A PILOT project to transport whisky from Moray to the central belt is on course to start rolling in the spring.
If successful, it could lead the way to even more business freight being transported from Moray.
And that could ease problems on the poor standard A95 trunk road which is currently a main artery for whisky deliveries in and out of Speyside.
Moray Councillors this week agreed a £20,000 contribution to the £240,000 project.
Around 85% of all Scotch whisky is produced at 77 malt distilleries in the Highlands and Islands, with most of them in Moray.
Whisky contributes £2.7 billion annually to the Scottish economy.
Gordon Holland, transportation manager with Moray Council, said the whisky industry was expected to experience significant growth in the next few years.
"Distillers and transport planners are identifying opportunities to cater for future increases in demand for freight transport in this sector," he said in a report to the council’s economic development and infrastructure committee.
With £120,000 of the total cost coming from a European Regional Development Fund grant, lead agency Hitrans will pump in £70,000 and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £30,000.
The use of rail freight is part of the Moray Economic Strategy.
Read more on this story in 'The Northern Scot'.