Capital Rail Action Group
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)  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.  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".
T: 0131 669 1336
M: 07501 121984
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 See <http://www.capitalrail.org.uk/>
 See <http://www.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh_reaches_top_ten_list_of_congested_cities_1_1692077>.
 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
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.
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