Rail depot work to shatter Christmas peace

Mountcastle Crescent residents are angry about work at the Network Rail depot over Christmas. Picture: Jane Barlow

Mountcastle Crescent residents are angry about work at the Network Rail depot over Christmas. Picture: Jane Barlow

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WHAT is meant to be the most “silent” night of year for families across the world is set to be the noisiest for one bunch of neighbours near Craigentinny rail depot.

Instead of lying tucked up in bed, eagerly awaiting the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells, children in Mountcastle Crescent will be left with no choice but to wake up to the sound of hammering and drilling on Christmas morning – as construction work will be in full swing just metres from their home.

Residents were left “outraged” last week when they received a letter from Network Rail revealing that round-the-clock work is set to take place over Christmas to build a new train-wash facility.

To construct the development, rail bosses have also revealed they will also be building a new track with overhead lines.

One resident, Karen Buchanan, 53, is “furious” she has had to rearrange her plans for Christmas Day.

She said: “We have been given virtually no notice about these works at all.

“I had planned to have my godchildren to stay this Christmas Eve and I was really looking forward to it – but now I can’t because at an information evening on Wednesday night Network Rail confirmed they will be working from Christmas Eve onwards.

“It’s hard enough to get young children to sleep, never mind that noise.”

She added: “Basically everyone’s plans for Christmas Day are going to be shattered – we are going to get no peace.

“I imagine they will have to put up big floodlights if they are working during the night as well.

Work on the new train-wash facility began on Monday, and isn’t expected to be completed until June next year.

Network Rail has confirmed the majority of work will take place during working hours, but 24-hour construction will be taking place from December 24-27 and from January 3-7.

The railway which runs past the Craigentinny depot is the main line for all east coast trains travelling from Edinburgh to London.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are working closely with the council and local community to minimise the impact this vital project will have on our neighbours.

“The majority of work will be completed during daytime hours on weekdays and contractor staff will access the depot via Fishwives Causeway, not from Mountcastle Crescent, to help limit the impact of the project on residents.

“Some deliveries will be made on occasion via the main depot entrance, but will be timed to take place during the day – after nine and before four.

“Activity around Christmas is unavoidable as certain work can only take place while the depot is closed and no trains are running. However, we will strive to keep disruption to residents to a minimum.”