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Lothian Lines

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Lothian Lines
(North British Railway)

The Lothian Lines are now entirely closed. These were built to relieve the traffic problems (particularly coal from mines) between Leith, Portobello, Niddrie and Monktonhall Junction.

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Clickable map of the Lothian Lines.

Local area

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These lines ran parallel to existing lines in the Niddrie and Portobello area. The lines were single track relief lines.

Chronology

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Description of route 

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This was one of the last schemes built by the North British Railway. It became necessary to build these lines as there was much congestion on the existing lines around Niddrie and Portobello which led to delays. Local coalmasters had considered building their own direct lines to the Port of Leith and the North British Railway's hand was forced into promoting these lines to stave off competition. The lines were busy for only a few years and then the traffic declined. 

From a junction with the Seafield line of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway at Portobello (the junction faced Seafield) to Niddrie North Junction (were a spur ran to Niddrie West Junction and joined the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway at a junction facing Duddingston) to Monktonhall Junction where the line joined the North British Railway at a junction facing Prestonpans. (Also at Monktonhall Junction was the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway route from Niddrie West Junction and the later British Rail line from Millerhill Marshalling Yard). 

Further spurs may have run from a junction by Niddrie South Junction to the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway at a junction facing Millerhill and a spur to the North British Railway at Portobello with a junction facing Edinburgh. 

The line was single track throughout and built at considerable expense. Much of the route was elevated. The signal-boxes were large and afforded good views of the junctions.

Portobello Junction (Lothian Lines) 

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Niddrie North Junction (Lothian Lines) 

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Niddrie West Junction (Lothian Lines) 

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Monktonhall Junction (Lothian Lines) 

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Page created on 07/07/1998
Page last edited on: 24/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford