Rail users face disruption over the next five weekends with the partial closure of the highland line between Perth and Inverness as part of a multi-million pound programme of engineering works.
The project will get under way this weekend and will lead to a series of line closures until late November.
The major enhancement and maintenance programme includes an extension of the platform at Pitlochry, rock stabilisation works near Dunkeld and Blair Atholl, and the renewal of a section of track near Perth.
Network Rail has said that in order to carry out the vital engineering works as safely and efficiently as possible, the line between Perth and Inverness will be closed on Sundays October 28, November 4, 11 and 18 and from Saturday November 24 to Monday November 26.
The works will also lead to parking restrictions at Pitlochry and Aviemore stations on each of the affected weekends.
In addition to the Perthshire projects, the Highland Main Line improvement project team will be remodelling and extending the tracks at Aviemore station, making under-track drainage improvements at Carrbridge and carrying out signalling upgrade works.
Donald Stevenson, Network Rail senior programme manager for the Highland Main Line improvement project, said: “Combining the delivery of our upgrade, maintenance and renewal projects will reduce the impact of these important activities on customers and line-side communities.
“The completion of this phase of the Highland Main Line improvement project, combined with the arrival of new train fleet, will improve connectivity, travel choices and journey times on the line.
“The work to upgrade the Highland Main Line is part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing investment in Scotland’s railway and is another step towards building the best railway Scotland has ever had.”
A £57m Scottish Government-funded investment in the line linking Inverness to the Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Highland Main Line improvement project aims to help deliver an hourly service, with average journey times reduced by around 10 minutes.
It is also being forecast to bring potential improvements to the times of the first and last trains between Inverness and the central belt.
The current phase of work is scheduled to be completed next March.
Customers who may be travelling during the works are advised to check National Rail Enquiries or their individual train operator’s website.