Edinburgh CrossRail project
Progress on a new rail service to tackle Edinburgh's traffic congestion was marked today with a tree-planting ceremony to signal the start of work at Brunstane station.
Backed by £8.5 million of Executive funding, Edinburgh CrossRail services are due to start in June, providing better rail links into Edinburgh.
Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Minister Wendy Alexander was joined at Brunstane by the new Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) chairman Richard Bowker and representatives from City of Edinburgh Council and Railtrack.
Ms Alexander said:
"CrossRail is a vital development for Edinburgh, allowing many more people to commute by rail from the west and east of the city. At a difficult time for the rail industry, we are delivering rail improvements for Scotland.
"I am particularly pleased to see this development get off the ground as a result of the Executive stepping in earlier this year to plug a £501,000 funding gap which threatened to jeopardise the project.
"CrossRail will ease pressures on congestion hot-spots such as the west of Edinburgh and city bypass and we are working in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council, the SRA and Railtrack to deliver these much-needed improvements.
"CrossRail will extend passenger services from Bathgate and Dunblane through Edinburgh Waverley to the new stations at Brunstane and Kinnaird Park. This is part of our wider strategy to combat congestion and will have long-term economic benefits for the area."
The total cost of the Crossrail project is £11 million with the balance of funding coming from the SRA, City of Edinburgh Council and Railtrack.
The Edinburgh CrossRail project will involve opening 1.8 km of track for passenger services from the East Coast main line at Portobello to Kinnaird Park. Two new railway stations will be built at Brunstane and Kinnaird Park which will also see the development of a park and ride facility with access to the A1.