Flooding leaves The Sidings Cafe in Newtongrange off-track

Local MSP Christine Grahame met last week with representatives of The Sidings cafe in Newtongrange, which has been closed since September due to drainage issues.

Christine Grahame MSP (left) meeting with (L-R) Ged McEaeany, Anne Pinkman and Philip Dunion of Track2Train.
Christine Grahame MSP (left) meeting with (L-R) Ged McEaeany, Anne Pinkman and Philip Dunion of Track2Train.

The issues, arising from the development of the car park at Newtongrange Station, have caused flooding on more than one occasion and prevented the cafe from operating as toilets had to close, leaving 17 people redundant.

Social Enterprise Track2Train, which runs the cafe, is blameless as a dispute between Network Rail and Scottish Water as to which is responsible goes on.

Ms Grahame, SNP MSP for Midlothian South, said: “It is a nonsense that these two organisations both publicly owned cannot sort this matter. Leaving Track2Train piggy in the middle, losing money, having to make workers redundant and preventing it from accessing additional funding. If this is goes on, then The Sidings might even be driven to bankruptcy

“I know the board is taking legal advice, but as the local politician I am calling on Network Rail and Scottish Water to get round the table and sort this out without delay and to recompense Track2Train for their ongoing losses.”

Anne Pinkman, board member of Track2Train said: “I have made clear the concerns and frustrations of the organisation around the drainage and flooding problems we are encountering, and the lack of movement by those agencies who alone have the power to resolve the situation.

“I also made clear my concerns for the future of The Sidings, should this matter not be resolved.

“Approximately £1 million has been invested in this social enterprise and it would be beyond shameful if we cannot reopen The Sidings as soon as practicable.”

A Scottish Water spokesman said: “Scottish Water along with representatives from Network Rail and Midlothian Council met managers from The Sidings Café after being made aware of this issue.

“The flooding is occurring at times of heavy rainfall from a manhole in the railway station carpark located next to the café. Investigations found the flooding is the result of a surface water culvert which was connected to the sewer system. The connection has been made without Scottish Water’s knowledge.

“To solve the flooding the culvert needs to be removed from the sewer and redirected. We are working with Network Rail to advise them of the best and quickest way to resolve this issue.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are working closely with Scottish Water to identify the cause of the issue and carry-out the work required to prevent future flooding. We will resolve this problem as quickly as possible.”