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Edinburgh and Hawick Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Gorebridge
Fushiebridge
Borthwick bank
Tynehead

Falahill
Heriot
Fountainhall

Stow
Bowshank tunnel
Bowland
Kilnknowe Junction
Galashiels
Selkirk Junction
Melrose
Ravenswood Junction
St Boswells
Kelso Junction

Belses
Hassendean
Hawick (Old)

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North British Railway
Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway
Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
Border Union Railway

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White of Hawick Limited
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Waverley Railway Partnership


Edinburgh and Hawick Railway

This line has largely been re-opened from Newcraighall to Tweedbank via stations at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow and Galashiels. Tweedbank to Hawick remains closed.

The line was a integral part of the former "Waverley Route". The right to build the line was purchased by the North British Railway from the original Edinburgh and Hawick Railway Company before construction began and the line was opened as the larger company's Hawick Branch.

The Waverley Railway Partnership backed the reopening of the line from the terminus at Newcraighall south to Galashiels and Tweedbank. A Bill was successful at the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Executive has made a £115M award for the project.

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Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
Act 1845
Contractors To be entered
Opened 1849
Closed 6 January 1969
Ownership 1845 Edinburgh and Hawick Railway
1845 North British Railway
1923 London and North Eastern Railway
1948 British Railways
1969 Closure
Clickable map of the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway Border Union Railway Selkirk and Galashiels Railway Kelso Branch Berwickshire Railway Peebles Railway Lauder Light Railway Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway

Local area

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This line runs south from near Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders. There was not a great deal of industry along the route but in the Borders it served a large number of mills. The line ran through an area of gently rolling hills and ran for a fair length along the valley of the River Gala, crossing that river on many bridges.

Chronology

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The line was promoted as an independent railway but was bought by the North British Railway before its opening as of the North British Railway's policy of keeping opponents out of East Lothian. It was extended from Hawick to Carlisle by the Border Union Railway but the route was always slower due to curves and banks than the Caledonian Railway's Edinburgh to Carlisle route. In its last years the number of passenger trains dwindled whereas the freight traffic increased due to Carlisle Kingmoor Marshalling yard at its south end and Millerhill Marshalling Yard at its north end. Ultimately it closed in preference to closure of the Caledonian Railway's route. A pity the northern section was not retained ...

Description of route

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From near Gorebridge to Hawick.

Gorebridge

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Looking east at the former station building.
 

The site of the station's goods yard is now occupied by houses. The trackbed is occupied by the gardens of the houses. The station consisted of two staggered platforms. The platforms remain; the southbound one is a walkway behind the gardens and the northbound one runs east from the station building. The station building still stands, in use as a pub. To the east of the station there was an inclined plane running north to a coal pit.

The photograph looks east over the station remains. Just to the west of this point, at the Arniston Engine pit, the line formed an end-on junction with the Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway which was upgraded for it's extension to Hawick. 

Fushiebridge

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Looking west towards Catcune Farm.

Reversing spur and junction for Esperton Quarries.

Looking east from Catcune Farm.

The name is pronounced "Fooshy bridge" and the station has also been known as "Fushie".

A loading bank and lineside hut remain to the east side of the line. The apparent platform here is not what it appears to be, the station was located to the north of the road overbridge.

From here a long siding ran south to quarries at Esperton. A siding ran from a west facing junction with the main line just to the south of the line before reaching a buffer stop. A level crossing on the siding retains its rails. From here trains reversed onto the Esperton quarry line. A lineside hut remains at the exchange siding and the formation is still clear.

To the east the line passed Catcune Farm and the trackbed near here is in excellent condition. The approach road to the farm formerly crossed the line on a bridge - this has been replaced by an embankment. The base of a distant signal for Borthwick remains to the east of the farm.

Borthwick bank

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Borthwick bank runs uphill between Fushiebridge and Tynehead station. The photograph looks south towards Tynehead. There was a signalbox at Borthwick, the base of which remains (south side of trackbed) along with some lineside huts, and some sidings which seem to have been used for 'redd' disposal. The sidings joined the main line at a west facing junction and were to the north of the line.

Tynehead

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Overgrown northbound platform at Tynehead.

Looking south over Tynehead station.

Broken drain pipe to the west side of the line at the former Tynehead signalbox.

Looking north from the former Tynehead northbound platform.

Some form of drain and section of rail on the west side of the line at the former Tynehead signalbox.

