Electronic kiosks to replace hand signals to stop trains on remote line

Passengers at some of the UK’s most isolated railway stations will soon no longer need to wave down train drivers after a new system is installed.

Travellers at eight stations in the Scottish Highlands will be required to press a button at an electronic kiosk rather than use hand signals to request that the next train stops to let them board, Network Rail said.

The kiosks are linked to train drivers’ cabs by radio.

The new system will be used at Scotscalder, Altnabreac, Kinbrace, Kildonan, Dunrobin Castle, Rogart, Invershin and Culrain stations from summer 2022.

They are all on the Far North Line, which is the UK’s most northerly rail line.

A block of kiosks
The kiosks will be installed at eight stations on the Far North Line in the Highlands (Network Rail/PA)

The kiosks are part of a wider £5 million package of improvements to the line’s radio signalling system, boosting the reliability of communications.

Network Rail development manager Cara Healy said: “Enhancing the radio network will make the experience of using request stop stations more straightforward and will cater for the increased number of tourists visiting the area, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are working through the winter to get this equipment ready to go live ahead of the busier summer months.

“This new system will make it easier to use some of the most remote stations on our network and hopefully help encourage more people to travel into the Highlands to walk, climb, cycle and sightsee.”

There are around 135 stations on Britain’s railways where low demand means passengers are required to request that trains stop.