Border Union Railway (North British Railway)

Introduction

This line is closed. The railway formed an integral part of what became known as the Waverley Route which ran between Edinburgh and Carlisle. Its closure was one of the first mainline railway closures in Britain. Occasionally possibilities of its re-opening are discussed, sometimes associated with timber extraction at Kielder. In the meantime preservation societies have laid track and started reinstating the line between Whitrope tunnel and Riccarton. Long distance trains using the line ran between Edinburgh Waverley and Carlisle (Citadel) many continuing south by the Settle and Carlisle Line (Midland Railway) and Midland Railway route to London St. Pancras. The line had a distinctive style of looped goods yard - often loop off one of the lines almost all the sidings would be looped.



Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This station is closed.
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Name on a splasher. Built at Cowlairs in 1920, no 2424 originally appeared carrying the name Glen Gau. After several queries it was established ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 24/08/1958
The former totem from Hawick. ...
Bruce McCartney Collection //
From the site of the gasworks sidings I turned left (north-west) at the rugby roundabout and headed on to the path to the walk. This underpass is ...
Bruce McCartney 08/01/2017
A photograph thought to have been taken in April 1960, showing D34 4-4-0 no 62488 Glen Aladale at Hawick preparing to bank a train south to ...
K A Gray /04/1960


This six arch double track viaduct, also known as Lynnwood Viaduct, was south of Hawick [2nd].
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View south to Slitrig (or Lynnwood) Viaduct, south of Hawick. Here for a mile or so the ballast remains intact. The ballast provides a useful source ...
Ewan Crawford 05/05/2014
A northbound special crossing Slitrig Viaduct south of Hawick on 25 June 1966. The train is the Warwickshire Railway Society's Aberdonian ...
Bruce McCartney 25/06/1966
A 'Peak' hauled down train on the Waverley Route crossing Slitrig (or Lynnwood) Viaduct south of Hawick in the mid 1960s. (The 6-arch viaduct was ...
Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
Flex cutting and bridge, two miles south of Hawick, 43 years after track lifting [see image 27623] ...
Ewan Crawford 05/05/2014

This station was a large terminus with four platforms serving a military training and prisoners of war facility (Stobs Military Camp) near Stobs. There were two island platforms of two faces and a loop for the centre two platform faces. Also known as Stobs Camp Siding.
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View west at Stobs on 6 February 2008 over part of the site of the former Stobs Camp (1903-1959). The various remains dotted around the hillsides say ...
John Furnevel 06/02/2008

This was a two platform station just to the south of Barns Viaduct. It had a cattle dock on the west side at the north end of the station, approached from the north.
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Kingmoor Black 5 no 44767 northbound through Stobs on 11 April 1967 hauling BR Hunslet class 05 0-6-0DM shunters D2608, D2617 and D2593. The ...
Bruce McCartney 11/04/1967
D5307 passing south through Stobs station with an engineer's inspection saloon on 1 April 1970. ...
Bruce McCartney 01/04/1970
A1 no 60121 Silurian photographed with a Waverley route semi-fast near Stobs in September 1964. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) /09/1964
Remains of the loading bank in Stobs Yard, 2006. ...
James Young 03/03/2006

This is a disused double track fifteen arch viaduct to the north of the former Shankend station.
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View west towards Shankend Viaduct on 1 April 1970 as D5307 crosses with an engineer's inspection coach. ...
Bruce McCartney 01/04/1970
Standing alongside Shankend Viaduct on 10 July 2009 looking north towards Stobs.
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John Furnevel 10/07/2009
An A3 Pacific takes a freight south over Shankend Viaduct in the early 1960s. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
One of Hawick's class 2MT 2-6-0s banking a morning freight over Shankend viaduct on the Waverley Line in the 1960s. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

