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posted 1 Apr 2015, 06:46 by Lawrence Marshall

Edinburgh is the world's 5th most congested small city - TomTom Trafiic Index

Capital Rail Action Group

Dear All,
                 TomTom have "over the years ... built the world’s largest database of historical travel times and the most detailed and accurate real-time traffic information available".
   The TomTom Traffic Index measures the impact of congestion on a city's travel times by road. TomTom have now produced their Traffic Index using 2014 data - and it again shows Edinburgh to be a very poorly performing city. It is, in fact, the world's 5th most congested "small" city (below a population of 800,000).
   Taking cities of all sizes into account, Edinburgh is the 3rd most congested city in the UK (only London and Belfast have worse levels of congestion), the 12th most congested city in Europe and the 24th most congested city in the whole of the world.
   The full TomTom results can be found at http ://www . tomtom . com/en_us/traf ficindex/#/ - you can adjust the rankings by city size (> or < 800,000) or by cities of all sizes. I've copied in the < 800,000 table below.

                   Lawrence

* * * * *

from http ://www . tomtom . com/en_us/traf ficindex/#/list
World rank Filter rank City Country Congestion Level Morning peak Evening peak Highways Non-highways
- 1 Łódź Poland 56% 74% 102% 66% 49%
- 2 Palermo Italy 42% 66% 68% 29% 48%
- 3 Belfast United Kingdom 39% 82% 82% 32% 43%
- 4 Dublin Ireland 38% 81% 80% 30% 44%
- 5 Edinburgh United Kingdom 36% 64% 71% 21% 39%
- 6 Geneva Switzerland 36% 54% 69% 16% 40%
- 7 Kraków Poland 34% 53% 69% 22% 42%
- 8 Brighton and Hove United Kingdom 34% 55% 59% 15% 41%
- 9 Stuttgart Germany 32% 50% 65% 31% 34%
- 10 Zürich Switzerland 30% 49% 64% 26% 34%
- 11 Wellington New Zealand 29% 71% 65% 27% 33%
- 12 Lisbon Portugal 29% 48% 61% 12% 30%
- 13 Bristol United Kingdom 29% 55% 56% 14% 39%
- 14 Nottingham United Kingdom 29% 60% 57% 7% 37%
- 15 Luxembourg Luxembourg 28% 58% 64% 20% 37%
- 16 Bordeaux France 28% 54% 61% 22% 32%
- 17 Christchurch New Zealand 28% 48% 53% 27% 28%
- 18 Nice France 27% 40% 57% 20% 31%
- 19 Catania Italy 27% 37% 43% 16% 32%
- 20 Montpellier France 26% 45% 56% 19% 31%
- 21 Leicester United Kingdom 26% 53% 52% 11% 34%
- 22 Sheffield United Kingdom 26% 47% 54% 13% 30%
- 23 Basel Switzerland 26% 34% 72% 17% 34%
- 24 Las Palmas Spain 25% 33% 34% 9% 29%
- 25 Cardiff United Kingdom 25% 47% 49% 5% 33%
- 26 Stavanger Norway 25% 41% 64% 21% 26%
- 27 Palma de Mallorca Spain 25% 35% 34% 12% 29%
- 28 Strasbourg France 24% 39% 65% 20% 28%
- 29 Toulouse France 24% 56% 53% 19% 29%
- 30 Bari Italy 24% 33% 36% 8% 32%
- 31 Southampton United Kingdom 24% 56% 51% 14% 34%
- 32 Pretoria South Africa 24% 52% 47% 10% 29%
- 33 Portsmouth United Kingdom 24% 40% 45% 9% 31%
- 34 Bratislava Slovakia 23% 50% 51% 14% 30%
- 35 Porto Portugal 23% 39% 47% 14% 28%
- 36 East London South Africa 23% 45% 42% 8% 26%
- 37 Quebec Canada 23% 44% 62% 15% 30%
- 38 Nantes France 22% 47% 49% 17% 27%
- 39 The Hague Netherlands 22% 42% 46% 13% 28%
- 40 Helsinki Finland 22% 36% 42% 16% 26%
- 41 Genoa Italy 22% 41% 41% 9% 33%
- 42 Bologna Italy 22% 40% 41% 14% 30%
- 43 Turku Finland 22% 26% 34% 12% 27%
- 44 Aarhus Denmark 22% 37% 38% 4% 23%
- 45 Groningen Netherlands 22% 46% 37% 15% 26%
- 46 Florence Italy 21% 37% 37% 2% 29%
- 47 Düsseldorf Germany 21% 42% 36% 16% 28%
- 48 Seville Spain 21% 33% 26% 12% 26%
- 49 Bergen Norway 20% 35% 48% 13% 24%
- 50 Bremen Germany 20% 28% 39% 15% 30%
- 51 Uppsala Sweden 20% 26% 34% 8% 22%
- 52 Durban South Africa 19% 42% 39% 11% 27%
- 53 Rotterdam Netherlands 19% 31% 43% 11% 27%
- 54 Gothenburg Sweden 19% 31% 44% 15% 21%
- 55 Málaga Spain 19% 24% 23% 8% 21%
- 56 Bern Switzerland 18% 29% 51% 4% 32%
- 57 Trondheim Norway 18% 26% 39% 15% 21%
- 58 Nijmegen Netherlands 18% 28% 28% 12% 23%
- 59 Canberra Australia 17% 33% 28% 18% 17%
- 60 Liège Belgium 17% 30% 38% 8% 26%
- 61 Tilburg Netherlands 17% 27% 32% 11% 21%
- 62 Malmö Sweden 16% 23% 28% 6% 28%
- 63 Zaragoza Spain 16% 22% 22% 2% 23%
- 64 Breda Netherlands 15% 25% 33% 10% 25%
- 65 Eindhoven Netherlands 15% 24% 31% 7% 21%
- 66 Murcia Spain 15% 23% 20% 7% 22%
- 67 Odense Denmark 14% 24% 26% 6% 20%
- 68 Utrecht Netherlands 14% 27% 42% 8% 27%
- 69 Bloemfontein South Africa 13% 25% 24% 9% 18%
- 70 Bilbao Spain 13% 20% 19% 1% 17%
- 71 Tampere Finland 13% 16% 22% 6% 21%
- 72 Almere Netherlands 11% 21% 19% 7% 15%

