On October 15, 2020, Kintore re-joined Scotland’s railway after an absence of 56 years. Despite the challenges faced over the last 12 months and reduced footfall due to the pandemic, the station is being heralded as a huge success.
With just a 15-minute journey time into the centre of Aberdeen, the station is a massive addition to the town’s transport options and is proving popular with leisure travellers.
As COVID restrictions continue to ease, it is expected that the station will see a rise in weekday passenger numbers and will become an established commuter route as more people return to workplaces.
With 24 of the 168 parking spaces fitted with electric charging points, Kintore station is the largest electric vehicle charging place in the north east of Scotland.
The station also boasts good transport links with connections to the local bus network as well as linking into the Inverurie-Kintore cycle path. Elements of the original station, including heritage benches and salvaged sign, have been reincorporated into the new facility.
David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said: “It’s great to celebrate the first anniversary of the re-opening of Kintore station. We are beginning to see a gradual increase in the number of customers using Kintore now the worst of the pandemic is, hopefully, behind us.
“Passengers are benefitting from a fast and frequent service to Aberdeen and Inverness which, combined with continuing investment by Scotland’s Railway, will have a positive impact on the area.”
Billy McKay, programme manager for Network Rail, said: “It has been the strangest first year of operation for a new station that I have known in my time with Network Rail but despite the challenges, Kintore station has already proved its worth and is playing a role in expanding the local transport options as envisaged.
“It’s a great station with great facilities and we look forward to it playing an increasingly prominent role opening up access to education, leisure and employment opportunities and fulfilling its potential as a sustainable transport hub.”
Councillor Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Councils Infrastructure Services Committee and Vice Chair of NESTRANS, said: “From the moment the station closed, the local community has been calling for its return, so the re-opening a year ago was a great moment, the culmination of many years’ work by many dedicated people. It means folk can travel easily into Aberdeen in only 15 minutes or to Inverurie in 7 minutes - and all from a modern and easily accessed station, convenient to them, with the largest bank of electric car charging points in the area.
“As more people are travelling to work again, passenger numbers are rising which means fewer cars on the road – less congestion and reduced emissions. The new Kintore station is one of those projects that is good for everyone – for the local community, for the wider region and for the planet. I am delighted to mark this anniversary of the opening.”