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
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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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.
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
From near Gorebridge to Hawick.
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.
Looking west towards Catcune Farm.
Reversing spur and junction for Esperton
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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
To the south of the junction the line is crossed
by a large bridge near Burnhouse and Plenploth.
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
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.
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.
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.
Looking east at the piers of the northern
of the two missing bridges by Torwoodlee.
Looking north from a former station building
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.
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.
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.
This was the junction for the Selkirk
Railway. The junction faced West. The trackbed of the Hawick route is now
There were some sidings here.
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.
This was a short lived station (closed October
1852) to the east of Melrose.
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.
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.
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.
There were some sidings here.
This station has been converted into a house.
There were some sidings here.
This station has been converted into a house.
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