The top centre photograph looks south from a road bridge over the two platforms of Tynehead station. The station building is on the left along with the goods yard at the top of the bank. There were small building on the platforms too and steep footpaths from the roadbridge down to the platforms. The sidings for the goods yard ran back from the distant point in the photograph. The top right photograph shows the end of the platforms and the white station building above. The view looks north. Since these pictures were taken the site has deteriorated, being now more flooded, overgrown and having suffered from embankment slippage onto the platforms. The farmer who owns the trackbed is neutral regarding the reopening of the line but is certainly concerned that the plans for drainage of the area have been lost as the trackbed is flooded. About 1/4 of a mile to the north of the station a roadbridge has been replaced by an embankment - the trackbed is flooded on both sides. About 1/4 of a mile to the south of the station a thick pine forest has been planted on the trackbed.

Falahill Summit

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Looking north over Falahill Summit.

Just north of Heriot the line is crossed by this occupation crossing. The view looks north.

Falahill Summit signalbox and sidings provided passing loops on both sides of the double track main line for trains to pass each other. The sidings were located on the west side of the line and were approached from the north. The location of the bushes in the left photograph were once occupied by three sidings, the main line running behind that point with a signal box in the distance on the up side of the line. Falahill was not a station. A railway cottage remains here which is served by a dirt road running along the course of the former railway.

To the south of the summit the line was crossed by the A7 - the bridge over the line has been removed and the road re-aligned.

Heriot

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Looking south from the former northbound platform. Note the station building on the left.

Looking south at the bridge just north of Halltree

Looking over the same platform in 2002.

Marker on solum of the line near Stagebank.

South of Heriot, at Hangingshaw, looking south by the former distant signal.


Looking south at the cottage by the line at Stagebank.


Old occupation crossing gate partly made of rails at Stagebank. West side of line.
..

This station had two staggered platforms (the northbound one has been removed), one on either side of the level crossing. The signal box was next to the level crossing. Curiously the station building was on the other side of the line from the northbound platform. The owners of the former station house are naturally concerned about the reopening of the line. The house and grounds are being renovated and the owners are in a state of limbo not knowing whether to continue their work or not. Perhaps the line could be relocated slightly further west - although this would separate a young family from the school to the west of the line.

If the line reopens it is intended that there should be no level crossing here. The road could be raised and placed on an embankment (this could lead to demolition of both the former station houses here - which seems highly ironic) or perhaps the main access to Heriot relocated further south to Hangingshaw. Here a road crossed the line - the bridge has been converted into an embankment and a farm building built on the line to the south.

Further to the south of the station, by Stagebank, is a former surfaceman's house. The owner owns the trackbed and uses this to access his garage. He has planning permission to extend his property but is also in a state of limbo.

Fountainhall

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Bridge over the line immediately north of Fountainhall station. View looks south.

Looking south at Fountainhall level crossing and station building. The signalbox was on the left.

Old cast iron gate at an occupation crossing by Pirn House. West side of line.

Looking south at the overbridge near Burnhouse.

Looking north over the down platform.

Pulley wheel for a signal to the south of Fountainhall. West side of line.

Looking south at Burnhouse. Retaining wall to right.

Fountainhall was the junction for the Lauder Light Railway. A signal box was built to the north of the level crossing to replace an original one which was located at the south end of the station on the west side. The down platform has the base of a water tank on it. The junction was to the south of the station with the Lauder line's track diverging to the east from a north facing junction. The station had three platforms of which the down platform is the only one still extant. This is another location where the owner was not consulted before the plans for the reopening were announced. New houses are being built to the south of the station and to the west side of the line. A dirt road to Allanshaugh Farm crosses the line to the south of the junction.

To the south of the junction the line is crossed by a large bridge near Burnhouse and Plenploth.

Stow

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Station buildings viewed from the south.

The photograph to the left looks south, the station building being on the left. The trackbed has been landscaped partly and a house built on the trackbed. The centre photograph shows the view looking north over the disused platforms from a road bridge. Since these pictures were taken the remaining sections of the platforms have deteriorated greatly and a school building built on the site of the former goods yard - which was on the east side of the line, south of the station and approached by a south facing junction.

If the line is reinstated apparently the house on the trackbed and, paradoxically, the original station building are to be compulsorily purchased and demolished. This building is shown in the right picture. The building to the left is the northbound station shelter, the building to the right is the former station building and the building in the centre is a house built on the solum of the line which is under threat.

