Automatic barriers are being installed at a notorious Aviemore crossing line known for a number of near misses.
Scotia Homes has commissioned £1.1 million improvements to the level crossing after being granted planning approval to build 75 new homes off Dalfaber Drive by Highland Council.
Access to the new development site includes passing over the crossing, making it a planning condition that safety was improved on the line before homeowners move in.
The level crossing is well known for a spate of near misses as car drivers failed to stop at the red lights.
It is the only public crossing on the Strathspey Railway line.
The Strathspey Railway is a restored steam railway using 10 miles of the old route from Aviemore to Forres.
It carries passengers between Aviemore, Boat of Garten and the current terminus at Broomhill near Nethy Bridge.
Automatic half-barriers will be installed on the railway line, as well as new rails, sleepers and ballast.
Improvements to footpaths and street lighting will also be made to make the crossing safer for all.
The work is expected to begin on Monday, October 31, and is planned to be completed by December 11.
The barriers should be fully operational by February next year.
While works are carried out the road will be closed overnight on November 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. Temporary traffic and pedestrian controls will be in place throughout the construction period.
A diversion route will be in place via Dalnabay, Dalfaber Road, and the B970 to join Grampian Road at the High Range roundabout.
The footway and rail underpass between Strathspey Industrial Estate and Spey Avenue will remain unrestricted.
‘A safer place for all’
Joe Boyle, Scotia Homes project director, said: “I am delighted that work will soon begin to improve safety measures at this notorious level crossing in Aviemore.
“The construction work follows key recommendations made by leading Railway Consultants Systra Limited, who were appointed by Scotia Homes to conduct a detailed risk assessment of the crossing in August 2020.
“In delivering the recommendations, we have worked in close collaboration with Highland Council, Strathspey Railway Company, and Systra to develop the design of the new crossing, which will make this public highway and historic railway line a safer place for all.”
Highland Council has been responsible for the operation and management of the crossing since 1978.
Highland Council convenor and local resident, Councillor Bill Lobban, said: “The council has been working closely with Scotia Homes and Strathspey Railway Company to improve road, rail and pedestrian safety at the Dalfaber level crossing.
“These upgrades will ensure that adequate safety standards are put in place which will minimise risk to everyone using the crossing including residents and visitors alike.”
A spokesman for the Strathspey Railway Company said: “The crossing at Dalfaber is the only public vehicular crossing on the Strathspey Railway line, so we are pleased that remediation works are set to commence very soon which will improve the safety of rail and crossing users alike.”