The Anonymous Widower

A Crossrail For Aberdeen

Cross-city lines are all the vogue.

  • London has Thameslink, several Underground and Overground Lines and will shortly have Crossrail.
  • Edinburgh has Crossrail.
  • Liverpool has the Northern Line.
  • Paris has the RER.
  • Leipzig has a cross-city tunnel.
  • Birmingham has the Cross-city Line.

So why shouldn’t Aberdeen propose Aberdeen Crossrail?

Aberdeen Crossrail

This Google Map shows Aberdeen.



The Aberdeen Crossrail plan is to link the Aberdeen to Inverness Line to the shared line to the South and create a frequent service along the route.

That is a standard philosophy for a cross-city line.

This diagram from Wikipedia, shows the proposed line and the stations.


It is a simple plan and a simple route with one big difference to most of the other proposed or built Cross-city lines – There is no expensive central tunnel. It is almost solely a marketing concept, based around existing services.


Wikipedia says this about Implementation.

Transport Scotland announced in March 2016 that the scheme will go ahead as part of a wider timetable recast in 2018. The new service will run between Inverurie & Montrose, serving all existing intermediate stations and one at Kintore from 2019. The Aberdeen to Inverurie section will then have a 30-minute interval service in operation. Infrastructure enhancements on the Aberdeen to Inverness line (including the redoubling of track from Aberdeen to Inverurie) are also scheduled to be completed by this time, as part of a £170 million route upgrade project.

All it needs is to add lots of stations.

It is a project manager’s dream to build, as once trains are running and the pattern of passenger use develops, the authorities can add trains and stations, as needs and the budget dictate.

Similarity To The London Overground

The nearest cross-city lines in concept to Aberdeen Crossrail are probably the North London and East London Lines of the London Overground, where two cross-city lines were created from some very tired track, stations and trains, by refurbishing the first two and replacing the trains.

Like the London Overground, Aberdeen Crossrail is updating the route. Aberdeen’s current trains are probably better now than the travelling urinals, that the Overground inherited from Silverlink.

One thing that I think Aberdeen Crossrail will need is a Turn-Up-And-Go frequency of four trains per hour (tph), that has been used so successfully on the Overground and Merseyrail.

Frequency Issues

The route of Inverrurie to Montrose has been deliberately chosen.

  • Inverurie to Aberdeen takes around 23 minutes.
  • Montrose to Aberdeen takes around 35 minutes.

So with slightly faster trains and line speed, than currently used, it should be possible for a train to go from Inverurie to Montrose and back in two hours to include a few minutes to turn the train round.

A two hour round trip means that a train leaving Inverurie at say 06:00 in the morning, will if all goes well, be back in Inverurie to form the 08:00 train.

How convenient is that?

This means that one tph will need two trains, two trph will need four trains and four tph will need eight trains.

Possible Stations

In A Look At New Station Projects, I’ve found several.

I am sure there are others.

Girdle Ness

Girdle Ness could be a station in a spectacular location on the coast.

This Google Map shows Aberdeen.


Aberdeen station in the top left corner and Girdle Ness is the lower of the two promontories on the right.

What looks like a wall curving behind the promontory is in fact the railway crossing across the city and the turning South to Montrose, Dundee and Edinburgh.

If an average architect couldn’t make good use of this location, then they’re not even average.


This proposal is very likely to be a success, but I feel that it needs to offer a frequency of four trph.

February 19, 2017 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. […] Aberdeen Airport is a possible new station on the Aberdeen to Inverness Line. See A Crossrail for Aberdeen. […]

    Pingback by A Look At New Station Projects « The Anonymous Widower | February 20, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] In A Crossrail For Aberdeen, I put down my initial thoughts for Aberdeen Crossrail. […]

    Pingback by More Thoughts On Aberdeen Crossrail « The Anonymous Widower | August 15, 2018 | Reply

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