The long-delayed train-tram interchange at Gogar will open to the public for the first time on Sunday – linking rail passengers to the airport.
Described by Network Rail as a “hugely challenging” operation from an engineering prospective, transport minister Humza Yousaf opened Edinburgh Gateway yesterday, marking the official completion of the station.
Mr Yousaf said: “I am delighted to officially open the new Edinburgh Gateway station.
“A project like this doesn’t happen by some sprinkling of fairy dust and then it’s done.
“Some 375,000 man and woman hours have gone into constructing this station.”
The station allows rail passengers travelling on services heading to and from Fife and further north to switch onto an airport-bound tram.
Services will start on Sunday at 8.48am and passengers will have access to train links with Perth, Dundee and Inverness, as well as to the city centre and Fife. When combined with the nearby South Gyle station, six trains per hour will serve north-west Edinburgh instead of the current four.
The number of trains calling at South Gyle will reduce to two per hour, but with an additional service in the morning and evening peaks.
Located between Edinburgh Trams’ Gogarburn and Gyle Centre stops, the hub is expected to be used by between 500-600,000 travellers a year.
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Edinburgh Gateway is just marvellous for us because it provides that really important interchange connection that serves the communities in Fife and in Edinburgh.
“But what is really important is that it has only been achieved through communities working together.”
Students from Edinburgh College of Art and the Royal Botanic Gardens have added to the station’s impressive contemporary design with a concrete tree sculpture and landscaping at the entrance.
Adding to the sleek design are panels of concrete art work on the walkway between the station and the Gyle Centre developed by Queensferry Community High School and Inverkeithing High School pupils.
Mr Verster continued: “Scotland’s railway is undergoing its biggest transformation since Victorian times as we work with the government to deliver the stations, tracks and trains needed to provide more seats and more services.”
The interchange will also provide another option for passengers travelling to Edinburgh Park or the Gyle Shopping Centre, both of which have dedicated tram stops.
The station will be open between 6am and midnight, Monday to Saturday, with Sunday opening times to be published shortly.
It will also provide increased choice for people travelling to and from Fife from Edinburgh Business Park, with 14 trains arriving at Gateway or South Gyle between 7am-9am.
Integrated tram and train tickets will be available to purchase at the station.