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