City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Work Starts on £130m Refurbishment for Edinburgh Waverley

By edg - Posted on 28 September 2009

Waverley Concourse - artist's impression of new roof

The first stage of a £130m scheme to redevelop Edinburgh Waverley Train Station is under way, with the demolition of a redundant post office depot on the north-east side of the station.

The work will involve the isolation and demolition of the compound and the roof level conveyor which once linked the station to the General Post Office building on Princes Street.

The work continues til the end of November, with four Sunday closures of platforms 1 and 2 taking place between 11 October and 1 November to allow work to take place over the tracks.

Once cleared, the site will be used as a compound for the wider improvement scheme due to take place over the next four years. The renewal of the station's renowned 34,000m2 Victorian glazed roof is at the heart of the project, with the aim to create a bright and spacious station environment.

New entrances from Market Street and from Princes Street via Waverley Steps are also planned, along with improvements to the station concourse and building exteriors.

"This week marks the start of a new phase of improvements for Edinburgh Waverley," said Ron McAulay, Network Rail's director, Scotland. "In recent years, we have increased the station's capacity for running trains, introduced new platforms and installed new lifts and escalators. The next stage will see passengers benefit even further from an improved station environment."

He added: "Not only will the glass in the famous old roof be replaced, shedding new light on the station below, but we will be creating new, fully accessible entrances from Market Street and Princes Street. Also, our general improvements to the concourse and building exteriors will provide a marked improvement to the look of the station."

No depot building, more space

The depot building was originally used by Royal Mail to transfer sorted mail from the General Post Office building at the east end of Princes Street onto train services, which would then dispatch mail to locations across the UK. Mail was originally transferred to the depot via a conveyor which linked directly to the lower levels of the General Post Office building.

While the conveyor became redundant shortly before the closure of the GPO building in October 1995, the depot was still used for mail sorting until earlier this decade. In recent years, it has been used as car parking space for residents of the Balmoral Hotel.

The space created by the demolition of the building will be used as a depot for Network Rail contractors working on the roof renewal project. Use of the site following completion of the roof renewals has still to be decided.

Waverley works at a glance

Demolition of redundant GPO building and associated link bridge ( opposite Calton Road entrance) - autumn 09

Renewal of the Main Roof (April 2010 - autumn 2013)

  • Re-glazing, re-covering and re-painting
  • Renewal of station concourse areas external to main building
  • Repair of Klondyke and Balmoral Walls
  • Repairs to Calton Road Footbridge
  • Refurbishment of north and south vehicle and pedestrian ramps
  • Removal of redundant high level walkways
  • Renewal of Main Roof lighting system
  • Renewal of main roof drainage system
  • Renewal of station furniture and signage

Market Street and Platform 8&9 (March 2011 - September 2012)

  • New DDA compliant Market Street Entrance
  • Contemporary Canopy Replacement on platform 8&9

Main Building (June 2012 - June 2014)

  • Refurbishment of main building concourse area
  • Renewal of life expired electrical systems, including lighting
  • Alterations to south wing lift

Waverley Steps (funded by Transport Scotland) (Early 2010 to autumn 2011):

  • Installation of escalators
  • Installation of glazed canopy
  • Rebuilt stair access
  • Installation of lift access via Princes Mall