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Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway

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Scotland Street Railway Station


Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway

This original route of this line is closed. The line was later renamed the Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway upon its extension to Granton and Leith. A connecting line was later built from the Granton and Leith branches to Abbeyhill and Piershill. A portion of this connecting line remains from Piershill Junction to Powderhall. A disused section of track also remains between Piershill Junction and Abbeyhill Junction.

Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
Act 13 August 1836
Contractors To be entered
Opened 31 August 1842
Closed 1960s
Clickable map of the Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway.

Local area 

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This line ran from Edinburgh New Town to Trinity via Newhaven. Along most of the route are Victorian and older period buildings. The branches to Granton, Leith and the connecting lines from Piershill and Abbeyhill ran through later Victorian areas.

Chronology 

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Description of route 

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From Edinburgh to Trinity with a branch to Leith. Subsequent branches were built to Leith and Granton. Further lines were built from Abbeyhill and Piershill to connect with the Trinity and Leith lines nearby Bonnington.

Canal Street (Edinburgh)  

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This station is now buried under Waverley Market and Waverley station. The station had curving platforms from the north to the west and a junction was formed with the lines running east-west through Waverley station which faced west. A cable was used to haul trains along a tunnel to Scotland Street station.

The original name of this station was Princes Street.

Scotland Street  

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Scotland Street station.
Scotland Street station.

This was the original southern terminus of the line within Edinburgh. The line was later extendedsSouth to Canal Street (by today's Waverley station). Today the site of the station goods yard is a playground and the platform area has been leveled and made into parkland. The portals of the tunnels at either end of the station can still be very clearly seen. Trains were hauled along the tunnel to Canal Street by cable.

Warriston Junction  

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This is the junction between the lines to Trinity and Leith. The junction faces south towards Edinburgh. Between this junction and Scotland Street the line crosses a large viaduct and passes through a tunnel. Nearby the Leith line crosses over the entry road into a Cemetery on an ornate bridge.

Trinity Junction

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This is where the line from Abbeyhill and Piershill joined the original route from Scotland Street to Trinity. The junction faced north towards Trinity.

Trinity (Old)  

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This was the original northern terminus of the line. The line was later extended westwards to Granton and the original station became the goods yard of the station. Nothing now remains of the original terminus. It was left as a short branch with an approach from the south and on the east of the main route.

The station was sited at a higher level than the town. It was located near the Newhaven chain pier (now closed although the building has been retained as a restaurant).

Trinity (New)  

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This is the replacement station built at Trinity on the extension of the line to Granton. There are two platforms and the old terminus is located behind the building shown here (view looking east). The station building is now a house.

Granton Harbour  

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In Granton there was a passenger station on the ferry pier, a connection to the Caledonian Railway's Granton branch and a line running to by the Western Breakwater of Granton harbour.

  

This view shows the trackbed of the line facing east towards Trinity at Granton. The passenger station here was located behind the camera and off to the left on a pier in the middle of Granton harbour. The station facilities were a single platform with a simple shelter.

Sleeper indentations can still be seen. The Eastern breakwater is on the left. Newhaven chain pier was located beyond it.

 

This shows the view over Granton Harbour from above. The old middle pier can be seen on the left. The Eastern breakwater can be seen on the right. The railway ran on the foreshore out of view beyond the houses shown here.

Here is the junction between the Caledonian Railway and the North British Railway at Granton. The Caledonian Railway runs uphill to the left after a level crossing over the road (there is a goods shed by it on the left and the lamppost on the right) and North British Railway runs straight ahead down the right hand side of the road towards the Western Breakwater. This was one of the main exchange points between the two systems in Edinburgh. Some of the tracks remain embedded in the road here.

Bonnington Level Crossing

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Here the original alignment of the Leith Branch from Warriston was crossed by on the level by the route of the new diversionary line from Abbeyhill and Piershill to Trinity Junction on the Granton line.

Bonnington East Junction

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This was actually two junction. Spurs ran off to the Abbeyhill and Piershill to Trinity Junction on the Granton line at Bonnington South Junction and Bonnington North Junction. This junction faced Leith.

Bonnington  

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This closed passenger station retains its platforms. 

Bonnington Goods Junction

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This goods station is now an industrial estate. It was located on the south side of the line and had a junction to the west.

Junction Road

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This was a passenger halt.

Leith Citadel

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Rear of Leith Citadel.
Rear of Leith Citadel.
North Leith frontage.
North Leith frontage.

This station was known for most of its life as North Leith, Caledonian Railway's station was Leith North!) It was re-named after closure to passengers but when still open to freight in 1952.

The building still stands although the platforms have now gone.


The connecting lines from Abbeyhill Junction and Piershill Junction to nearby Bonnington;

Abbeyhill Junction

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This junction faces west towards Waverley station. The disused track from Abbeyhill runs right up to the North British Railway's main line from Edinburgh to Berwick but not longer forms a junction with it. The main line is now double track and electrified.

Abbeyhill 

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This station remains, somewhat overgrown, but fairly intact. It can be viwed from a nearby carpark for houses. There has been some fire damage but largely it looks as it did while still open.

London Road Junction

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This is the junction between the line to Bonnington, the line to Leith Central and the line to Piershill. The junction faces south. The Bonnington and Leith Central tracks are uplifted but the Piershill tracks remain out of use but in place.

Easter Road Junction

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Here the line from Powderhall previously divided to run to Abbeyhill and Piershill. The Abbeyhill tracks are uplifted and the Piershill route has been singled. The junction faced west towards Granton.

Easter Road

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Easter Road looking west.
Easter Road looking west.

The platforms remain intact here.

Leith Walk East Goods

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This goods yard is now an industrial estate.

Leith Walk

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The platforms remain more or less intact here.

Powderhall 

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This is now a compacted rubbish loading site. Nothing remains of the station. At the time of writing rubbish is taken from here to Dunbar for disposal at a landfill site.

Bonnington South Junction

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This was the junction between the new line to Granton and a spur from Bonnington East Junction on the original Leith branch. There was a signal box here located on the east side of the junction. After the line to Leith had been singled the trains from Leith came in on the Down track here and had to cross to the Up track. The junction faced towards Edinburgh.

Bonnington North Junction

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This was the junction between the new line to Granton and a new spur running from Bonnington East Junction on the original Leith branch. The junction faced towards Granton.

Piershill Junction

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This junction is still open. It faces east towards Berwick. This is the junction between the main line of the North British Railway and its connecting lines to the Granton and Leith branches. The main line is now double track and electrified and the branch line is single track.

Piershill

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This station was located to the west of Piershill Junction. It had two platforms with typical North British Railway platform buildings.

Meadowbank Stadium

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This halt was provided for the duration of the Commonwealth games at the nearby Meadowbank Stadium. The station consisted of one platform on the westbound track. It was located just to the east of Lochend South Junction.

Lochend South Junction

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This junction was originally called Lochend Junction. It is the junction between the connecting lines to the Granton and Leith branches and the later diversionary route from Abbeyhill. It is no longer a junction as the Abbeyhill line has fallen into disuse. The junction faced east towards Berwick.


Page created on 04/03/1997
Page last edited on: 11/09/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford