The change journey of Edinburgh Waverley

As part of crucial plans to run longer, faster and greener trains in Scotland, Edinburgh Waverley has entered the latest phase of its station transformation journey, says Nick King from Network Rail.

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, a series of infrastructure works are currently taking place at Edinburgh Waverley station. Located at the heart of Scotland’s capital city, Waverley is the country’s second-busiest station behind Glasgow Central, and a key destination for both cross-border and commuter services.

Since February this year, engineers have been working to lengthen platforms at Waverley for the introduction of new longer, faster and greener trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow and on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).

Network Rail awarded Carillion a £23m contract to deliver the extension works at platforms 5 and 6 to the east of the station, and 12 to the west, as Waverley prepares for Virgin Trains East Coast’s new Azuma trains and ScotRail’s Class 385s.

The enhancements are being delivered as part of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, or EGIP (read more on p41), and the DfT-funded Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

Preparatory works to clear redundant structures, staff accommodation and offices and to reposition the escalators at platform 11 have now been completed, and main construction work on extending the platforms has now begun. The extended platforms will be completed by summer 2018, while the project will also deliver track remodelling work in the form of a crossover to allow more trains to use platforms 10 and 11 by December 2018.

The project is about creating platforms of suitable length to facilitate the safe operation of longer trains, improving the capacity of the route as well as journey times.

The extensions to platforms 5 and 6 are required to accommodate the new 10-car IEP services on East Coast routes and will be extended to 275m. The extension of platform 12, to the west of the station, is needed to accommodate new eight-car Class 385 electric services and is being extended to 204m. It is also a key part of the wider EGIP plan to electrify the main Edinburgh–Glasgow via Falkirk High Line.

With the newly installed overhead line infrastructure made live in September, testing and registration is underway and electric trains are expected to start operating on the line before the end of the year.

In addition to the platform extension works, the project is also increasing flexibility on approaches to the station from the east by installing a crossover between platforms 10 and 11.

The infrastructure works, and the new rolling stock they will enable, will help to transform travel on both the ECML and on the main line between Scotland’s two biggest cities. The project will increase on-train passenger capacity and reduce journey times – by around 10 minutes between Edinburgh and Glasgow and by around 20 minutes between the two capitals.

These works are just the latest phase in Network Rail’s transformation of Edinburgh Waverley. Since 2009, £50m has been invested in improving access to, and the refurbishment of, passenger facilities at the station, where the platform layout and below-street-level location make for a physically challenging environment.

Step-free access has been created off the Waverley Steps entrance, with lifts and escalators now allowing quick access to Princes Street and the city’s main shopping district. To the south of the station, lifts now connect the station to Market Street and New Street car park, while to the east, lifts now allow step-free access from Calton Road for the first time in the station’s history.

A further £130m was invested at Waverley to refurbish and re-glaze the station’s roof in a three-year project between 2010 and 2013.




Brian   24/11/2017 at 18:11

Retaining the classical appearance of the station is vital. Do not allow it to become like St Pancras where it feels like a huge shopping mall with the railway platforms hidden away in the corner. A station is a station, and needs to retain that function to all outward and inward appearances. Also Edinburgh Waverley planners need to allow for future expansions of the Waverley Route down to Carlisle that the authorities along the line are considering at this time.

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