This was a two platform station at the south end of the Shankend Viaduct. It had three looped sidings on its east side, approached from the south end of the station where the signal box was located. The two storey station building, with single storey ticket office at the north end, was on the southbound platform.
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Remains of an old ballast quarry by the White Hill, north of Shankend, on the west side of the Waverley route. When the line was being built it was ...
Ewan Crawford 05/05/2014
Shankend viaduct looking north. The viaduct has recently been waterproofed. ...
Ewan Crawford 09/06/2007
A2 Pacific no 60532 Blue Peter photographed from a train window near Shankend on 8 October 1966. The train is the BR (Scottish Region) Blue ...
G W Robin 08/10/1966
Looking north at the former Shankend station. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This is a disused twin track tunnel, 1208 yards long.
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Whitrope Tunnel in March 1997, before the fences went up! If you have a copy of 'Waverley : Portrait of a Famous Route' turn to photograph 92 and ...
Ewan Crawford 29/03/1997
Twixt the Whitrope Tunnel and Shankend. The distant Eildons give away the location of this shot. ...
Bruce McCartney Collection //
The north portal of Whitrope Tunnel in 1998 [see image 26600]. ...
Ewan Crawford //1998
Looking north at the southern portal of Whitrope Tunnel. ...
Ewan Crawford //

Leyland railbus RB004 at Whitrope shows its complex wiring, in a cupboard behind the central driver's seat [see image 54046]. All this would probably ...
Ken Strachan 10/07/2015
26040 parked at the south end of the Whitrope site. Access with permission. ...
Bill Roberton 04/06/2016
B1 4-6-0 no 61029 Chamois runs through falling snow as it takes a southbound freight over Whitrope summit in the sixties. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
A motorised P-Way trolley gives rides with Ruston Hornsby 411319 of 1958 in the background. ...
Bill Roberton 04/06/2016

Track lifting in progress near Whitrope in December 1969. ...
Bruce McCartney /12/1969
26040 newly arrived at Whitrope on the 10th of March 2016. ...
Jeffray Wotherspoon 27/11/2016
Tracklifting taking place on the Waverley route near Whitrope in late 1969. ...
Bruce McCartney //1969
The former Eskbank footbridge stored at Whitrope Railway Centre. 4 June 2016.
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Bill Roberton 04/06/2016


This was an important location is Scottish railway history. This was a large station, junction, locomotive shed, workshops, yard and railway owned village all built at a remote location in the Scottish Borders with no road access. It is a highly evocative location built on the famous former Waverley Route. Here the double track mainline from Edinburgh and Hawick, to the north, split to run ...

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LNER Electrical Engineer's Department completed test form covering Riccarton South box dated 14 February 1930. [See image 23830] ...
Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 12/09/2016
Of several photographs of the journey of 26040, here is the one I like best myself. ...
Jeffray Wotherspoon 09/03/2016
Running down the east side of the Border Counties Railway for the first third of a mile was a long siding served by two platforms or loading banks one ...
Ewan Crawford 01/05/2012
All quiet at Riccarton Junction on the afternoon of 7 November 2007 - not even the sound of a telephone ringing. Rails at this time had been provided ...
John Furnevel 07/11/2007



This was a two platform station on the 'The Steele', the southern slopes of Arnton Fell. The small village here was entirely associated with the station. The platforms were in brick with the main station building on the northbound platform.
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Steele Road station house on 4 June. The platforms were on the far side. On the porch is an inscription N.B.R 1891. Access by kind permission of the ...
Bill Roberton 04/06/2016
Track recovery train near Steele Road station on the Waverley Route in late 1969. ...
Bruce McCartney //1969
A track recovery train passing through Steele Road station in late 1969. ...
Bruce McCartney //1969
B1 4-6-0 no 61344 has stopped just north of Steele Road in the 1960s with a lengthy Carlisle - Millerhill freight. The rear of the train is standing ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

