Reopen stations on the Edinburgh Suburban & Southside Jnct Railway for Trains / TramTrains

Reopen stations on the Edinburgh Suburban & Southside Jnct Railway for Trains / TramTrains

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The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) has launched a consultation on the draft City Mobility Plan 2030. Within this document CEC have ruled out reopening stations on the Edinburgh Suburban and Southside Junction Railway sometimes affectionately known as the "Ed South Sub". This petition is to provide a voice for the line's potential users and quantify the support for full feasibility study and business case to be prepared for reopening the stations. This study would assist in identifying routes for connections to either the Scotrail / National Rail and/or Edinburgh Trams network, maximising the impact of the City Centre Transformation and Net Zero Carbon 2030 objectives.

This decision by CEC comes with a backdrop of decreasing budgets and trying to reduce city centre congestion, implementing a "to not through" transport policy and reducing car use. 

The #EdSouthSub provides an existing cross city route avoiding the city centre for some journeys, as the route passes several shopping, education, healthcare and residential destinations. This double track route is currently only open for freight and the occasional empty passenger services. The line was opened in 1884, with passenger services withdrawn in 1962 but is still maintained to this day by Network Rail Scotland, therefore if the stations were reopening or new ones constructed it could be utilised by services provided by either;

  • TramTrains that join the Edinburgh Trams network from Haymarket providing routes to the Airport or Newhaven to South Edinburgh as well an east/west link across Edinburgh.
  • Scotrail Trains to connect South Edinburgh to the wider National Rail network and recent EGIP improvements. Speeding journeys elsewhere, thus reducing congestion on the A720/M8 whilst also providing east/west cross city journeys.
  • or a combination of both? 

By using either Trains and TramTrains this route could still be used by the infrequent freight services that bypass Waverley Station. The TramTrain technology has been proven for decades in Karlsruhe, Germany and is already being used by Network Rail for the Sheffield to Rotherham TramTrain service. There is so much potential for joined up journeys that are off-street, reducing congestion, faster and allow more local connections to either the Edinburgh Trams or National Rail network.

The fact that this line passes through one of only 6 Scottish UK Parliament Constituencies without a railway stations indicates something isn't right, especially as this is an urban not island / rural constituencies. It means for Edinburgh South residents all journeys by rail are extended with bus connections to the city centre and less convenient than using a car.

All it would need is for CEC, Transport Scotland, Network Rail Scotland / Scotland's Railway, Transport for Edinburgh & SESTran to work together as seen with the Borders Railway reopening project. With the aim of providing a cost effective solution for low CO₂ public transport with less disruption by simply reopening stations on an existing rail line. This could complement new on street tram lines in the city centre and elsewhere to east and south of Edinburgh and the Lothians in the longer term. 

Taking into account CEC's City Centre Transformation, proposed electrification of the line planned by Network Rail Scotland in coming years and not least the Climate Emergency declared by Edinburgh, Scottish & UK governments in 2019, it seems this project would be a great opportunity to put these words into action. 

Your support for this petition is needed to send a clear signal of the demand for a full feasibility study to be undertaken and subsequent business case made for funding applications. Also why not respond to the City Mobility Plan consultation here and mention the #EdSouthSub too?

Thanks in advance for your support if you feel the same way. 

#EdSouthSub