Lawrence Marshall letter on "delay attribution" published in "The Scotsman"

posted 23 May 2012, 18:26 by Lawrence Marshall   [ updated 23 May 2012, 18:28 ]

Lawrence Marshall letter to "The Scotsman" in response to Scottish Parliament urging that trains be classed as late after only 1 minute

posted 23 May 2012, 07:04 by Lawrence Marshall

Dear Sir

Whilst I have no doubt that MSPs on the infrastructure and capital investment committee (your report, 21 May) thought that they were acting in the best interests of rail travellers when they urged that any train more than a minute overdue at its destination be classed as late (as opposed to the current 5-10 minute threshold), I fear that in practice they will by this decision have made it yet more difficult for new stations and services to be provided to meet the needs of Scotland's communities.

The privatised and fragmented railway lives by "delay attribution". When a train is late, a cause must be assigned - and the culprit fined. Each train operating company and Network Rail employ staff specifically to argue their corner so that they minimise the penalties imposed on them. Ever wonder why the conductor sees you running for the train but closes the doors anyway? Or why your connecting train leaves just as the late train you're on pulls in alongside it? That's delay attribution for you!

On a wider canvas, therefore, if a train is to be deemed late after only a minute's delay, then the train companies and Network Rail will be very loathe to open a new station or introduce a new service which could impact upon train punctuality on an increasingly congested network. The opening of Edinburgh Park station was delayed for years by just such a dispute.

I very much hope that those seeking the betterment of rail provision in Scotland will not come to see this decision as very much a phyrric victory. Be careful what you wish for.

Yours sincerely

Lawrence Marshall
Chair
Capital Rail Action Group
50 (3F1) King's Road
Portobello
Edinburgh EH15 1DX
Tel.: (0131) 669 1336

CRAG local council elections manifesto, May 2012

posted 2 May 2012, 15:22 by Lawrence Marshall   [ updated 2 May 2012, 15:27 ]

Formed in 1989, the Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) is based in Edinburgh and campaigns primarily for better and more integrated public transport provision, especially rail-based, in the capital and its travel-to-work area.

Support for such goals is not an end in itself. Rather we believe that these goals are in fact the means by which we can make our capital city a more efficient and pleasant place in which to live, work and enjoy ourselves. They will also allow our many visitors to make the most of their time with us here.

We welcome the work done in recent years to upgrade rail-based transport provision in and around Edinburgh. The majority of completed schemes has, however, resulted in better journey opportunities for those living outwith the city - whilst doing little to improve the lot of the far greater number living within it. Indeed, it is now considerably quicker to access the city centre from Prestonpans, Linlithgow and Dalgety Bay than it is from Pilton, Liberton and Duddingston. This does not encourage a compact, sustainable city.

Moreover, current plans for faster and even more frequent trains to Glasgow - whilst per se no bad thing - can only exacerbate this trend of increasingly lengthy commuter travel.

We thus, in publishing this manifesto for the 2012 City of Edinburgh Council elections, wish to suggest the following opportunities which, if realised, will help to address this inbalance in investment and, in conjunction with locally-focused planning and housing policies, will hopefully make Edinburgh a more affordable and attractive city to live in.

