to ask the guard/conductor.
The installations follow a successful trial which took place at Scotclader this year which saw ongoing monitoring to guarantee the technology's safety and reliability. Throughout the pilot, information was available on platforms to make passengers aware that the trial was underway and would support the rollout of the kiosks at other locations.
Cara Healy, Network Rail's development manager for the work on the Far North Line, said: “Enhancing the radio network will make the experience of using request-stop stations more straightforward for local people and for the increasing number of tourists visiting the area.
“Following the successful trial period at Scotscalder, the system is now ready to be rolled out at a further five locations to improve performance and the overall passenger experience for those travelling on the railway.
“This new system makes it easier to use some of the most remote stations on our network and hopefully help encourage more people to travel into the Highlands to walk, climb, cycle and sightsee.”
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “I'm delighted to see more request-stop kiosks being introduced on Scotland's Railway.
“By enabling the driver to be alerted in advance of the need to stop in the station, rather than being reliant on hand-signalling, it delivers a safer and more reliable system and means that trains don't need to slow down at stations where there are no passengers waiting.
“The new request-stop kiosks will help improve our customers' experience as well as our train performance. It's a really positive step for the operation of the Far North Line.”
For further information about the project please get in touch with Network Rails 24 hour helpline via 03457 11 41 41 or visit the Far North Line page on Scotland's Railway website.