Not much com­ing, no one go­ing at the gleam­ing sta­tion with hardly any pas­sen­gers

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS SPECIAL -

STAND­ING on one of Ed­in­burgh Gate­way’s two plat­forms, you could be for­given for think­ing you’d walked into a ghost town.

Three or­ange-jack­eted staff can be glimpsed through the glass and a tan­noy oc­ca­sion­ally breaks the si­lence, but out­side of peak times, all is still.

Dur­ing rush hour, small crowds of com­muters spill on to the sta­tion’s plat­forms from each train as they make their way to jobs in nearby Gog­a­r­burn or the Gyle.

But as the morn­ing drifts by, the num­ber dis­em­bark­ing trick­les to a hand­ful.

And be­tween trains, there are of­ten only one or two trav­ellers wait­ing on the plat­forms – and some­times none at all.

An au­to­mated mes­sage ask­ing cus­tomers to use the full length of the plat­form and al­low oth­ers to exit be­fore board­ing – “to help you get on your way quicker” – seems some­what un­nec­es­sary.

Mean­while, at the tram link out­side the sta­tion and down a set of stairs, no one is wait­ing to get the trans­fer to the air­port when The Sun­day Post vis­its.

Many com­muters who reg­u­larly use the gleam­ing, echo­ing hub de­scribe it as quiet and un­der­used.

Laura Ewing, 36, works in Gog­a­r­burn, a 15-minute walk away.

“My hus­band uses Ed­in­burgh Gate­way ev­ery day to go to work in the Gyle, and so does my boss who lives in Kirk­caldy,” she said.

“But they are the only peo­ple I know who use it.”

Else­where, Bob Green­hill, 57, com­mutes in from Dun­fermline daily.

“I think the ex­pres­sion I would use is it’s a bit of a white ele­phant,” he said.

“Just sim­ply from the cost that’s been put into it – I don’t know what that is, whether it’s mil­lions or what – com­pared to the num­ber of peo­ple us­ing it.”

Mike Smith, 41, who trav­els from his home in Aber­dour, said: “At peak times it gets busy, but it’s no Hay­mar­ket or Waver­ley.

“It’s not ter­ri­bly well served by trains.

“The trains them­selves are pretty busy, but the sta­tion is gen­er­ally quiet. I would say it’s at 20 or 30% ca­pac­ity.”

Ed­in­burgh Gate­way does have its de­fend­ers, how­ever – not least those com­mut­ing from Fife.

Ewan John­ston uses it daily to get to his job at Gog­a­r­burn.

The 19-year-old said: “I think it’s good for the Fife line, in the sense that a lot of peo­ple there work at Gog­a­r­burn and the Gyle – places like RBS or Tesco Bank.

“It’s mas­sively con­ve­nient in that sense.

“It’s def­i­nitely one of the qui­eter sta­tions, with­out a doubt, but I wouldn’t say it was a waste of money.”

And Fer­gus Shaw, 54, who com­mutes into the sta­tion from In­verkei­thing, de­scribed it as “bril­liant” in terms of staff and fa­cil­i­ties.

“It’s get­ting busier all the time,” he added.

■ Our re­porter Alis­tair Grant at the de­serted sta­tion.

■ Mike Smith: “It’s gen­er­ally quiet.”

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