Abbeyhill station re-opening: an opportunity exists to add community value to the current proposal to relay track to Abbeyhill to provide sidings for empty passenger trains which would otherwise occupy valuable platform space at Waverley station. Re-opening Abbeyhill for passenger use would allow even more trains to clear Waverley and would give those living there and travelling to this densely populated area of the city access to the rail network for the first time in over 50 years. An easy interchange with bus services would also be achieved.

CRAG welcomes the support of the City of Edinburgh Council for the re-opening to passenger use of Abbeyhill station. Network Rail's current track layout, however, in impinging on the East Coast Main Line, precludes just such a passenger service. We thus call upon all involved to work together to have the track layout altered to re-use the redundant trackbed leading to Abbehyill to allow a passenger service to be provided.

Portobello station: CRAG welcomes the plans by Network Rail to re-instate double track over the junction at Portobello leading to and from the line to Newcraighall and the future line to Midlothian and Galashiels. We believe, however, that this work should take place alongside the building of a new station to once more allow Portobello to be served by rail. Portobello was one of the busiest suburban stations in the past - with a journey time of 5 minutes to/from Waverley, it would undoubtedly be so once again.

South suburban line tram-trains: with the Scottish Government having effectively declared that all railway investment is to be aimed at those journeying into Edinburgh from outwith the city and not for the benefit of those seeking to travel within the city, trams represent the only viable means whereby passengers can once again travel through the city on the long underused south suburban railway. Tram-trains have been running on railway lines in Europe for decades - and a trial of tram-trains is shortly to take place in Yorkshire. We call upon the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government to actively pursue tram-trains as one element of an enhanced public transport provision for the capital - one utilising existing infrastructure and adding value to the investment already made to bring trams back to the city.

Waverley station: CRAG welcomes the current works to restore the city's principal station and to improve access to Princes Street and Market Street. We would hope that these works can then lead to further enhancement of the facilities on offer at this major gateway to the capital. In particular, we would suggest that the use of the main station building for offices be examined to see whether this grand building can be put to more public use - with new-build railway accommodation being provided at the east end of the station. The main booking office should remain in the current building - we are only proposing the moving of supportive "back-office" functions.

CRAG believes that taxis should still be allowed to access the station. We would also prefer that public pick-up/drop-off facilities for car access be allowed to remain.

Trams: despite all the travails of recent years, CRAG still believes that trams will be good for Edinburgh. There is absolutely no reason to believe that their success in many other cities throughout the world will not also be seen here.

We believe that trams can make Princes Street an altogether more pleasant place. We therefore call upon the City of Edinburgh Council to implement a trial removal of buses from Princes Street from Waverley Bridge westwards. Ideally, this would take place in the summer months to allow the potential of a more pleasant Princes Street to be fully realised and to better assess the other consequences of such a move.

We also believe that, as far as possible, trams should integrate with the city's bus services - which will remain the mainstay of public transport provision in Edinburgh. To that end, we believe that the planned provision of tram stops in the city centre is inadequate. We call upon the City of Edinburgh Council to urgently re-assess the need for a tram stop at the west end of Princes Street to allow better interchange with bus services using Lothian Road. We also believe that an additional tram stop should be located around the area of the Scott Monument to allow better interchange between the tram and Waverley station and between tram and bus.

Finally, we need a more extensive tram provision than just a line from the airport to York Place if trams are to enable the city to better its transport offer. The financial viability of the present tram project will be enhanced if it is completed to Leith and Newhaven. This should be considered - along with tram-trains to Little France via Haymarket and the south suburban line to Cameron Toll, as outlined above.

CRAG submission to Network Rail RUS Scoping Document on "Alternative Solutions" (regarding tram-trains)

posted 29 Apr 2012, 15:30 by Lawrence Marshall

Edinburgh south suburban line tram-trains:

With the Scottish Government having effectively declared that all railway investment is to be aimed at those journeying into Edinburgh from outwith the city and not for the benefit of those seeking to travel within the city, trams represent the only viable (but nevertheless a very attractive) means whereby passengers can once again travel through the city on the long underused south suburban railway. Tram-trains have been running on railway lines in Europe for decades - and a trial of tram-trains is shortly to take place in Yorkshire. We call upon Network Rail, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government to actively pursue tram-trains as one element of an enhanced public transport provision for Scotland's capital - one utilising existing infrastructure and adding value to the investment already made to bring trams back to the city.

One route option which should be considered is to extend trams onto the south suburban line in the vicinity of Haymarket Central Junction (and from the west at Haymarket West Junction), running thence via Gorgie and Morningside to Cameron Toll where on-street running would allow the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and other facilities at Little France to be reached. This would provide innovative and new public transport travel opportunities in the capital. The south suburban line should be electrified at 25kV AC. There are many currently surplus trams in the city - some of these could be modified to provide dual-voltage operation to allow this new service to operate.

