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North British Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Edinburgh Waverley
Edinburgh North Bridge
Abbeyhill Junction 
Piershill Junction 
Jock's Lodge 
Portobello West Junction 
Portobello (New)
Portobello East Junction 
Joppa 
Musselburgh 
Monktonhall Junction 
Inveresk
Prestonpans 
Longniddry 
Longniddry Junction
Haddington 
Aberlady Junction 
Drem 
East Fortune 
East Linton 
Dunbar
Oxwellmains

Innerwick 
Cockburnspath 
Grantshouse 
Reston 
Ayton 
Burnmouth 
Berwick 

This site
Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Edinburgh and Hawick Railway
Forth and Clyde Junction Railway
Peebles Railway
Border Union Railway
Border Counties Railway
Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
Blane Valley Railway
Milngavie Junction Railway
Leadburn, Linton and Dolphinton Railway
Esk Valley Railway
Edinburgh, Loanhead and Roslin Railway
Penicuik Railway
Forth Bridge Railway
Kelvin Valley Railway
Strathendrick and Aberfoyle Railway
Kilsyth and Bonnybridge Railway
West Highland Railway
Gifford and Garvald Railway
Aberlady, Gullane and North Berwick Railway
Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway
Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway

Other sites
ScotRail
Blue Circle Cement


North British Railway 

This line was promoted as a separate company by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway which did not want to risk the construction of an Edinburgh to Berwick branch. Its construction was encouraged by George Hudson.

This line provided a service between Berwick and Edinburgh with a branch to Haddington. Later expansions and acquisitions provided lines to Glasgow, Stirling, Dundee, Hamilton, Peebles, Galashiels, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Carlisle and a large number of other locations. Ultimately this company owned the largest track mileage of any Scottish railway company. It became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923.

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Clickable map of the North British Railway Musselburgh BranchKelso BranchNewcastle and Berwick RailwayEyemouth RailwayBerwickshire RailwayNorth Berwick BranchAberlady, Gullane and North Berwick RailwayTranent WaggonwayMacmerry BranchLothian LinesEdinburgh and Dalkeith RailwayLeith Central BranchEdinburgh, Leith and Newhaven RailwayCaledonian RailwayEdinburgh Station and BranchesEdinburgh and Glasgow Railway

Local area

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This line runs from the city of Edinburgh east out through its suburbs and former mining towns along by the Firth of Forth and then the North Sea (often atop cliffs) through countryside to reach the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Chronology 

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This line was proposed the the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway who did not want to take the risk of extending from Edinburgh and Berwick. It was heavily supported by George Hudson who was forming an East Coast alliance of companies with lines running down the east coast of Britain through York. The line originally ran from North Bridge station (where it did not at first connect to any other lines) to Berwick station (where it also did not connect to any other lines as the Tweed had not been bridged). Along the course of it's route it had a branch to Haddington and connections to the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. It had bought the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway but really sat is isolation. Following a major building and acquisition program the line was nearly bankrupted. It even lost control of its original mainline (the route given on this page) when the North Eastern Railway gained running powers for express trains between Berwick and Edinburgh which they made use of. After recovery the line was always somewhat austere in it's provision of stations (except in the case of Leith Central) but grew to have the largest milage of any of the scottish railway companies. It became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in the 1923 grouping.

Description of route

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From Edinburgh to Berwick with a branch from Longniddry to Haddington.

Edinburgh Waverley

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When the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway extended it's line east to meet the North British Railway at North Bridge it built its station (North Bridge Station) to the west of the North Bridge station. The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was to be bought by the North British Railway and a new station was built from the two stations, called Waverley. There had also been a station called Canal Street station in the northern part of the site (the station was the terminus of the Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway) and it was incorporated in the re-building plans.

Edinburgh North Bridge 

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This was the North British Railway's first terminus in Edinburgh. It was located at what is now the east end of the site of Edinburgh Waverley station. There was a signalbox here called "Waverley East".

Abbeyhill Junction  

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This junction faced west. The line running from here to Lochend Junction have been disconnected at both ends and are now in a poor state of repair.

There was the station of Abbeyhill right by the junction on the branch line but it is derelict having been closed for many years. The junction was part of a spur built by the North British Railway between Abbeyhill and Trinity and a second between Piershill and Easter Road to connect to the Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway at Trinity to avoid a steep rope-operated tunnel.

There was a signalbox here called "Abbeyhill Junction".

St Margarets

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This was the principal steam locomotive shed in the east of Edinburgh. The depot is now closed and the site redeveloped. There was a signalbox here called "St Margarets".

Piershill Junction  

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This junction faces east. A line from Powderhall, formerly from Leith and Granton, approaches from the north west and joins the main line. Today this branch line largely sees rubbish trains know to railway enthusiasts as the "binliner". There was a signalbox here called "Piershill Junction".

Jock's Lodge  

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This was a station which was closed early in the line's history.

Craigentinny carriage sidings

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These sidings remain in use today for the maintenance of passenger trains. There was a signalbox here called "Craigentinny". 

Portobello West Junction

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This was the junction between the spur built onto the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway's Leith branch and the main line. The junction is still in operation for the same purpose today. There was a signalbox here called "Portobello West".

Portobello (New) 

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This was the second Portobello station, the original being on the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. The station is now closed. Portobello Yard was to the north of the station.

Portobello Yard

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This was a goods marshalling yard at the junction of the Leith branch and the main line. To the east of the site the handling sidings have largely been lifted, as have the Lothian Lines which bounded the site to the north (trackbed now occupied by a main road) and to the west of the site a freightliner terminal was created. This depot is closed but still in situ complete with loading crane.

Portobello East Junction

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In connection with the opening of the Edinburgh to Berwick main line the North British Railway built a spur from here to Niddrie South Junction to allow trains to run south to Dalhousie on the route of the existing Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. This line had been further extended south from Dalhousie to Arnison Engine by the Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway and the line was undergoing conversion to standard gauge and the bridges improved by the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway before they extended the line further south to Hawick. The North British Railway bought all the companies involved before the line was opened to Hawick. This route was to be completed to Carlisle to join other lines there and was dubbed the "Waverley Route". When this spur was opened the line between Niddrie and Leith via Portobello owned by the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway was closed as a through route and its Portobello station closed.

This junction controlled the passage of many of the passenger trains between Edinburgh, the borders and Carlisle. There was a signalbox here called "Portobello East" mounted on a gantry above the tracks of the junction.

Brunstane

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This new single platform station is located on the branch from Portobello East Junction to Niddrie South Junction. This was the site of the first Joppa station before it was replaced by a new station on the main line.

Niddrie North Junction

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At this north facing junction the line to Niddrie West Junction and to Niddrie South Junction part. Immediately to the west was the Niddrie West Junction of the Lothian Lines.

Niddrie South Junction

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This is a south facing junction. Immediately to the north of it the line from Portobello passes over the trackbed of the former Niddrie West Junction to Niddrie East Junction line. Here the North British Railway's branch from Portobello East met the existing Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. This was the North British's connection to the line to allow services to run south on what was to become the Waverley Route. Immediately to the south of the station was the second Niddrie station, this has re-opened as Newcraighall.

Joppa

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The second Joppa station is closed. It was to the east of Portobello and west of New Hailes. There was a signalbox here called "Joppa".

New Hailes

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This station is closed.

Newhailes Junction 

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The line to Musselburgh (and originally the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway line from Niddrie West to Fisherrow) branched off to the left here. To the right on a high embankment runs the Lothian Lines. Also to the right is a connection through to Niddrie West Junction. All lines save the line shown here are now closed. There was a signalbox here called "Newhailes Junction".

Niddrie East Junction

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Here a spur (which the North British Railway built for their main line's opening) to connect to the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway at Niddrie ran from an east facing junction under the former Lothian Lines to the west. The spur is now closed and lifted. There was a signalbox here called "Niddrie East Junction".

Musselburgh

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This is a new station.

Monktonhall Junction  

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This was really a number of junctions. On the east bank of the River Esk was a west facing junction between the Edinburgh and Berwick main line and the Macmerry branch. To the west bank of the River Esk was an east facing junction between the Edinburgh and Berwick main line and the Lothian Lines and Millerhill yard lines. There was a signalbox here called "Monktonhall Junction".

Inveresk

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This station is closed. There was a signalbox here called "Inveresk".

