by Allan Mclean

Festival Fireworks as Edinburgh Festival ends with a bang

Published: 24th August 2014

Late evening extra trains to follow final fringe event

Edinburgh’s annual month of fun ends on Sunday 31 August when the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert in Princes Street Gardens closes the Edinburgh International Festival 2014.

The biggest crowd-puller – the Festival Fringe which has now become the world’s largest arts festival – has its conclusion a few days earlier on Monday 25 August, when the Edinburgh International Book Festival also closes its doors. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was staged from 1 to 23 August.

Trains to Edinburgh have proved particularly busy during August with many Festivalgoers taking advantage of additional late-night trains to other parts of Scotland in addition to all the regular services train companies provide.

ScotRail is also laying on extra services to get people home after the Fireworks, attended by crowds in city-centre streets as well as the audience in Princes Street Gardens for the linked concert from 21:00 by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

After the pyrotechnic show from Edinburgh Castle, high above the railway through the city, crowds usually descend on Waverley Station for trains home.

For those on foot there is no problem of access to and from the station. But Festival visitors with luggage have been surprised on arrival to find no taxis under the station roof. That’s because of a ban on road vehicles after the death of a pedestrian in May.

Those catching a taxi have to either walk up a ramp to a public rank on Waverley Bridge or go by a mix of escalator and stairs, or lifts, to the Market Street exit where another public taxi rank is to be found. Some passengers in the know have been getting off their trains at Haymarket on the west side of the city centre where there is relatively easy access to a taxi rank, although it is now across the road from Haymarket station via a traffic-light controlled pedestrian crossing.

As Edinburgh is now marketed internationally as a city of festivals because of events that take place all year round, fresh controversy over station access may erupt later in the year. Meantime, visitors are best advised to check carefully for the location of their holiday accommodation as it may be very convenient for one of the stations in Edinburgh and not necessarily the main station at Waverley.

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