Many technical issues regarding wheel flanges and pointwork have already been successfully resolved on the continent. Moreover, standards (including station design) to allow low-floor trams to operate on heavy rail tracks have already begun to be informally formulated in Britain. We would envisage totally low-floor operation for tram-trains on the south suburban route to Little France suggested above.

Lawrence Marshall letter to "The Scotsman" regarding coverage of 50th anniversary of closure of Princes Street - Leith North line

posted 29 Apr 2012, 12:58 by Lawrence Marshall   [ updated 30 Apr 2012, 09:21 ]


Dear Sir,
                It may well have been true that, 50 years ago, the suburban railway lines of Edinburgh (your report, 28 April), being roundabout in their routeing due to the city's natural topography, were seen as uncompetitive in relation to more direct bus services.
   It didn't help, of course, that the buses were owned by the Corporation - who, on the casting vote of the Lord Provost in the case of the south suburban line, refused to intervene to stop the closure of a line with over 0.75 million journeys per year.
   Nevertheless, as was predicted at the time of closure of Edinburgh's local stations in 1962, increasing road traffic congestion in the city has over the intervening years only served to strengthen the case for re-using these routes for local passenger traffic. What matters, after all, is not so much the directness of the journey but rather the time it takes. Many car drivers today, for instance, choose to cross Edinburgh using the City Bypass because, although longer, such a journey usually takes less time than taking the shorter route through the city.
   So, how about a journey time of 9 minutes from Morningside to Haymarket? Or Portobello to Waverley in 6 minutes? Or Haymarket to Ocean Terminal in 16 minutes? All these journey times were being achieved by rail 100 years ago - and the Portobello journey would be even faster today by train if only the Scottish Government would agree to such a service. For the other two and more, it's very much to be hoped that trams travelling off-street on the south suburban line and the old north suburban routes will be allowed to offer folk in Edinburgh the same opportunities to slice through the city sometime in the 21st century.

Yours sincerely

Lawrence Marshall
Chair
Capital Rail Action Group
50 (3F1) King's Road
Portobello
Edinburgh EH15 1DX
Tel.: (0131) 669 1336

Published in The Scotsman at http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/opinion/letters/letter-suburban-rail-1-2264574

Lawrence Marshall article on trams for Edinburgh Evening News

posted 17 Apr 2012, 12:11 by Colin Howden   [ updated 18 Apr 2012, 23:50 ]

Are you sick and tired of the tram project and of all the disruption of recent years? So am I.

I've always thought, though, that trams would be good for Edinburgh. Not a magic bullet (there isn't one!) to solve our transport and environment problems but a help along the way. Elsewhere, once up and running, they're popular. There's still no reason why that can't be true in our capital also.

I'm disappointed that we've ended up with a tram line that runs only from the city centre to the airport.

Forth Ports pushed initially for Edinburgh to bring back trams - because it was along the Waterfront from Leith to Granton that much of the new housing to allow Edinburgh to live sustainably was to be provided. Indeed, a town the size of Falkirk was to be built there. Better that than building on the Green Belt or encouraging yet more commuting from Fife and the Lothians.

There's still a need to develop along the shoreline - and to provide housing that folk want at a price they can afford. And Leith is a really important part of the city.

Buses are great - but trying to shift the numbers involved here would require "wall-to-wall" buses. That's usually a recipe for a slow journey.

So, as someone who went to school in Leith, I say we should "Persevere" with the trams.

Much of the groundwork to get the trams down Leith Walk has already been done - and the street will look good with trams. I'm relaxed about private funding - but that probably won't be enough. The Scottish Government paid much more for the 5-mile M74 extension in Glasgow than originally envisaged. "Not a penny more" didn't apply there. It shouldn't apply in the capital either.

And what to do with the trams that will still be surplus? - even if we do get to Leith.

Little France is obviously somewhere worthwhile to aim for. So let's use some of our trams to run on the underused south suburban railway from Haymarket through Gorgie and Morningside to Cameron Toll and thence on-street to the Royal Infirmary. Network Rail are keen to get tram-trains running in Britain. Opening up new journey opportunities and causing little disruption to build, such a proposal would undoubtedly add value to the costly investment in blood, sweat, tears and treasure already made to bring trams back to Edinburgh.
 
