Build Over Railway Lines - Housing Solution?

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A recent report has claimed that building over London's railway lines will help relieve the problem of lack of housing in London.

A report from WSP has suggested a solution to London's current housing crisis, in that building homes and apartments over existing and functioning railway lines could help create a relief in the current lack of residential properties.

The idea being that when there is land around and over existing railway lines, homes can be build around and over them, meaning less land required and what is currently 'empty space' being utilised. It may sound a bit ambitious but it's something that is already under construction in New York, so why couldn't it work here in the UK?

There's a few considerations that most people will likely wonder about, with the obvious ones being noise, vibrations and safety.

The WSP has taken into consideration the noise and vibrations which could be of concern with the suggested use of "complex transfer structures, rail encapsulation, and isolated foundation solutions". As for safety? Well it's safe to assume that no plans would even be considered without the highest safety specifications being in place, given that any potential failings would result in problems for not only those within the housing, but those using the railway also. And with recent high-profile property failings occuring in London, one would hope that no corner would even be considered to be cut.

The next question is, could it work in Edinburgh?

Answer...probably not. The size of Edinburgh is obiviously much less than that of London, so straight away that means there is less potential places where properties could be built over railway lines. That, plus the fact that a lot of Edinburgh's exisiting railway lines already have stretches underground, or have tall buildings dawning either side. However, perhaps we could consider building properties over Edinburgh's Trams instead!


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Amy Lorimer
Content Creator at Cameron Stephen & Co. solicitors and estate agents, Edinburgh
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