Preliminary work to significantly improve the rail network on the approaches to Edinburgh Waverley station has been approved by the Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson.
The £15m investment will enable the options for the Edinburgh Waverley Western Approaches (EWWA) project to be taken forward to outline business case. This will explore three infrastructure options for delivering capacity and performance improvements in this section of the railway.
The western approach to Edinburgh Waverley is a critical location on the rail network and one of the busiest in Scotland. This means that a late running train (even by a couple of minutes) can cause significant delays to other services and often a knock-on impact throughout the wider network
Matheson said: “With Edinburgh being a key economic driver for the country, a reliable train service is essential for commuter and business travel. It provides confidence to businesses and passengers 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.”
The three infrastructure options being explored are:
- A new chord (Almond chord) with flat junctions at both Winchburgh and Almond;
- The Almond chord with a flat Winchburgh Junction and a grade separated Almond Junction;
- The Almond chord with grade separated junctions at both Winchburgh and Almond.
The work being funded now will include detailed modelling to provide assurance on the performance benefits and help inform which option is most suitable, weighing up costs against the future needs of the railway. The work will also provide a more detailed understanding of the potential costs of any option being taken forward.