PASSENGERS at Waverley have spent three quarters of a million pounds over the past three years – to visit the toilets.
Figures released by Network Rail revealed that the station has the most lucrative loos in Scotland, compared with Glasgow Central which raised £600,000.
The 25 million travellers who pass through Waverley every year are charged 30p to use the conveniences.
Of the £1,353,672 taken in by Waverley and Glasgow Central, the train operator made a profit of £346,873.
All proceeds were spent on labour and maintenance of the facilities, while additional profits were reinvested in the stations, according to Network Rail.
The operator, which raked in nearly £13m at major stations across the UK, said that it released the toilet statistics in a bid to be transparent with customers.
Victoria in central London has taken in more than £2.3m since 2012. Waverley ranked seventh most profitable in the list of 18 stations across the UK.
Portobello pensioner Gilbert Wallace has spoken out in the past about the closure of council-run public toilets across the Capital.
He said of the Waverley figures: “Any time I have used the toilets they have always been immaculate, so if the money goes towards the cleaners, I don’t have a problem. It does seem an awful lot of money but if it’s going to keep it in a good condition, that’s great.”
Bruce Williamson, of campaign group Rail Future, said: “If you want a facility you have got to pay for it one way or another, but what seems a little unfair is that they are actually making a profit out of it. I think they ought to run it as a non-profit operation.
“The overall standard of the toilets is pretty good, if not exactly luxurious, and if it helps to maintain them, it’s a price worth paying as long as it’s a fair price.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Network Rail manages 18 of the biggest and busiest stations in Britain. Toilet facilities are available at all these stations and are open to everyone, not just rail users.
“The small charge we make for using the public toilet facilities in our stations helps to maintain them, ensures they are fully staffed and prevents misuse such as vandalism and other antisocial behaviour.
“Any revenue left over is reinvested in the railway and passenger facilities.”
Meanwhile, Waverley has been presented with a prestigious award from Keep Scotland Beautiful. It has been given the top Gold accolade, recognising excellence in environmental quality.
John Frater, company secretary of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We are delighted with the high standards demonstrated by Edinburgh Waverley.”
The award followed an independent audit of all ScotRail stations by Keep Scotland Beautiful.