Wallyford

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This was formerly the site of "Wallyford" signalbox. Today this is a new passenger station built on a new site.

Morrisons Haven signalbox

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This was an intermediary signalbox.

Prestonpans  

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This station is still open. The line has been realigned to the west of the station due to mine subsidence under the trackbed.

Riggonhead signalbox

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This was an intermediary signalbox. This was probably at the location where today the branch to Cockenzie Power station and Blindwells opencast loading siding are located. This was formerly where the Tranent Waggonway crossed the line.

Seton Crossing signalbox

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This was an intermediary signalbox. There was a station here for a short time called "Seton".

St Germains signalbox

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This was an intermediary signalbox.

Longniddry  

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This station is still open. There was a platform for trains to Haddington to the south of the Edinburgh bound platform which is now out of use and the track lifted.

Longniddry Junction

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This was the junction for the Haddington Branch which was built at the same time as the main line of the North British Railway and was owned by it.

Haddington 

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This was a terminus at the end of a short branch (originally double track and later singled) from Longniddry. The branch was built to placate the people of the town who had been by-passed by the North British Railway's main line which passed further north.

The station site remains intact, a long single platform but the station building has been demolished. The station was enlarged when it was found inadequate and at the western end of the long platform remains the original station house from the first version of the station. To the west of the building the trackbed has been built on making re-construction to the original site difficult. There was a signalbox at the station called "Haddington".

The branch is closed.

Aberlady Junction  

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There was a west facing junction here for Gullane. The branch is now closed. There was a station here called "Ballencrieff" which was closed at an early date.

Drem  

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This station has a junction to its east for North Berwick. There was a signalbox here called "Drem Junction". There are loops on either side of the main line here between the station and the junction.

East Fortune  

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This station is closed. There was a signalbox here called "East Fortune".

East Linton  

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This station is closed. There was a signalbox here called "East Linton".

Beltonford signalbox

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This was an intermediary signalbox.

Dunbar  

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This station has been reduced from 4 platforms to 1. A timber overall roof (similar to that at Galashiels in appearance) remained over two platforms until the main line was electrified. The remaining platform line is a loop from the main line today. All tracks are electrified. This station is used as terminus for local services from Edinburgh. The view given here looks West. The station formerly had two signalboxes "Dunbar West" and "Dunbar East".

Oxwellmains

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There was a signalbox here of the same name. Today there is a signalbox here to control an extensive set of sidings at a concrete works owned by Blue Circle Cement. The works operates its own locomotives.

Innerwick  

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The station building remains here at this closed station in private ownership. There was a signalbox here called "Innerwick".

Cockburnspath  

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The station building remains here at this closed station in private ownership. There was a signalbox here called "Cockburnspath".

Grantshouse  

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This station is closed and none of the station buildings remain; however a number of sidings remain and to the Edinburgh side of the station loops remain in use today. There was a signalbox here called "Grantshouse".

Reston  

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This station was the junction for the Berwickshire Railway. Both the station and the branch are now closed. Some refuge sidings remain. There was a turntable here in the "V" of the junction between the main and branch lines. To the east of the station was a signalbox called "Reston East" and then "Reston Junction". To the west of the station was a signalbox called "Reston West".

Ayton  

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The station building remains at this closed station. There was a signalbox here called "Ayton".

Burnmouth  

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This station is now demolished, however it is evident from the width of the cutting at this point that more facilities one existed. The station had three platforms; two on the main line and one for the Eyemouth Railway trains. A station building remains in private ownership. There was a signalbox here called "Burnmouth".

Marshall Meadows signalbox

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This was an intermediary signalbox.

Berwick  

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Berwick station was built by the North British (a Scottish Railway company) in England at the site of Berwick castle - some would say re-claiming the site for Scotland. At this station the North British line formed an end on junction with the North Eastern Railway (which continues south on the Royal Border Bridge over the Tweed). The station consists of an island platform approached, by footbridge, from the main building. The level ground to the West of the station contains a few remaining sidings of the goods yard. The photograph shows the view looking south. There was a signalbox at the station called "Berwick Central" and one to the north called "Berwick North".


Page created on 10/11/1995
Page last edited on: 02/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford