ScotRail has announced moves from next month aimed at tackling overcrowding on the Aberdeen-Inverness line, particularly the Inverurie section.
A seven-carriage train will run during the evening peak-hour as the 5.18pm Aberdeen-Inverness service – providing 124 more seats. Nearly 400 additional seats will be added in total to three other trains on the route.
From Monday, December 12, the 5.18pm Aberdeen-Inverness service will have seven carriages – an increase of two.
Until now, the maximum number of carriages on ScotRail’s passenger diesel trains (excluding the Caledonian Sleepers) has been six.
The 5.18pm service will run with seven carriages until Inverurie, where it will revert to five carriages for the rest of the journey.
In addition, the carriage numbers will double from two to four on the 9.03am Inverness-Aberdeen service, the 11.59am1.59 Aberdeen-Inverness service, and 2.27pm Inverness-Aberdeen service.
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “These extra carriages - adding nearly 500 seats to Aberdeen-Inverness services - follow customer feedback and underpin our commitment to continually review the deployment of rolling stock.
“We are aware that growing demand for rail travel can lead to capacity issues, and regular passenger counts are taken.
“This monitoring of demand will continue when the ‘new’ trains are introduced to ensure that services are being provided efficiently.”