A clear glass roof is to be installed in a £130 million overhaul of Edinburgh's main railway station, it was announced today.

The Waverley Station project will see 17,000 panels in the roof replaced with clear glass, allowing natural light into the concourse and platforms - the roof's Victorian-era steel work will remain.

The revamp is part of a four-year scheme to improve passenger facilities in the station.

Other planned upgrades to the station include a new look for the Market Street entrance and improvements to two platforms, the concourse and the exterior of the listed building.

The makeover plan was sent to city council chiefs today.

Speaking at the station, Network Rail's director in Scotland, Ron McAulay, said: "I think anyone using the station nowadays would agree that the roof and the station itself are really in need of a tidy-up.

"What we're planning to do with this job is to completely refurbish the roof.

"Instead of the rather cloudy, shabby-looking glass we've got there at the moment, we'll have nice clear glass that will let in an awful lot more daylight and make the station a much brighter environment."

Work on the historic station's 34,000 square metre roof is expected to begin in earnest next April and should be finished by 2013.

It is hoped the refurbishment will reduce lighting bills.

The roof will also be designed to capture rain water, which could be recycled.

Disused buildings, such as the old post office depot near the Calton Road entrance, will be removed.

A canopy will be installed over platforms eight and nine and the southern Market Street entrance see a ramp and lifts installed.

The project ties in with the planned redevelopment of the Waverley Steps station entrance from Princes Street, which is expected to last until autumn 2011.

Mr McAulay said disruption to passengers will be kept to a minimum while the work is carried out.

The makeover will help improve Edinburgh's status as a leading international city, he added.

"These plans strike the right balance between preserving Waverley's rich heritage and creating a station environment which meets the needs of passengers in the 21st century," he said.

"The station enhancements will require a large amount of construction work to take place in the station during normal working hours. We're confident that we can carry out the work without major disruption to passengers.

"We have consulted with heritage groups and other interested parties while drawing up these plans and I look forward to seeing them come to fruition following consideration from the council's planning department."