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Network Rail raise the roof with Edinburgh Waverley consultation

March 25 2019

Network Rail raise the roof with Edinburgh Waverley consultation

Network Rail has opened a public consultation into the future of Edinburgh Waverley intended to inform an improvement plan for the city’s rail hub.

The favoured approach includes relocating services below ground and the creation of a large, accessible concourse area above platform level. Improved street-level entrances and better connections to the tram, buses and taxis will also be prioritised.

This would necessitate significant alterations to the current roof structure to provide additional headroom within the station itself while retaining unrestricted views of Arthur’s Seat and the Old Town.

The preferred strategy also sets out plans for active frontages and new public spaces to better integrate the station within the city.

In a statement Network Rail wrote: “The preferred approach will change the station from one which operates on one-level to a station that has two distinct levels. To create the quality of space desired, it will be necessary to remove substantial parts of or all of the existing roof and replace it with a new one at a higher level.”

Last year Arup was named as the lead consultant in the creation of a new station masterplan to accommodate an anticipated doubling in footfall to 49m by 2048.

The consultation closes on 25 April.


Sue Pearman
#1 Posted by Sue Pearman on 25 Mar 2019 at 19:26 PM
Network Rail have been trying to shoehorn more retail into Waverly for years, with several architects asked to look at this in the past. The need to breach the existing section profile and pop out through the roof has always been the stumbling block to this. This masterplan again seems only about adding in even more retail…rather than reversing the previous poor decisions that have been made …that limit the space available to passengers. Much of the problem with the current station has been caused by these previous changes including preventing taxi/drop off coming down the ramp and forcing unnecessary retail into the limited space on the concourse. More retail in here will of course further weaken the retail on adjacent Princes street too.
IMHO the roof should not be altered in any way and the existing sectional profile of the station should not be breached purely for Network Rail's commercial gain…
#2 Posted by Adam on 26 Mar 2019 at 08:52 AM
#1 Sue, a taxi rank in the middle of station? It's 2019, not 1959 anymore. Next time in Vienna please use a moment and go check the Huaptbahnhof - how the proper modern train station should look like.
Damp Proof Membrane
#3 Posted by Damp Proof Membrane on 26 Mar 2019 at 10:55 AM
The removal of the taxi rank from within Waverley to Market St is still a poor decision. The queuing, in all weathers on a tight little pavement really is an appalling way to arrive into the city and head on to your final destination. At least the former rank space has / is being converted / used for additional platform space. The big issue here is not views of Arthur's Seat, but yes the Old Town, but of even more critical importance is the urbanism and setting of North Bridge and Waverley Bridge respectively. The increase in roof height of the station will diminish the clear gap below North Bridge, thus blurring the clear organisation and urbanism of the Waverley valley with North Bridge leaping from the Old to the New towns. Waverley bridge, slightly countersunk, works as you have a clear all-round view of the valley that you're in. Increasing height here to make it a one-sided street essentially is again detrimental to the entire setting of the Waverley valley. If this all goes ahead it will be harder to discern the three dimensional vitality of the space between the Old and New towns - they primary key aspect which makes Edinburgh special, irrespective of individual buildings. You can't get space and views back. This would be THE biggest mistake the city could make in diminishing its own setting beyond a controlled explosion of Castle Rock..
Missing the point
#4 Posted by Missing the point on 26 Mar 2019 at 21:25 PM
All this discussion about more retail blah blah blah. Where can they accommodate more trains and passengers as the current platforms are at capacity? London would throw money at it and drill new tunnels and extend length and widths of station and have a bit of ambition. So how ambitious is this really? 20 years ago did a 50 year plan for them. How many of the new lifts and escalators actually got installed? No many...
Walt Disney
#5 Posted by Walt Disney on 28 Mar 2019 at 11:45 AM
I use Waverley daily and I shudder at the thought of what a wholesale redevelopment like that would do to my day. There was chaos for months when all was being improved was the escalators up to Market Street!

Notwithstanding, I totally agree that the stairs up to Princes Street and Market Street are a miserable way to arrive in a capital city. The taxi rank on Market Street is queued along the street, blocking the pavement, with every LNER arrival.

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