Transport & Travel
all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh
Edinburgh Train Stations
Like other major cities, Edinburgh has more than one railway station.
Edinburgh Waverley Rail Station
Waverley is the main railway station in Edinburgh and Scotland and it could not be more central, located in the east end of Princes Street, the capital's main street. It is also Britain’s biggest station outside London.
The Airlink 100 bus is just outside the station, in Waverley Bridge, and will take you to the airport in a cool 25 minutes, 24/24, 7/7.
The station is commonly referred to as "Edinburgh" or "Waverley". All the trains that travel to Edinburgh stop at Waverley.
General information: (0044) (0)845 711 4141
Train services: (0044) (0)845 748 4950
Open Monday to Saturday: 04.00 - 00.45 and Sunday: 06.00 - 00.45.
Regardless of whether you're planning to arrive by car, bus, bicycle or by foot, Waverley is easily accessible.
•By car. Waverley is in the city centre and once there, you might want to use the short and long stay car parks. Bear in mind that the long stay car park is not cheap and will cost you £4.50 if you stay up to 2 hours.
The Short Term Car Park within the station is currently closed and has been re-located to New Street Car Park due to station enhancement works.
•By bus, taxi or if you want to take your bike on the train. Travelling by bus is easy and most of Lothian Buses will stop in Princes Street and in Northbridge which is just around the corner of where the station is.
Getting to the station by taxi is very convenient and if you’re in town you’ll find them everywhere. In the station itself they are located opposite platform 11 and outside, in Waverley Bridge. They can carry up to 5 passengers and are equipped with a boarding ramp for wheelchair access.
If you are travelling to/from the station by taxi here is a very useful link to traintaxi which will list 3 taxi companies available at Waverley.
•By foot. The station has 3 entrances, North, South and West.
oNorth - from Princes Street, take the brand new Waverley Steps that take you down to the station.
oSouth – from Market Street, walk down the few steps then take a lift to access the ground level where the platforms and the main hall are.
oWest – from Waverley Bridge. By far the easiest especially if you have a buggy, loads of luggage, or if you have accessibility needs.
Network Rail, which manages Waverley, has put online the best step-by-step guide you can think of to travel by bus to Waverley Bridge, which is where the main access to the station is. They have put pictures, distances, bus numbers and even arrows so that you don’t get lost!
You can also plan your route to access platforms depending on you accessibility needs, using ramps only, from shallow to steep, lifts, etc.
Just like any public space in Scotland, Waverley is completely smoking free.
The station has:
• Ticket Travel Centre in the main hall
. Staffed desks where you can buy and book tickets to all destinations across Scotland and the rest of the UK using card and cash. There is always a queue however, you won’t have to wait for long until you’re served by the very knowledgeable staff there.
. Self service
. Advanced travel
• Fast tickets machines
. Buy and book tickets using cash and card for travelling today to all destinations
. Collect pre-paid tickets
• Free cash machines
• Big screens - located near each platform that display departure time, delays if any, stations called at
• Baby change facilities
• Toilets including accessible toilet - 30p to pay at turnstile
• Showers - £5
• Change machine
• Left luggage
. located on platform 2 near the Calton Road entrance
. £7 per item for the first 24 hours and £3.50 per item for every 24 hours thereafter
. open Monday to Sunday 07.00 - 23.00
• Bureau de change
• Bike park - located in the short stay car park and on platforms 3 and 11
• Around 10 small shops - sell cold/hot drinks and food, including one small but very well stocked Marks & Spencer, Boots (chemist, sandwiches & drinks, books), WHSmith (bookshop, sandwiches, drinks), pub
Trains leave Waverley in two directions:
Westbound leading north to Forth Bridge, Fife, Dundee, Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness and leading west to Glasgow, Falkirk and Stirling.
Going westbound from the station, the rail tracks are cleverly hidden between the lower end of Princes Street Gardens (the Gardens) and Edinburgh castle so you can’t see any trains, just hear them every now and then! This adds to the charm of a city where you can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Gardens and at the same time be sheltered from the railway. All that right in the city centre!
Eastbound leading to North Berwick, Scottish Borders and London King’s Cross. Superb coastal views!
The best possible website to see at a glance which train companies operate out of Waverley and other main stations can be found on NetworkRail.
You will see each company’s website, phone number, email and physical address as well as an interactive map showing the main stations served. (See illustration below).
Waverley Station Map
The following link opens an excellent map of the station (PDF) with information about taxi ranks, where stairs, ramps and platforms are located, drop off points etc.
Edinburgh Haymarket Rail Station
Haymarket is located in the west end of the city centre. It is the capital’s second main train station after Waverley and is less than 2 miles away from the latter when you are travelling westbound, going to Glasgow, Fife and the Highlands.
It is ideally located for the west enders who commute daily to Glasgow.
•By car. Haymarket no longer has a car park as it made place for the tracks for the tramway which links the city centre to the airport.
The best you can do is quickly drop somebody off in the small designated area just outside the station and do the same when you pick them up.
ScotRail, which manages Haymarket, has put online a detailed plan of the station with clickable icons to obtain information about taxi ranks, where stairs, ramps and platforms are located, drop off points etc.
Each icon links to a picture so that you always see where you are.
You can also select your route to access platforms depending on you accessibility needs.
The station has:
A staffed ticket hall to buy and book tickets. It is open Monday to Saturday between 06.30 and 21.25 and Sunday between 08.10 and 21.25. Be aware that there's often a queue.
Self-service ticket machines
Lifts to access the platforms
Sheltered cycle racks
A coffee shop
Types of train tickets
New names for rail fares have been introduced across the National Rail network to make it easier for customers to understand what they can get out of the train tickets they buy. The four categories of tickets that now exists certainly achieve that.
There are four categories of tickets (see table below).
|Advance tickets||Anytime tickets||Off-peak tickets||Season tickets|
Single tickets with great value for money
Subject to availbilityonly and open for bookings 12 weeks before travel
Only valid for the date and train they are booked for
Anytime Single - travel on any train at any time on the date of travel booked
Anytime Return - travel on any train at any time. Outward journeys are valid for 5 days from the date indicated on ticket and return journeys within 1 calendar month
Cheaper than Anytime tickets
Require to travel certain days during specific hours on certain routes
Off-Peak Single - travel on the date shown on the ticket
Off-Peak Return - outward journeys are valid only for the date shown on the ticket and return journeys within 1 calendar month
Super Off-peak - valid on the least busy services
Unlimited travelbetween 2 stations
Valid for 7 days or any period between 1 month to 1 year
Check if there is a Railcard for you. Railcards offer 30% savings on many fares and can make up very quickly for their initial cost (between £20 and £28 per annum). Ideal if you commute regularly and if you are:
between 16 and 25 years old
travelling as a family
60+ years old
a person with a disability
travelling in the London and south East area
a member of the Regular Armed Forces
How and where to buy cheap train tickets?
I would recommend 3 websites which not only offer very good fares but are also user friendly.
You can of course buy and book your ticket at any station and directly from the train companies and it's worthwile remembering that they often advertise cheap tickets and/or very good fares on certain lines or during off-season.
Booking tickets online is theoretically the easiest way of buying cheap train tickets however, with over 20 train companies in the UK serving 100s of destinations throughout Scotland, England and Wales, choosing the best fare for your journey can be a wee bit daunting!
Here are 3 websites that offer genuinely cheap train tickets.
mytrainticket.co.uk website makes transport easy! Select your destination, look for the types of tickets available for your journey, book online and save money. Neat!
The website even has very useful info about the UK main cities (what to do & what to see sort of things).
Mytrainticket provides access to train tickets from all UK train operating companies and give you hints and tips on how to find the best value for your train fare.
A (small) booking fee is charged on train ticket purchases, but stay on the lookout for their special promotions and "no fees" deals!
The website is easy to use, fast and you see what the cheapest fare is for your journey.
One of the great benefits of using the nationalrail website is that it provides nothing less than predictions and actual train movements across the National Rail network in real time!
The system takes the scheduled timetable and enriches it with real time train movement information from across the network. It also receives messages about cancellations and alterations that are sent from Train Company control offices.
The website has great features that make transport really easy:
• choose your seats (direction, position, quiet coach, near a toilet, etc)
• at the same time your choose your seat you can also purchase a London One Day Travelcard
• the date of your travel can be added automatically to your Google and outlook calendar
• see at once the cheapest fare
• see the best fares for all types of single tickets
• see how much you have saved. This is done by comparing the price of the ticket(s) that you are buying, with the cheapest ticket(s) that would be available to purchase at the station on the day of travel. The same class of travel and the same railcards are compared.
Did you know?
Buying 2 Single tickets can be much cheaper than buying 1 Return ticket as the best fares tend to apply to one-way journeys.
For instance, for a journey such as Edinburgh - London the fare for a return ticket can cost 3 times what it would cost for 2 singles!
To book your train ticket directly from the train companies, visit the NetworkRail website. You'll see at a glance which companies operate out of Waverley (and other main stations) as well as their destinations across Scotland.
For each train company you will see their phone number, email and physical address as well as an interactive map showing the main stations they serve.
Did you know?
Unlike countries like France and Italy, you do not need stamp your ticket before boarding the train. Simply keep your ticket with you and show it to the controller when requested.
You can also buy your ticket once onboard.
The Caledonian Sleeper (ScotRail)
There should be a special mention here for the Caledonian Sleeper. The service has many destinations across Scotland and the UK including the very longue line between London and Aberdeen/Inverness. The Sleeper serves Edinburgh Waverley.
Depending on which London station you want to travel to (for instance London Charing Cross in South London), a Sleeper service is available. It is a surreal experience which is definetely worth trying.
If you opt for a Sleeper Service the cabin will be small but comfy, clean with very narrow bunks; there will be a small sink and a WC/toilet. There is an attendant on every coach to be found in a little "cubby hole" at one end.
They can sell you drinks more or less all night and will ensure you are OK. They will wake you in the morning with a cup of tea/coffee.
Timetables, Routes & Destinations
The overnight service between Edinburgh (Waverley station) and London Euston takes around 7hrs. The Caledonian leaves at 23.15 or 23.40 (depending on which day you travel) to arrive in London Euston around 07.00 the following morning.
If you are a single passenger travelling in the standard class on the sleeper, you may have to share a twin berth cabin with another passenger of the same gender as yours.
If you do not want to opt for the sleeper service then a reclining seat can be reserved.
There is no Saturday night Caledonian Sleeper service.
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