Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Edinburgh Lurches Into The 21st Century
For nearly a 150 years any visitor to Edinburgh who arrives by rail has had the nightmare of dragging their luggage up the 72 Waverley Steps to escape the station. Some (including myself) have taken their lives in their hands using the taxi ramp, but neither choice was pleasant and I know of no other main line railway station in the UK which is so inaccessible.
When I lived in Edinburgh back in the early 70s, the 'top of the Waverley Steps' was a popular place to meet friends. The merest breeze turned into a hurricane as the Steps were a notorious wind tunnel.
Although 5 years behind the original schedule, yesterday marked a new lease of life for the famous Steps. Finally one of Edinburgh council's projects was completed and the Steps have been remodelled into eight shorter flights but half their original width. The other half now boasts three banks of adjacent escalators for the 40ft ascent and a glass roof. In summer two 16-person lifts will be completed to whisk travellers up to Princes Street.
Forty per cent of station users - 14,000 people - daily take the Steps and with this long-awaited lurch into the 21st century no doubt the new facility will attract many more. One user is impressed.
Update: I have been sent the following email by a Mr Cohen:
Mr reply was as follows: