Construction has begun on a new railway station that will allow rail passengers easier access to Inverness Airport, beginning with the platforms at Dalcross.
It will serve as an interchange for rail travellers on the line between Aberdeen and Inverness who are using Inverness Airport to travel further afield.
The new £14 million station will have two platforms with step-free access, via a footbridge with lifts, adjacent to the airport.
A new 64-space car park is also being built with 10 electric charging facilities, four disabled spaces and space for bicycles.
Hitrans has also upgraded the existing active travel path and two buses per hour will shuttle people between the new station and the airport terminal.
The project is to help encourage the use of greener methods of transport to the airport instead of cars and is supported by the Highland Council which contributed over £100,000 to the work.
The schedule of work from now to December 2021 includes the creation of embankments as well as the concrete lift shafts and foundations for the footbridge.
Due to the works, the Petty level crossing has been closed which will improve safety on the rail line. The new station is slated for completion in December 2022.
‘Getting on-site to start the build is a significant milestone in the progression of the project.’
Graeme Dey, Minister for Transport, said: “It is great to see work getting underway on what will be an exciting development both for Inverness Airport and for the surrounding communities.
“By making Inverness Airport more accessible for passengers and staff alike, we can deliver improved travel links to the growing Inverness Airport Business Park and the new town of Tornagrain.
“This is particularly important as we continue to pursue a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of ScotRail, added: “Scotland’s Railway has a great record of opening new stations and new lines, which help to drive further investment in communities and create new opportunities for local people.
“The construction of the new Inverness Airport station will help enhance the area by giving travellers another route to the airport and will open up transport links and improve connectivity.
“This is an exciting project that has the potential to transform travel options to the airport – and getting on-site to start the build is a significant milestone in the progression of the project.”