Network Rail engineers will be working over the Christmas and New Year holidays to enhance the railway through Edinburgh Waverley station and Princes Street Gardens.
On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, work will take place to realign the railway thorough platforms 10 and 11 and to replace sections of life-expired track on the lines between Waverley and Haymarket.
On New Year’s Day, engineers will install a new track ‘crossover’ layout at platforms 10 and 11 to increase flexibility through the station by allowing trains to move between the two lines.
The new infrastructure between 10 and 11 is the latest enhancement to be delivered at the station, following the commissioning of the new, longer platform 12 earlier this month.
The enhancements are being delivered as part of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and the Department for Transport-funded Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
Further phases of the project, to be delivered in 2018, will see the ‘crossover’ commissioned and platforms 5 and 6, to the east of the station, extended to accommodate the new 10-car trains due to be introduced on the main line between Edinburgh and London.
The infrastructure works, and the new rolling stock they will enable, will help to transform travel on both the East Coast main line and on the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
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.
Rodger Querns, Network Rail programme director, said: “Extending Edinburgh Waverley’s platforms is vital to the long-term future of the station and paves the way for the introduction of two new state-of-the-art train fleets.
“Completing such a significant piece of engineering work in one of the country’s busiest stations is a significant challenge and delivering this work over the festive period will help to limit the impact of the project on passengers by taking advantage of what is a quieter time of year.”
Across Scotland this Christmas, Network Rail will complete more than £15m-worth of infrastructure upgrades with around 4,500 engineers working over 50,000 hours.
Signalling and tracks will be renewed and replaced at locations around Glasgow and work on the electrification of the network will also continue with new overhead powerlines and supporting equipment being installed on sections of the Stirling-Alloa-Dunblane route.
Across Britain, more than 32,000 railway staff will be out delivering £160m-worth of work creating more reliable infrastructure, reducing journey times and improving facilities and services for passengers.