Long, troubled history of the £41m station
THE Edinburgh Gateway plan came into being as a result of the cancellation of another troubled public transport project – the £650 million Edinburgh Airport Rail Link.
Scottish Government ministers, having reluctantly allowed the capital’s controversial tram scheme to go ahead, were in no mood to commit cash to plans for an underground railway station which would have involved tunnelling under the runway.
All was not lost though, according to the then transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, who outlined an “ambitious, credible and deliverable alternative” in the form of a £20m station at nearby Gogar on the Edinburgh-Fife line which would be serviced by a new loop – known as the “Dalmeny chord” – allowing trains from Scotland’s two largest cities to alight at the stop.
But the next five years of Scottish public transport policy were dominated by the crisis engulfing Edinburgh’s tram line.
The Gogar rail project was pushed back because of delays to the tram scheme and wrangling between rail and tram chiefs over its design and this, by 2010, pushed estimates for the project up to £35m.
But the next momentous event in the life of the Gogar station, now known as Edinburgh Gateway, came in 2012 when in a bid to shave £350m off the Edinburgh to Glasgow electrification project the “Dalmeny chord” was cut.
This meant a crucial piece of extra track to allow trains from Glasgow to call at the station was not built, starving the tram/train interchange of the passenger numbers it was built for.
Transport Scotland insists its passenger forecasts were then updated to reflect the removal of the Glasgow connectivity and, in 2014, it published figures which put the cost of the project at £24.2m.
By 2015 engineers were on site and work was completed by December last year when the final price tag was revealed as £41m.
Edinburgh’s troubled trams.