New Edinburgh Waverley rail link to cut disruption

Trains running just a few minutes late into Waverley station can cause widespread disruption. Picture: Neil Hanna
Trains running just a few minutes late into Waverley station can cause widespread disruption. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A new rail link into Edinburgh to cut knock-on disruption from train incidents and enable more to run is being planned by ministers.

Trains on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route could be diverted if required at Winchburgh in West Lothian onto a line via Dalmeny and the Fife line to rejoin the route at Saughton, west of Haymarket in Edinburgh.

One of the three junction options. Picture: Transport Scotland

One of the three junction options. Picture: Transport Scotland

The project, estimated by Network Rail to cost £150-250 million, would involve new junctions at Winchburgh and Dalmeny.

The work could effectively reinstate a part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line electrification project which was shelved in 2012 to save money.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson today announced £15m to develop the plans.

Three options for the new junctions will be explored.

The scheme could comprise a shelved part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line electrification scheme. Picture: Network Rail

The scheme could comprise a shelved part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line electrification scheme. Picture: Network Rail

BACKGROUND: Masterplan for Waverley Station to cope with 66 per cent growth

Mr Matheson said the western approach to Edinburgh Waverley station was such a critical and busy part of the Scottish network that trains running even a few minutes late could cause significant delays to others and knock-on disruption across other routes.

He said: “With Edinburgh being a key economic driver for the country, a reliable train service is essential for commuter and business travel.

'Greater resilience'

“It provides confidence to businesses and commuters alike that rail is the best option for their journey and thus enables the continued growth and prosperity of the city.

“One of the key aims of the Edinburgh Waverley Western Approaches project is to provide additional capacity to reduce these constraints, improve performance and give greater resilience across the railway.”

READ MORE: Edinburgh-Glasgow train time barely quicker than 50 years ago despite £858m work

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are working closely with Transport Scotland to develop cost-effective proposals to expand the network to the west of Edinburgh - delivering increased flexibility and improved reliability for passengers and freight customers.”