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Edinburgh Waverley railway station, commonly called "Waverley", is the main railway station in the Scottishmarker capital Edinburghmarker. Covering an area of over 25 acres (101,000 m²) in the centre of the city, it is the second-largest main line railway station in the United Kingdom in terms of area, the largest being . It is the northern terminus of the East Coast Main Line, and the terminus of the Edinburgh branch of the West Coast Main Linemarker. It is the second-busiest railway station in Scotland, with only handling more passengers.

Location

It is in a steep, narrow valley between the medieval Old Town and the 18th century New Townmarker. Princes Streetmarker, the premier shopping street, runs along one side. The valley is bridged by the 1897 North Bridgemarker, a three-span iron and steel bridge, which passes high above the station's eastern section, and Waverley Bridge, which, by means of ramps, affords one of the main entrances to the station. The valley was formerly filled by a freshwater loch, the Nor Lochmarker, drained in the early 19th century.

History

With the growth of the city and the construction of the "scientifically designed" New Town to the north, the Nor Lochmarker became a fetid open sewer, at odds with the city's modern Scottish Enlightenment aspirations. Works were undertaken to drain the loch and manage the city's sewerage, and by 1820 the loch was largely dry and the land was available for development. Much was used to build Princes Street Gardens, an extensive landscaped park.

With the explosion of railway travel in Britain, three railway companies built stations in the valley in the course of the 1840s. The collective name "Waverley", after the Waverley novels by Sir Walter Scott, was used for the three from around 1854. The three stations were North Bridge, opened on 22 June 1846 by the North British Railway; General, opened on 17 May 1847 by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway; and Canal Street, opened on 17 May 1847 by the Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway, serving Leith and Granton via a long rope-hauled tunnel under the New Town. Canal Street station was also known as Edinburgh Princes Street, not to be confused with the Caledonian Railway station later built at the West End with a similar name.

In 1868 the North British Railway acquired the stations of its rivals, demolished all three, and closed the Scotland Street tunnel to Canal Street. The present Victorian station was built on the site, and extended in the late 19th century. The North British Hotel (now The Balmoral) opened in 1902 as a railway hotel, and was operated as part of the station until the 1980s. Waverley has been in continual use since, under the auspices of the North British, the LNER, British Rail, Railtrack and latterly Network Rail.

From its opening, Waverley has been the principal railway station in Edinburgh. From 1870 to 1965 the city had a second major station, Princes Streetmarker, operated by the rival Caledonian Railway, but this was never as important as Waverley.

Services

Trains leave Waverley in two directions:



Winter 2007

On 11 December 2007, First Transpennine Express commenced services between Edinburgh Waverley and .

Winter 2008

On 14 December 2008, Virgin Trains withdrew its Edinburgh Waverley to London Eustonmarker service and First ScotRail Newcraighall trains ceased to continue onto the Bathgate Line and were extended to the Fife Circle Line instead.

Routes - past and present

Layout

A total of 24 platforms have existed at Waverley, but not more than 21 at any one time. Prior to incremental rationalisation of the east end in the 1960s-80s there were 21 platforms. The main station was effectively a large 'island' with through lines on the outside, and terminating platforms at both ends in between. In December 2006 a partial renumbering of platforms took place to reflect the construction of three new platforms.

At the north side of the station is the former Up Main through platforms, a very long platform with the tracks having a crossover to a parallel line in the centre, numbered 19 (west end) and 2 (formerly 1) (east end).

The east end terminating platforms have undergone significant rationalisation. From north to south these comprised:
  • former platforms 2/3, which were latterly used for parcels/mail traffic only and were removed in the 1980s when a new Royal Mail facility was built on their site;
  • former platforms 4/5 were also retained for parcels/mail traffic until this ceased; platform 5 was reopened to passengers in 2006 as the new platform 3;
  • former platforms 6/7, of which only the latter survives, now numbered 4; and
  • former platforms 8/9, which were substantially shortened for use as a Motorail terminus, the infilled area becoming a car park; since the demise of Motorail services these platforms are used only for locomotive stabling, although the numbers 5/6 were reserved for them in the 2006 renumbering.


The former Down Main through platforms 7 (east end) and 8 (west end) are at the south side of the main station, and comprise a single very long platform with a crossover in the centre. They are numbered 7 (formerly 10, east end) and 11 (west end).

At the west end there has been little change to the terminating platforms, apart from widening them by removing disused centre-road tracks. The platforms comprise (south-north) numbers 12/13, 14/15, 16/17 and bay platform 18. These were not affected by the 2006 platform renumbering scheme.

The only platforms outwith Waverley's overall roof are the former 'Suburban' platforms 8/9 (formerly 21/20), a lengthy island platform. These are on the southern edge of the station, adjacent to the former freight depot (now a car park).

A need to increase capacity for through and west-end traffic led to three new platforms being built in 2006, on land formerly occupied by disused sidings and bypass lines within the main part of the station. Platform 10 is a through platform at the west end, facing platform 11. Platforms 1 and 20 are a single long through platform facing platforms 2 and 19.

Current and future uses of the station

As at other large railway stations of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the railway company constructed a grand station hotel beside their station. The North British Hotel, adjacent to the station on Princes Street, opened in 1902. In 1983 British Rail sold it to the Forte hotel group. In 1988 Forte closed the hotel for a year to extensively remodel and update what had become something of a faded jewel. When it reopened it was rechristened The Balmoral Hotelmarker in what has proved to be an astute marketing move, despite the hotel being 115 miles from Balmoral Castlemarker. It enjoys commanding views over central Edinburgh, and is one of the most luxurious (and expensive) hotels in the UK. There is no longer a direct entrance from the station.

The station's large size and the unusual topography of its surroundings mean that it contains a large amount of valuable centrally located land. The station's successive owners, British Rail, Railtrack and its current owner Network Rail have been criticised for underutilising the valuable city-centre spaces available within. Princes Mall (formerly the Waverley Shopping Centre), which occupies a column of space nestling between Waverley Station, Waverley Bridge, and Princes Street, opened in 1985.

During 2006 and 2007 parts of Waverley were extensively refurbished, including four new platforms, a new escalator entrance from Waverley Steps and the electrification of platforms 12 to 18 in preparation for electric trains from the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link and future lines in Scotland to be electrified.

Gallery

Image:Edinburgh Waverley station viewed from Edinburgh Castle 2005-06-17 02.jpg|Waverley from Edinburgh CastlemarkerImage:Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station 02.JPG|First ScotRail and Virgin Trains services at the western end of the stationImage:Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station 05.JPG|Westward view across the roadway between Platforms 7/11 (left) and the main concourse, with the Mezzanine Bridge visible aboveImage:Wfm waverley ceiling.jpg|The elaborate ceiling of the ticket hall, extensively restored in 2003Image:Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station 04.JPG|Class 158 DMU 158730 at Platform 1

Image:WaverlyTrain1.jpg|First ScotRail train after arriving from Glasgow Queen Street StationmarkerImage:WaverlyTrain2.jpg ‎|Taxi entering the stationImage:WaverleyTrain3.jpg|



References

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