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Aberdeenshire MP hoping to get sleeper back on track soon

By Kirsty Brown

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The return of an iconic overnight train between Aberdeen and London “can’t come fast enough” according to a north-east MP.

Caledonian sleeper services have been plying the East Coast main line from Aberdeen in different guises since 1976, but all routes were cancelled at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

While most train services have resumed the Aberdeen service is the last to do so and Andrew Bowie has been in touch with bosses at Inverness to get it back on track.

The West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP told operator Serco that tourism and hospitality must be supported by public transport.

Speaking on his concerns, Mr Bowie said: “The overnight service is a very welcome alternative to taking the plane and I think having the option is very important.

“That is going to be crucial when holidaymakers from the rest of the UK are considering where to spend their long-awaited time away from home.

“The Highland Express has been sorely missed and its return can’t come fast enough.”

In his letter, Mr Bowie wrote: “As I am sure you can appreciate, tourism is a huge contributor to the economy of my constituency and the re-opening of Scottish tourism on July 15 is eagerly anticipated by those of my constituents who work in this sector.

“Many of the tourists who visit my constituency travel long distances and your London to Aberdeen route is a key component of the journey for a lot of these visitors.

“The same no doubt goes for tourists visiting other destinations across the north east of Scotland which is why I believe that the reopening of this key route from the south east to Scotland is essential in order to fully support the Scottish tourism industry at this difficult time.”

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