Haughhead Siding

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image
Builder's plate on bridge at Bow Farm.
Reads "P&W McLellan, Clutha Iron Works, Glasgow 1882".
 

This siding was between Stow and Bowshank tunnel near Lugate Farm. The line crossed a burn just south of here and crossed the River Gala further south at Bow Farm.

Bowshank Tunnel

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image
Just to the north of Bowshank Tunnel is a culvert and then a bridge over the Gala. The tunnel is just across the bridge and beyond the trees.

Bowshank Tunnel, north portal.

Bowshank Tunnel, south portal.

Looking north towards the south end of Bowshank Tunnel.

The tunnel is in excellent condition although very overgrown at the north portal. The line crossed the Gala River on a large bridge just north of the tunnel. The bridge is in reasonable condition but overgrown.

At the south portal a farm road bridge crosses at high level - this bridge is in a very poor state of repair and out of use - the trackbed of the line is now used instead. Immediately south of that the line crossed the Gala.

Bowland

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Looking east at the piers of the northern of the two missing bridges by Torwoodlee.

Looking north from a former station building at Bowland.

Looking north at the overbridge by Buckholm.

This station was also known as Bowland Bridge after the neighbouring bridge and small village.

The station was closed before closure of the main line and the platforms demolished. The goods yard remains. This can been seen on the right of in the left photograph which looks north along the trackbed. A portion of platform or station building remains on the west side of the line.

To the south the line runs on a straight alignment for a mile before being pinched in a narrow valley. At Torwoodlee two bridges over the River Gala are missing.

Kilnknowe Junction

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Looking west over the former junction.

Looking west over a former viaduct (now small footbridge) to the east of the junction.
 

This was the junction where the Peebles Railway Extension joined the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway. The left photograph looks west from a road overbridge. The junction faced south towards Galashiels.

Galashiels

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The station site has been turned into a car park and main road. However the road overbridge (Station Brae) remains and the station building still exist. The station consisted of three platforms, a goods yard and locomotive shed.

Selkirk Junction

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This was the junction for the Selkirk Railway. The junction faced West. The trackbed of the Hawick route is now a walkway. 

Darnick Siding

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There were some sidings here.

Melrose

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The trackbed is now occupied by a main road which by-passes Melrose. The up platform station building still stands (the down building was nearly identical but smaller) and some of the platform remains. The whole of the down side of the station has gone along with the goods yard. 

Newstead

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This was a short lived station (closed October 1852) to the east of Melrose.

Ravenswood Junction

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This was the junction for the Berwickshire Railway. The formation of the Hawick route is still clearly visible although a new road from Melrose has cut though the trackbed of the Duns line. The location is currently (March 1998) being disturbed which is bringing buffer beams and track bolts out of the earth. The ballast is clearly visible. The base of the signal box (on the Up side of the junction) still exists and is ivy covered. The junction faced South. 

St Boswells

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The station has been demolished largely since some of it existed on a bridge over a road which has been removed, however the locomotive shed, which stood at the south end of the station (east side of the track), remains in use by an oil distribution company. The goods yard to the North of the station has been completely eradicated. The up platform and bay (for Kelso and Jedburgh trains) remain by the locomotive shed. 

Kelso Junction

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The was the junction with the Kelso Branch of the North British Railway. The Kelso branch also had a branch from Roxburgh Junction to Jedburgh. Kelso Junction was a double track junction to the south of St Boswells station which faced North. The signal box was on the East side of the track formation. 

Today the solum of the Hawick route is a rutted dirt road and the Kelso branch, which starts in a cutting, has been infilled with rubble and rubbish, a process which is still continuing. The actual junction location is, at present, still clear. 

Greenend Siding

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There were some sidings here.

Belses

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This station has been converted into a house.

Standhill Siding

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There were some sidings here.

Hassendean

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This station has been converted into a house.

Hawick (Old)

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What appears to be a short section of platform from the original terminus station remains near the swimming pool which occupies the site of Hawick (New) station. However this platform does not belong to the original station but a later expansion of the station after the line was extended south. The original station was located slightly further to the south of this platform. The nearby goods yard, locomotive shed and viaduct have all been demolished. The line was continued South by the Border Union Railway by Riccarton and Newcastleton to Carlisle. 


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