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14 Dec 2018

Blackford Progress Update 14 Dec



2 Dec 2018

PKC and Network Rail have advised that, although the  PKC web site suggests it will be closed from 2nd December to the 26th February, that the times posted below are the only times crossing will be down.

  • 00:01 to 08:00 Sunday   2nd, 9th and 16th December 2018
  • 00:01 to 06:00 Monday 24th December 2018
  • 00:01 Saturday 5th to 06:00 7th January 2019
  • 00:01 Saturday 12th to 06:00 Monday 14th January 2019
  • 00:01 Saturday 19th to 06:00 Monday 21st January 2019
  • 00:01 to 08:00 Sunday 24th February 2019
  • 00:01 to 06:00 Monday 25th February 2019

 Should additional closures be advised we should now be sent the revised list when it happens.


Panholes Temp Closure Plan Final for Issue 15 Nov 18Blackford community letter FINAL

Blackford community letter FINAL

We now have answers to a number of questions that have been raised.


Closure of Pedestrian Level Crossing at Panholes;

Why is it not feasible to keep the path open for the entire time except when there is immediate danger to any path users? I cannot accept that dangerous activity will be occurring at that precise location 24/7 for four month solid.


The path over the railway at Panholes LX will be impassable due to the work required to deliver the freight yard connection. A trail road, running parallel to the railway, will be created across the existing path in order to move plant and materials. The trail road will eventually form a new stretch of rail which will service the freight yard. A new path will be formed parallel to the railway in order to access the new pedestrian bridge.


As a result, the path will not be safe to use until we have completed the freight yard access works.

I would like to know more about the selection of March as the reopening date. Is that date based on the assumption that the weather will not impede progress over the winter or has any potential weather delays been factored into the estimate?

Yes, we have considered the likelihood of seasonal weather impacting our delivery timescales. The bridge is likely to be complete by early February, however, given the constraints of the site and our work to deliver the freight yard access route, the adjoining paths will not be completed. We expect that all required work will be completed by the end of March. If circumstance allows, we will open the bridge and connecting paths at an earlier date.

Given that the construction industry shuts down for two weeks over Christmas, weekend work will be the exception rather than the rule, what is the reason the path can not be open during these times and evenings where no work is taking place?


As outlined above, the existing Panholes path across the railway will be severed by the work being undertaken to deliver the freight yard rail connection. This work will not be completed by Christmas, so the path will remain closed.

Why is it necessary that this 1m wide strip needs to be disturbed and require re-instatement at all until the bridge is complete? I assume it need not take four months to complete the bridge.

NB Access across sites on the Beauly Denny Route were kept open during work eg access from the Sheriffmuir road where they gated the construction road and controlled access. There’s also the route up from Logie Kirk that crossed directly under the power lines.

Please see response above. I believe we have answered this question. Please let me know if more detail is required.

Problems related to closure of Level Crossing

If I risk walking out that way (across manned level crossing) and then the crossing is closed, I will be faced with walking a dog a further 2.5 miles along the A9 to get home. Why should I have to call someone to sort out something that NR should have planned for?


A notice of any planned closure of the level crossing will be placed at the level crossing at least 7 days prior to the closure taking place. Normally this activity takes place during the night. In the event of an unplanned closure of the crossing, repairs will be made as quickly as possible and, if necessary, local arrangements will be made to ensure the safety of any pedestrians who find themselves on the wrong side of the crossing.  

Signing for Pedestrians

The notice is at the foot of the path up to the old church. I think one is also required at the start of the road to the left just after the manned level crossing. Alternatively the above sign needs to be repositioned. Visitors to the area may just head up the road without being aware of the Panholes closure.(I think people do walk up the road as opposed to the footpath)

(There may be problems with wording and other signs may be needed. KH to talk to Dave Stubbs at PKC)


We are aware that some fine-tuning of signage is required and we’re happy to provide additional signs in order to get this right.

Additional signs for Slack Dale

If there are going to be more site traffic between the rail yard and the north of the line at Panholes, are there going to be more warning notices on this route, for walkers, other road users and site traffic.

As above, some additional directional signage to highlight the pedestrian route should help with raising driver awareness.