Trains have been rolling to a stop at Inverness Airport for a whole year, with more than 50,000 passenger journeys made, but was the 25-year wait for the railway station worth it?
Since the station officially opened on February 2, 2023, passengers flying from the Highland capital have been able to catch a train before taking the plane.
And being on the busy Inverness to Aberdeen line, the new platform has also given residents in the fast-growing Tornagrain community another, more sustainable, travel option.
In the weeks following the grand opening, some raised concerns about the distance between the new station and the actual airport terminal building — with many complaining of the 16-minute walk being too far for passengers trying to catch a flight.
Now the Inverness Airport Station has been open for a whole year, we want to know what our readers think.
Take part in our poll here and let us know your thoughts:
How has Inverness Airport Station been so far?
For 25 years, Frank Roach from regional transport body Hitrans pushed for the new airport railway station to be built.
Celebrating this milestone, he has hailed the first year as a great success and an achievement to be “quite proud of”.
And despite the long wait to get it up and running, Frank maintains it was well worth it.
People can now just park at the airport station for free and catch the train from there, instead of driving into Inverness — easing congestion and shortening travel times for many.
Because of this, the partnership manager believes it has been a “real boon” to the ever-growing Tornagrain community and useful for those travelling from east of the city.
“Operationally, it’s been really good,” he said. “There’s been good passenger numbers and it’s great to see the bus links.
“Many many buses call in there every day, there are very frequent services and these are advertised with real-time signs at the station and at the airport itself, so that’s good to see.”
He added: “Despite the station not being right alongside the terminal as I had originally hoped back in 1998, I think we’ve managed to integrate it pretty well into the airport estate.”
Do you think the Inverness Airport Station was worth the wait? Have you taken the train to and from the airport? Let us know in the comments
Inverness Airport Station encourages ‘more people out of their cars’
Phil Campbell, customer operations director for Scotrail, said reaching more than 50,000 journeys is a “fantastic milestone” for the new station.
He added: “The investment in the station, as well as the facilities it brings to the local area, is a perfect example of how we can encourage more people out of their cars and onto trains, as part of Scotrail’s commitment to net zero.”
Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop has praised the new facility for delivering to “communities and passengers in Inverness and the north-east”.
She said: “The very positive passenger figures over the twelve months since it opened clearly demonstrate that continued Scottish Government investment is making rail a greener, more attractive option that really does encourage people to make more sustainable transport choices.”
Station adds more connectivity to the area and airport
The new station is on the Aberdeen to Inverness railway line, meaning more communities can easily access the airport.
Easily accessed by the A96, the station features 64 free parking spaces, 10 electric vehicle charging bays and a bike rack with 40 spaces.
General manager of Inverness Aiport, Graeme Bell, described the year-old railway station as an “important piece of infrastructure”.
He said: “On what is the one-year anniversary of its opening, we are encouraged by how travellers are making use of the facilities and look forward to continuing to work with ScotRail.”