The opening of a long-awaited replacement north-east train station has been delayed by a further six months.
Kintore station closed to passengers more than 50 years ago and, in the decades since, residents have clamoured for the town to be to linked back onto the train line.
Overhauled at a cost of £12.2 million, the station had been due to welcome trains once more in December.
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Councillors have, however, now been told the reopening has been pushed back until May 2020.
This is not the first time the opening of the station has been delayed, as hold-ups with the wider Aberdeen-Inverness upgrade pushed back the original finish date of December 2018 back by 12 months.
The reason given for the May 2020 date is that work will not be completed in time for the station to be open on the first day of the winter 2019/20 timetable.
But one councillor, who has been involved in the campaign for a new station for more than 20 years, has called on the operator to include the stop on the timetable nonetheless, so that it can be used as soon as it is ready.
East Garioch councillor Martin Ford said: “What I still want to see is Kintore station included in the December 2019 rail timetable.
“If it isn’t, the station can’t open until the start of the next timetable in May 2020 – even if all the building work is finished well before that.
“So put Kintore station in the December 2019 timetable but with a note against it: ‘Station under construction and expected to open during the currency of this timetable – see local announcements’.
“That has been done elsewhere to allow new stations to be opened as soon as they are ready on completion of construction work.”
He added: “It’s then up to Transport Scotland, Network Rail and the contractors to get the station finished as quickly as they can, so it can open as soon as possible, albeit after December 2019 but before May 2020.
“We need Kintore station open and available for residents to use at the earliest possible date.”
Aberdeenshire Council has confirmed it has made the same request as Mr Ford.
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “We have consistently stated that Kintore Station would open early in the next rail five year funding period and that is still the case.
“It is through an increase in Scottish Government funding that this long awaited project is being delivered, underlining our commitment to ensuring communities in the Kintore area are better connected with Scotland’s rail network.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We understand the importance of this project to the local community and all the agencies involved are working hard to deliver the new station as quickly as possible.
“Funding for facility is in the process of being confirmed to allow us to award a construction contract.
“Once the contract is in place, it will take around 12 months to complete the station and expect it to open in May 2020.”