UK: Network Rail has made 'innovative' changes to the signalling system to reduce delays to road traffic at Stromeferry, where a section of the Inverness – Kyle of Lochalsh line has been paved to enable it to be used by road traffic while Highland Council carries out works on a rockface above the A890 road. This avoids what would otherwise by a very lengthy diversion for road traffic.

‘We have essentially turned a section of the line into a temporary level crossing, installing new equipment and deploying additional staff to help mitigate the impact of the road closure’, explained Simon Constable, Head of Route Safety for Network Rail Scotland.

A temporary signalling system was brought in operation on October 20. There are stop boards and an automatic warning system for trains approaching Stromeferry, allowing trains to be brought to a halt before reaching the road diversion. This reduces the length of the signalling section, and thus the time during which road traffic must be stopped to ensure the safety of the trains.

Road traffic can use the diversion between 07.10 and 22.00, but is stopped for up to 20 min per train to permit the passage of the eight trains per day Monday to Saturday and two on Sundays.

'We have been working closely with Highland Council and our industry partners to find a solution which maintains safety on the railway while improving waiting times for motorists', said Constable. 'We are pleased to have been able to put these new arrangements in place which will allow train operators to keep using the line, while also increasing access across our infrastructure.