Network Rail Scotland has plans to make an additional investment of £4.5m to improve performance in the north-east and Highlands rail networks.

The Highland mainline, East Coast mainline, Aberdeen-Inverness line and the Far North line will receive upgrades with this investment.

New machinery, equipment and extra staff will be added to Network Rail’s depots in Inverness and Perth.

The money will be primarily used to renew or upgrade signalling systems and to acquire remote monitoring systems capable of identifying potential faults.

The money will also be spent on track maintenance, new machinery and equipment, as well as line-side vegetation clearance.

ScotRail managing director Alex Hynes said: “We are working hard across Scotland to drive up our performance and deliver the punctual, reliable railway our customers deserve.

“Punctuality across the country is improving and our maintenance teams in the North East and Highlands are working hard to reduce disruption as much as possible.

“This additional investment will be targeted at a range of initiatives which we believe will help to complement the extensive renewal and refurbishment work we already have planned, driving down delays and improving reliability.”

Network Rail stated that it has increased the infrastructure reliability in Scotland by 26% compared to last year.

Furthermore, it plans to conclude the £330m Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project in December. This project aims to cut journey times and increase service levels.

Last year, Network Rail announced its plans to invest £4bn in Scotland railways between 2019 and 2024 to maintain and enhance the rail network in the area.