 
Lawrence Marshall is Chair of the Capital Rail Action Group


Letter sent to all Edinburgh and Lothians MSPs, 11 November 2011: Slicing through the city - please support the campaign to re-open Abbeyhill station as part of the £1bn EGIP project

posted 12 Nov 2011, 17:24 by Lawrence Marshall   [ updated 13 Nov 2011, 13:05 ]

Dear MSP,
                       as you may be aware, Network Rail, working for Transport Scotland, have proposed re-activating the dormant section of railway running from just east of the Calton tunnels through the site of the old Abbeyhill station and northwards for a short distance beyond the overbridge at London Road. This will be electrified and form part of the £1 billion Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP - www.networkrail.co.uk/egip).
   The primary purpose of this work at Abbeyhill is to provide stabling sidings for trains which at the moment otherwise block up platform capacity at Waverley station.
   The Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) have, however, proposed, as a relatively low-cost add-on to these works, that the opportunity be taken to provide a passenger service to a re-opened Abbeyhill station. This would be possible by utilising ScotRail trains which, coming in from the west and Fife, currently terminate at Waverley and sit in the station for a reasonable period of time before heading back out. Far better that they run forward for 2 minutes to Abbeyhill to terminate and re-start there. We think that a service running at least every 15 minutes should be possible utilising existing rolling stock in this way. The main extra ongoing expense would not be fuel or power (sets are rarely shut down at Waverley) but rather a little extra staff time - as staff currently do not sit on empty sets at Waverley!
   Abbeyhill is a densely populated part of the capital and the station site is well placed to act - in a similar manner to Haymarket at the western edge of the city centre - as an interchange with the many bus services passing by just outside. The Scottish Parliament is nearby - as is Easter Road stadium, Meadowbank stadium, Meadowbank retail park and Holyrood Park.
Waverley is 2 minutes away by train, Haymarket around 7 minutes and South Gyle and Edinburgh Park around 12 minutes. Slicing through the city - the second most congested in Britain and the seventh in Europe (http://www.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh_reaches_top_ten_list_of_congested_cities_1_1692077) - is only possible by rail. Moreover, many local residents will no doubt also welcome a re-instated local link into the regional and national rail network for journeys further afield. Indeed, many were present when CRAG and Network Rail held a joint meeting in London Road Church hall (at the top of Easter Road) on 2nd November to separately outline the proposal for a station and the current scope of EGIP. The hall was full.
   We would therefore be most grateful for any support you can lend in lobbying Transport Scotland to consider this very modest add-on to EGIP. The first thing we would ask of you is that you write to Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, and Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Housing and Transport, asking that they instruct Transport Scotland to consider this proposal. It would also be useful if you could include the re-opening of Abbeyhill station in any response you make to the current EGIP consultation (EGIPScotland@networkrail.co.uk) - responses have to be in by 30th November. Please do copy to us any responses you yourselves receive.
   Finally, please don't hesitate to contact me if you wish to chat about this issue or seek any further information. I have copied in below the e-mail giving details of the public meeting held on 2nd November - together with a CRAG News Release and an STV Edinburgh South-East article of 1st November and a piece from the Edinburgh "Evening News" of 2nd November. The video link (http://news.stv.tv/election-2011/241219-transport-group-demands-end-to-trams-bickering/) on the e-mail giving details of the 2nd November meeting is especially worth viewing.

Yours sincerely

Lawrence Marshall
Chair
Capital Rail Action Group
Tel.: (0131) 669 1336
* * * * *
Details of 2 November 2011 meeting in Abbeyhill:

Dear All,
                  I do hope that you'll be able to make it along to the CRAG (www.capitalrail.org.uk) meeting this coming Wednesday evening (2nd November) at 7.30 p.m. in the hall of London Road Church, 1a Easter Road (entrance by the bus stop at the top of Easter Road).
   Network Rail will be giving a presentation on the £1 billion Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and its implications for the Abbeyhill area - while CRAG will be making the case for re-opening Abbeyhill station as a small add-on to the EGIP works. Abbeyhill is two minutes away from Waverley by train.
   Please do feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone else you think might be interested in this meeting. Please also feel free to watch the STV film of April this year which clearly shows local support for a re-opened station at Abbeyhill - it's at

Lawrence Marshall
Chair
Capital Rail Action Group
Tel.: (0131) 669 1336
CAPITAL RAIL ACTION GROUP
Meeting on Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme and Abbeyhill
Presentations by Network Rail and Capital Rail Action Group
London Road Church Hall (top of Easter Road), Wednesday 2nd November 2011, 7.30 p.m.

Abbeyhill Station  -  One of the special shuttle trains from Edinburgh Waverley Station to the Commonwealth Games at Meadowbank Stadium

Abbeyhill - en route to the Commomwealth Games at Meadowbank, 1986

* * * * *

The Case for Abbeyhill

Proposal

Network Rail Scotland, leading for Transport Scotland, propose, as part of the £1 billion Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), to relay rails on the currently redundant double track bed to the north of the existing main lines heading east from the Calton tunnels – almost to the old Abbeyhill station site. This is to provide stabling sidings to accommodate trains which at the moment block up platform capacity at Waverley – some intercity sets, for example, sit in Waverley for over an hour upon arrival before they depart again.

An opportunity therefore exists to consider extending these sidings beyond the old station site to enable passenger trains to once more serve Abbeyhill.

