A north-east councillor said major changes to rail services across the region will herald in “a new age of train travel” for commuters.
On Tuesday transport Minister Derek Mackay confirmed Aberdeen and Inverness will be the major beneficiaries in an expansion of the Scottish railway network.
The changes will include improved journey times to Edinburgh and Glasgow and new local routes.
Additional early morning and late evening services, connecting Aberdeen with Elgin, Keith, Huntly and Insch have also been announced.
Yesterday East Garioch Scottish Greens councillor, Martin Ford, welcomed the announcement.
He also backed the use of refurbished high speed trains (HSTs), after the Scottish liberal Democrats raised concerns the 40-year-old machines would leave people in the north and north-east feeling “second class”.
Mr Ford – who is also leading the call to reinstate the former Buchan Railway line – said: “While there has been criticism of the intention to use HSTs for domestic Scottish inter-city services – on the grounds of the age of these trains – I’m actually delighted these trains are coming here.
“They are to be fully upgraded before being deployed by ScotRail. The HST has probably been the most successful express train ever built for service in Britain.
“If all the proposals put forward by the minister are put into effect, the north-east will have the best train service it has ever had on the lines currently operating.
“This does herald a new age of train travel in the north-east..”
He added: “Clearly, I would also like to see the benefits of an excellent rail service extended to other areas by re-opening at least the line to Ellon and some further stations on existing lines.”