A major redevelopment of Waverley Station has been announced with a new mezzanine level to free space for more platforms was proposed today by owner Network Rail.
It said the move could be needed to cope with passenger numbers more than doubling over the next 30 years.
The plan is contained in a wide-ranging blueprint for expanding Scotland’s railways, which also includes electrifying the Edinburgh to Perth and Dundee lines.
The Scotland Route Study said a mezzanine at Waverley would be for “safe and easy station navigation and relocated retail/passenger facilities, to allow more platform capacity for trains”.
It said the existing station layout would become “increasingly sub-optimal” because of the forecast passenger growth, with commuter numbers alone expected to rise by 114 per cent between 2012 and 2043.
The station is Scotland’s second busiest, with 20 million passengers a year.
The document said: “Extending platforms or creating new ones to meet demand will reduce the current space available for passenger circulation and facilities in the station.
“The increase in passenger numbers and likely reduction in concourse space suggests that a major re-development of Edinburgh Waverley will be required in the medium term [after 2029].”
The south suburban line, which arcs round the south side of the city, could be electrified so more freight trains could be diverted away from Waverley.
Network Rail said its study, which will be out for consultation until March, would inform funding of developments from 2019.
Other potential measures include extra tracks on the east coast main line between Wallyford and Prestonpans in East Lothian, the “remodelling” of Perth Station, and further upgrades of the Inverness to Aberdeen and Wick/Thurso lines.
There could also be longer trains on Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes, and electrification of the Glasgow to East Kilbride and Barrhead lines.