Previous studies into the reopening of Abbeyhill station have been based on the assumption that a full reopening of the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway would be necessary. Various factors, including cost, have mitigated against this option.

Since now much of the infrastructure required for this proposal will be delivered by EGIP, reopening Abbeyhill station should be possible at low marginal cost – especially if also utilising dwell times for ScotRail trains currently terminating at Waverley.


Benefits

Abbeyhill station is surrounded by the dense tenements of the Calton, Easter Road, London Road and Abbeyhill areas to the east of Edinburgh city centre. It is also close, as its name would suggest, to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The station site is also situated right below the busy main London Road with its many bus services offering connections eastwards and northwards. Passengers would be able to board the train at Abbeyhill for journeys to the west with easy interchange at Waverley for other onward rail journeys.

We believe this proposal represents a “once in a generation” opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.

* * * * *
CRAG News Release of 1 November 2011:

Capital Rail Action Group

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate use: Tuesday 1 November 2011

LOCAL TRANSPORT FOR A CONGESTED CAPITAL:
ACTION GROUP CALLS FOR RE-OPENING OF EDINBURGH'S ABBEYHILL STATION


At a meeting to be held in the Abbeyhill area of Edinburgh on Wednesday evening (see details below), the Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) [1] will be making the case for the re-opening of Abbeyhill Station.

CRAG Chair, Lawrence Marshall, said:

"Edinburgh is the second most congested city in Britain and the seventh in Europe. [2] In order to tackle congestion, we need to see swifter progress in reopening some of the comprehensive rail network that the City previously enjoyed.

"The Scottish Government has commissioned rail works in the Abbeyhill area as part of the 'Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme' ("EGIP"). An opportunity exists, as an add-on to these works, to re-open Abbeyhill Station to give those living and passing through this densely populated part of the city access to a fast, frequent rail service. This would provide the area with a two-minute connection with Waverley, a seven-minute connection with Haymarket, and would re-connect the area with the regional and national rail network. We believe this proposal represents a “once in a generation” opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.

"CRAG welcomes the support already offered by local politicians and hopes that Wednesday's meeting, to be addressed by Network Rail, will mark a further stage in rail becoming again an option for travel within the capital".

ENDS

CONTACTS:

Lawrence Marshall
T: 0131 669 1336
M: 07501 121984
E: lawrence336@btinternet.com
W: www.capitalrail.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] See <http://www.capitalrail.org.uk/>

[2] See <http://www.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh_reaches_top_ten_list_of_congested_cities_1_1692077>.

[3] Information on the meeting:

CAPITAL RAIL ACTION GROUP

Meeting on Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme and Abbeyhill

Presentations by Network Rail and Capital Rail Action Group

London Road Church Hall (top of Easter Road), Wednesday 2nd November 2011, 7.30 p.m.

* * * * *
The Case for Abbeyhill

Proposal

Network Rail Scotland, leading for Transport Scotland, propose, as part of the £1 billion Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), to relay rails on the currently redundant double track bed to the north of the existing main lines heading east from the Calton tunnels – almost to the old Abbeyhill station site. This is to provide stabling sidings to accommodate trains which at the moment block up platform capacity at Waverley – some intercity sets, for example, sit in Waverley for over an hour upon arrival before they depart again.

An opportunity therefore exists to consider extending these sidings beyond the old station site to enable passenger trains to once more serve Abbeyhill.

Previous studies into the reopening of Abbeyhill station have been based on the assumption that a full reopening of the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway would be necessary. Various factors, including cost, have mitigated against this option.

Since now much of the infrastructure required for this proposal will be delivered by EGIP, reopening Abbeyhill station should be possible at low marginal cost – especially if also utilising dwell times for ScotRail trains currently terminating at Waverley.
Benefits

Abbeyhill station is surrounded by the dense tenements of the Calton, Easter Road, London Road and Abbeyhill areas to the east of Edinburgh city centre. It is also close, as its name would suggest, to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The station site is also situated right below the busy main London Road with its many bus services offering connections eastwards and northwards. Passengers would be able to board the train at Abbeyhill for journeys to the west with easy interchange at Waverley for other onward rail journeys.

We believe this proposal represents a “once in a generation” opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.


END OF NEWS RELEASE

* * * * *
STV Edinburgh South-East article, 1st November 2011:

Edinburgh South-East Home » News
Transport group calls for revival of Abbeyhill Station

Capital Rail Action Group will argue for the station's reopening at Network Rail meeting

By Rebecca Gordon01 November 2011 08:00 GMT

http://files.stv.tv/img/stvlocal/usernews/410x232/26662-transport-group-calls-for-revival-of-abbeyhill-station.jpg

Remains of the platform for north-bound trains at Abbeyhill station Pic: ©: Kim Traynor

Local transport group Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) are to make a case to reopen a rail station which was closed in 1964.

