An Aberdeenshire railway station has reopened after being closed for more than 50 years.
Kintore originally opened in 1854, but closed in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts.
The new £15m station had been due to open earlier this year, however construction work was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday morning, the town station welcomed its first passengers in 56 years.
David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: “It’s fantastic to see trains call at the station for the first time in almost 60 years.
“Customers in Kintore can now benefit from a fast and frequent service to Aberdeen and Inverness, which will be transformational for the town and the surrounding area for years to come.”
Built by Network Rail and contractor BAM Nuttall, the refurbished station now has two platforms, 168 parking spaces – 24 of which have electric vehicle charging ports – and bike storage. It is also fully accessible with step-free access between platforms via a footbridge with lifts.
Connected to the local bus network, the station also links into the Inverurie-Kintore cycle path.
The new station will be served by up to 28 ScotRail trains each day – including refurbished high-speed Inter7City trains.
Customers will benefit from a half-hourly service at peak times Monday to Saturday, and an hourly service on Sundays.
Elements of the original station, including heritage benches and salvaged signs, have been reincorporated into the new facility.
Reopening Kintore has been made possible by the recently completed Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project which doubled the track between Aberdeen and Inverurie – increasing capacity for new passenger and freight services on the route.
The project was funded by Transport Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and Nestrans.
Kris Kinnear, Network Rail Scotland’s capital delivery director, said the reopening of the station will create new social and economic opportunities for people in Kintore.
Nissar Mohammed, BAM Nuttall operations director rail, added: “The opening of Kintore station is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle for Network Rail and BAM in our efforts to transform rail connectivity between Aberdeen and Inverness.
“Kintore station offers local commuters the chance to travel in speed and comfort into Aberdeen in less than 20 minutes and onwards to the rest of the rail network.
“Alongside our work to dual the line between Aberdeen and Inverurie, this new station is the culmination of over five years of work to make rail the transport option of choice for people living and working in north east Scotland.
“I’m very proud of BAM and the rest of the ‘Scotland’s Railway’ team and I know that rail customers will benefit from their work for years to come.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country