The work will begin once the steps are closed to the public in early February, with the construction on the Steps expected to take approximately one year. The two 16-passenger lifts will be installed once the steps and escalator work is complete, with the contract due to be completed by July 2012.
A temporary access bridge spanning platforms 19 and 2 will be used during the closure of the Steps to maintain access between the station and Princes Mall. This will maintain access to Princes Street for passengers as well as the route via the north ramp from Waverley Bridge.
Ron McAulay, Network Rail Director, Scotland commented:
“This project will vastly improve access for the thousands of passengers who use Waverley Station on a daily basis. It is extremely pleasing to appoint a highly respected contractor to begin work on Waverley Steps.
“Installation of escalators between Waverley Station and Princes Street was first proposed in the 1920s, so to finally reach the stage of putting a spade in the ground will be a major achievement. Our designs have been carefully considered to remain sensitive to the heritage and history of the location and we’re confident that this will be regarded as a positive improvement for the city.”
Frances Duffy, Director of Rail Delivery, Transport Scotland said:
“We are delighted on the appointment of a contractor to begin works for a project which will improve access for rail passengers, including those with a mobility impairment, from Princes Street to one of Scotland’s busiest rail stations, in turn opening up access to the wider rail network.
“We look forward to the successful completion of the Waverley Steps project which forms part of a wider strategy to encourage commuters to make the shift from road to rail.”
Jag Paddam, Morgan Sindall’s managing director infrastructure, said:
“We are particularly proud to have been awarded this contract which further strengthens our working relationship with Network Rail. Our proven experience in this sector will allow us to deliver a high quality project which will benefit many rail users in the years to come.”
The Waverley Steps redevelopment is funded by Transport Scotland.
The project is progressing in parallel with Network Rail’s wider improvements to Waverley Station, including reglazing of the station roof, improvements to platforms and future planned improvements to the Market Street entrance and Platforms 8 and 9.