The group will argue for the reinstatement of Abbeyhill Station at a public meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).

CRAG, who first proposed the reopening earlier this year, say tracks could be laid as part of Network Rail Scotland’s £1 billion Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Scheme (EGIP).

They claim Network Rail Scotland’s plans to relay rails on the redundant track to the north of the main lines heading east from the Calton Tunnels could be extended to reach the site of Abbeyhill Station, which is located close to the Scottish Parliament.

The option was looked into in the 1990s but was abandoned over issues including costs and signalling.

Lawrence Marshall, chair of CRAG, explained that, since most of the infrastructure required will now be covered by EGIP, the project would be relatively small scale.

He said: “Network Rail’s £1 billion project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Scotland and since it involves Abbeyhill to a small extent we thought it would make sense to put back some railway lines.

“Trains could run through the Calton tunnel taking only two minutes to Waverly. We could provide Abbeyhill with a station again on the back of the Network Rail Scotland.”

The group will join representatives from Network Rail Scotland on Wednesday, who will be continuing local consultation on the EGIP programme.

CRAG, who claim re-opening the 19th century station offers a “once in a generation” opportunity, cite the area’s dense population and potential for passengers, its proximity to the Scottish Parliament and the prospect of good bus connections as reasons for its revival.

Mr Marshall continued: “Hopefully we can get a quarter-hourly service. It’s quite a densely populated part of the city so it’s perfectly feasible that lots of people in the area would use it.

“It gives people the opportunity to get on the train at Abbeyhill rather than have to go up to Princes Street. It would be like the Haymarket of the east. There are some potential sites for development around Abbeyhill too - it could give a boost to the area.”

The group called on the support of candidates during the Scottish elections for the proposals and on Wednesday will welcome local MSPs and councillors to hear their case.

“I think if we can get political support it could be possible because it’s a very modest, small scale project,” added Mr Marshall.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 2 from 7.30pm in London Road Church Hall.

IN DETAIL

CRAG

Picture: Kim Traynor

* * * * *

Edinburgh "Evening News" article, 2nd November 2011:

from http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/transport/rail_group_claims_abbeyhill_can_form_part_of_1bn_project_1_1942851
Rail group claims Abbeyhill can form part of £1bn project
Abbeyhill train station in the 1960s

Abbeyhill train station in the 1960s

By DAVID McCANN
Published on Wednesday 2 November 2011 12:00

RAIL campaigners say that a £1 billion project to improve train links between Edinburgh and Glasgow provides the best opportunity in 50 years to revive a mothballed station in Abbeyhill.

The Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) argues that reopening the redundant station would reduce congestion in the city and provide efficient transport links to east Edinburgh.

It also argues that the financial impediments derailing previous attempts to reopen the station could be negated by the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), which will relay rails almost to the old Abbeyhill Station site – therefore carrying out a large proportion of the necessary groundwork.

Speaking ahead of a community meeting tonight, Lawrence Marshall, chair of CRAG, said it was the best chance in a generation to relaunch Abbeyhill station, abandoned since 1963.

“The proposal we have for Network Rail is very modest and would probably only require the building of one platform and access off London Road,” he said.

“Apart from that there’s not a lot to do apart from a few extra hundred yards of track. In order to tackle congestion, we need to see swifter progress in reopening some of the comprehensive rail network that the city previously enjoyed.

“The Scottish Government has commissioned rail works in the Abbeyhill area as part of EGIP. An opportunity exists, as an add-on to these works, to re-open Abbeyhill Station. This would provide the area with a two-minute connection with Waverley, a seven-minute connection with Haymarket, and would re-connect the area with the regional and national rail network. We believe this proposal represents a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.”

Sarah Boyack, MSP for Edinburgh Central, appeared supportive of the aim and said she hoped Network Rail would give due consideration to the proposals.

“EGIP is a massive programme of investment and it’s important that we get the maximum value from the £1 billion that we spend,” she said.

“That proposal could improve access to the rail network in Edinburgh for many people, and people have supported the idea of reopening the South Suburban Railway for passenger traffic for years now.

“An integrated approach would relieve congestion on the railway network in Edinburgh so I hope Network Rail give CRAG a fair hearing on their proposals.”

Councillors and politicians as well as representatives from CRAG and Network Rail are expected to attend tonight’s meeting at London Road Church Hall, which begins at 7.30pm.


NEWS RELEASE: LOCAL TRANSPORT FOR A CONGESTED CAPITAL: ACTION GROUP CALLS FOR RE-OPENING OF EDINBURGH'S ABBEYHILL STATION

posted 1 Nov 2011, 07:10 by Colin Howden

Capital Rail Action Group

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate use: Tuesday 1 November 2011

LOCAL TRANSPORT FOR A CONGESTED CAPITAL:
ACTION GROUP CALLS FOR RE-OPENING OF EDINBURGH'S ABBEYHILL STATION



At a meeting to be held in the Abbeyhill area of Edinburgh on Wednesday evening (see details below), the Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) [1] will be making the case for the re-opening of Abbeyhill Station.

