Kintore station hopes fade

Why on earth does it take so long for anything to happen in this country? The re-opening of a rail station in Kintore has been on the cards for ten years and more. It featured in the NESTRANS plans with an opening date of 2009. Now, as we embark on 2011 it seems further away than ever.

The problem now seems to be Network Rail. Today’s Press and Journal says a report to Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee says: “From discussions held with Network Rail it would appear they do not favour the early construction of a single platform station at Kintore”.


When you go on to read that the projected cost of the single platform station is £6.1 million and a double platform station £18.7 million, then you can maybe understand why.

I have said it before, but I cannot understand how public projects in this country end up with so many extra zeros on the end of the bill. Is it because we over-complicate things? Or is it because there are armies of consultants, advisers and keepers-of-red-tape who get involved in everything we do these days?

Let’s get back to basics. A station at Kintore needs a platform (that is a raised bit of ground to get on and off the train), a shelter (for when it rains or snows) and a car park.

Yes, I know that is an over-simplification. But, looked at that way, I cannot imagine how the price can be inflated to £6.1 to £18.7 million!

Could the men from network rail please go to Switzerland where they will see a rail network that runs like a Swiss clock, with – in rural areas – what is often (tunnels excepted!) much simpler and less-expensive infrastructure.

When they come back can they please implement what they saw and build our long-overdue station!
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