Station spotlight: Edinburgh Waverley
Published 28 January 2019 | Average read time
4 min read
Stories Infrastructure insights Putting passengers first

We’re improving connections in Scotland, with upgrades at Edinburgh Waverley station due to complete this spring.

Waverley is currently the subject of a consultation for a master plan that will shape the long-term future of Scotland’s second-busiest railway station.

Led by Network Rail and City of Edinburgh Council, the master plan will consider the growth anticipated at the station, the impact of city centre developments, urban planning trends and how Waverley can be enhanced to support the future success of Scotland’s capital city.

A public consultation will begin by the spring following the completion of a stakeholder consultation.

It’s a significant process for the station, which opened in 1846 and was rebuilt between 1892 and 1902. Waverley is vital to the country’s economic success, by delivering capacity for new rail lines such as the Airdrie-Bathgate rail link and Borders Railway, and supporting the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme and the Intercity Express programme.

esley Macinnes, Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee, City of Edinburgh Council, said in a statement in August:

Waverley Station’s location in the heart of our city centre means it plays a crucial role in Edinburgh’s transport system. With population and visitor numbers forecast to grow over the coming years, it’s important that we work with partners to ensure arriving at Waverley station is a world class experience for all residents, commuters and visitors.

“This masterplan comes at a very significant time for the capital as we work to create a city centre that truly has people at its heart. We will shortly be launching a major consultation on the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation, Low Emission Zones and City Mobility Plan, and this Waverley Masterplan forms an important part of that programme.

The Edinburgh Waverley masterplan follows in the footsteps of other successful joint initiatives undertaken at major city centre stations. These include London King’s Cross and London St Pancras International, London Waterloo, Leeds, Bristol Temple Meads and Birmingham New Street.

How are we improving the station?

In the coming months, we expect to complete a significant programme of improvements at the station that will lead to better services for passengers.

We’re extending platforms five and six, and carrying out track and signalling works to accommodate 10-carriage trains. These will travel on the East Coast Mainline route between Edinburgh and London King’s Cross.

This follows work in 2017 to extend three platforms to accommodate longer, high-capacity trains. The extension of platform 12 to accommodate eight-carriage trains on the Edinburgh to Glasgow route (via Falkirk) completed in December 2017.

Renewal programme

Completed in 2014, a renewal programme at Waverley included:

  • Replacing the 34,000m² station roof with clear, strengthened glass to shed new light on the station concourse and platforms
  • A new Market Street entrance to increase the public’s access to the station
  • Refurbishing the station concourse and main building exterior, including improving passenger facilities
  • Improvements to platforms eight and nine, including new canopies and seating
  • Repairing and repainting original ironwork features, while permanently removing non-essential station furniture, buildings and redundant high-level walkways.

Waverley Steps redevelopment

We refurbished the Waverley Steps to give the station a modern, accessible gateway that is also sensitive to the building’s heritage and history. The steps reopened to the public in January 2012 with a range of improvements including:

  • Eight shorter flights of steps with a central handrail replacing the previous five flights
  • Three banks of double escalators as an alternative to using the steps for the 40ft ascent
  • A glass and steel canopy over the steps and escalators to protect passengers and station visitors from the elements.

To improve access further, we constructed a level walkway and installed two 16-person lifts that give step-free access between the station and Princes Street. This work completed in May 2012.

Infrastructure upgrades

We completed a range of infrastructure upgrades in February 2008. Funded by Transport Scotland, this £150m programme has helped to reduce congestion, increase the number of services and smooth journeys for everyone. The upgrades included:

  • Two new, longer platforms and the reintroduction of platform five
  • Extensive track remodelling and new signalling, which will allow four more trains to come through the station per hour each way
  • Extra platform capacity for longer commuter services
  • A new bay platform at Haymarket station for additional services.

People and the railway: reconnecting Scotland

Find out more about the railway in Scotland