CRAG Chair, Lawrence Marshall, said:

"Edinburgh is the second most congested city in Britain and the seventh in Europe. [2] In order to tackle congestion, we need to see swifter progress in reopening some of the comprehensive rail network that the City previously enjoyed.

"The Scottish Government has commissioned rail works in the Abbeyhill area as part of the 'Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme' ("EGIP"). An opportunity exists, as an add-on to these works, to re-open Abbeyhill Station to give those living and passing through this densely populated part of the city access to a fast, frequent rail service. This would provide the area with a two-minute connection with Waverley, a seven-minute connection with Haymarket, and would re-connect the area with the regional and national rail network. We believe this proposal represents a “once in a generation” opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.

"CRAG welcomes the support already offered by local politicians and hopes that Wednesday's meeting, to be addressed by Network Rail, will mark a further stage in rail becoming again an option for travel within the capital".

ENDS

CONTACTS:

Lawrence Marshall
T: 0131 669 1336
M: 07501 121984
E: lawrence336@btinternet.com
W: www.capitalrail.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] See <http://www.capitalrail.org.uk/>

[2] See <http://www.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh_reaches_top_ten_list_of_congested_cities_1_1692077>.

[3] Information on the meeting:

CAPITAL RAIL ACTION GROUP

Meeting on Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme and Abbeyhill

Presentations by Network Rail and Capital Rail Action Group

London Road Church Hall (top of Easter Road), Wednesday 2nd November 2011, 7.30 p.m.

* * * * *
The Case for Abbeyhill

Proposal

Network Rail Scotland, leading for Transport Scotland, propose, as part of the £1 billion Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), to relay rails on the currently redundant double track bed to the north of the existing main lines heading east from the Calton tunnels – almost to the old Abbeyhill station site. This is to provide stabling sidings to accommodate trains which at the moment block up platform capacity at Waverley – some intercity sets, for example, sit in Waverley for over an hour upon arrival before they depart again.

An opportunity therefore exists to consider extending these sidings beyond the old station site to enable passenger trains to once more serve Abbeyhill.

Previous studies into the reopening of Abbeyhill station have been based on the assumption that a full reopening of the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway would be necessary. Various factors, including cost, have mitigated against this option.

Since now much of the infrastructure required for this proposal will be delivered by EGIP, reopening Abbeyhill station should be possible at low marginal cost – especially if also utilising dwell times for ScotRail trains currently terminating at Waverley.
Benefits

Abbeyhill station is surrounded by the dense tenements of the Calton, Easter Road, London Road and Abbeyhill areas to the east of Edinburgh city centre. It is also close, as its name would suggest, to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The station site is also situated right below the busy main London Road with its many bus services offering connections eastwards and northwards. Passengers would be able to board the train at Abbeyhill for journeys to the west with easy interchange at Waverley for other onward rail journeys.

We believe this proposal represents a “once in a generation” opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.


END OF NEWS RELEASE

The case for a re-opened Abbeyhill station

posted 21 Sep 2011, 14:07 by Lawrence Marshall

The Case for Abbeyhill

 

Proposal

Network Rail Scotland, leading for Transport Scotland, propose, as part of the £1 billion Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), to relay rails on the currently redundant double track bed to the north of the existing main lines heading east from the Calton tunnels – almost to the old Abbeyhill station site. This is to provide stabling sidings to accommodate trains which at the moment block up platform capacity at Waverley – some intercity sets, for example, sit in Waverley for over an hour upon arrival before they depart again.

 

 An opportunity therefore exists to consider extending these sidings beyond the old station site to enable passenger trains to once more serve Abbeyhill.

Previous studies into the reopening of Abbeyhill station have been based on the assumption that a full reopening of the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway would be necessary. Various factors, including cost, have mitigated against this option.

Since now much of the infrastructure required for this proposal will be delivered by EGIP, reopening Abbeyhill station should be possible at low marginal cost – especially if also utilising dwell times for ScotRail trains currently terminating at Waverley.

 

Benefits

Abbeyhill station is surrounded by the dense tenements of the Calton, Easter Road, London Road and Abbeyhill areas to the east of Edinburgh city centre. It is also close, as its name would suggest, to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The station site is also situated right below the busy main London Road with its many bus services offering connections eastwards and northwards. Passengers would be able to board the train at Abbeyhill for journeys to the west with easy interchange at Waverley for other onward rail journeys.

We believe this proposal represents a “once in a generation” opportunity to enhance rail facilities in this part of Edinburgh.

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