Friday 9 Dec 2016
Transport Minister opens new £41m Edinburgh Gateway station
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf officially opened the new £41m Edinburgh Gateway train-tram interchange today (Friday, December 9).
The new station, in the west of the city, will help to transform travel options for passengers from Fife and the north giving them easy access to the Edinburgh tram network and the city’s airport.
Edinburgh Gateway is part of the Scottish Government-funded Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) which, along with a rolling programme of electrification across the central belt, will deliver reduced journey times and increased capacity and allow the introduction of new faster and greener trains.
Mr Yousaf marked the official completion of the station before touring the new facility, which will open to the public on Sunday (December 11) when timetabled services begin to call.
Mr Yousaf said: “I am delighted today to officially open the new Edinburgh Gateway station.
“This £41m investment will offer huge benefits to rail passengers travelling to or from the Gogar area, integrating the rail network with the tram network and providing a convenient link to Edinburgh Airport.
“The station being delivered on time and on budget is testimony to the hard work of all involved.”
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Scotland’s railway is undergoing its biggest transformation since Victorian times as we work with the government to deliver the stations, tracks and trains needed to provide more seats and more services for our customers.
“Edinburgh Gateway will help to transform the way people use our network and access Edinburgh’s trams and airport.
“This new interchange is a wonderful example of our vision for Scotland’s railway, which is all about working in partnership with others to deliver choice for customers and help create social and economic opportunities for the communities we serve.”
The new station consists of two 265m, 10-car platforms and boasts 1500m2 of concourse and circulation space. A step-free access bridge links the platforms within the station and connects to the tram stop via lifts and escalators. An underpass beneath the A8 provides pedestrian and cyclist access from the nearby Gyle centre.
Gateway’s passengers will have direct trains to Perth, Dundee and Inverness, as well as to the city centre and Fife. When combined with the nearby South Gyle station, six trains per hour will serve north west Edinburgh instead of the current four.
The station will also provide increased choice for Fife-based commuters travelling to Edinburgh Business Park, with 14 trains arriving at Gateway or South Gyle between 07:00-09:00 hrs. For the return leg, a similar number of services will depart these stations during the evening peak.
The number of trains calling at South Gyle will reduce from current levels to two per hour, but with an additional service in the morning and evening peaks.
During his visit the minister met the project engineers, station staff and representatives from the Edinburgh Gateway Partnership.
The partnership – consisting of Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens, Concrete Scotland, Queensferry Community High School and Inverkeithing High School – has designed and developed sculptured landscaping for the main approach to the station and art work for the walkway between the station and the Gyle centre.
For further information on the project visit www.egip.info and for latest updates follow on twitter @NetworkRailEGIP.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport convener for City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Our continued investment in developing a truly integrated public transport network for the capital has greatly improved choice for passengers and it’s encouraging to see how many people choose public transport to make their journey to and from Edinburgh Airport. The new Edinburgh Gateway provides a further vital link between the rail network and Edinburgh Trams, connecting thousands and thousands more passengers from outwith Edinburgh with the airport and the city centre and offering increased choice for travellers.”
George Lowder, chief executive of Transport for Edinburgh added: “The opening of Edinburgh Gateway brings us another step closer to fully integrated passenger transport for Edinburgh and the Edinburgh city region. Many cities already benefit from a tram-train interchange, and the team at Edinburgh Trams looks forward to welcoming even more passengers who wish to travel to the airport or into the city centre.”
Gordon Robertson, director of communications at Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’re delighted at the opening of Edinburgh Gateway. This station will plug Edinburgh Airport into the national rail network making it easier for passengers across Scotland to access our connections and importantly, for the millions of visitors who pass through us to have a speedy and efficient onward journey. We look forward to working with our partners ScotRail and Edinburgh Trams to do just that.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.