This was a two platform station on the west side of Newcastleton. The main station building, of a single storey, was on the southbound platform.
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Platform scene at the north end of Newcastleton on a murky Saturday 28 December 1968 during the final days of through operations over the Waverley ...
Bruce McCartney 28/12/1968
Part of the old station house at Newcastleton on 15 May 2014. ...
Bruce McCartney 15/05/2014
A Waverley tracklifting train at Sandholm, north of Newcastleton, in early 1970, heading for Hawick. ...
Bruce McCartney //1970
Scene on the platform at Newcastleton in the 1930s, featuring one Walter Brown and Station Master Byers, whose grand-daughter is posing on the ...
Bruce McCartney Collection //

This was a two platform with timber platforms, small timber shelters and a level crossing at the north end. The single storey station house and offices were on the east side of the station, stone built. Not far to the north was the official Scotland/England Border of the line (two others existed south of Riddings Junction close to Liddel Strength).
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View north towards what was Kershopefoot level crossing, with the border just beyond. Taken from the station site in November 2007. [See image 26820] ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2007
Looking south at Kershopefoot. ...
Ewan Crawford //
A misty Cumbrian landscape - looking south from the down platform of Kershopefoot station on 3 January 1969, the final Friday of operations over the ...
K A Gray 03/01/1969
A4 Pacific no 60031 Golden Plover photographed near the border at Kershopefoot on 18 April 1965 with the 1X50 BLS Scottish Rambler No 4 ...
K A Gray 18/04/1965

Weekend only service on a Saturday, only a southbound train. Some timetables still had the halt after 1873 until the 1880s.
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This was a two platform station with a two storey station building on the southbound platform, signal box at the north end of the same platform and a goods yard on the east side, approached from the north.
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The driveway leading to the remote former station at Penton, Cumbria, in November 2007. Opened in March 1862 between Riddings Junction and ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2007
The RCTS 'Borders Railtour' of 9 July 1961 photographed approaching Penton station on the Waverley Route [see image 17983]. Carlisle Canal ...
K A Gray 09/07/1961
Mixed signals adorn the gateposts at Penton on 3 November 2007. View is north east along the driveway. ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2007
The Langholm/Newcastleton pickup freight from Kingmoor heading north at Penton station in August 1967 behind an EE Type 1. The train has an additional ...
Bruce McCartney /08/1967

This was the junction between the Waverley Route and the branch to Langholm. It was a three platform station, two main line platforms and the main northbound was an island whose second face, on west side of the station, served the branch.
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Ivatt class 4MT 2-6-0 no 43139 stands alongside the island platform at Riddings Junction with the Langholm branch train in the spring of 1961. In the ...
David Murray-Smith 16/03/1961
The Last B1 Excursion, behind 61278, heads home in fading light at Riddings Junction in December 1966, with the road clear for the Waverley ...
Bruce McCartney 03/12/1966
View looking south towards Riddings Junction. The former Langholm branch runs off across a viaduct to the right. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Kingmoor based Ivatt class 4 2-6-0 no 43027 stands at Riddings Junction with the Langholm - Carlisle branch train c 1962. ...
Joyce Barker Collection (Courtesy Langholm Archive Group) //1962

This was a two platform station with a minor level crossing at the north end and a goods yard on the west side, approached from the south. The main station building was on the northbound platform with a small shelter on the southbound.
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What ought to have been the final Langholm bound freight, photographed at Scotch Dyke in August 1967.
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Bruce McCartney /08/1967
Evening at Scotch Dyke in the early 1960s looking north east along the platform towards Riddings Junction. The message above the platform shelter can ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
The signal box at Scotch Dyke on the Waverley route in the 1960s. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
The old Scotch Dyke station on the Waverley route, closed to passengers in 1949. Looking southwest from the level crossing towards Longtown on 3 ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2007

This was a two platform station. The two storey main station building was on the southbound platform. To the immediate north of this was a staff bothy and a large water tank. To the south, over a level crossing, was Longtown Branch Junction where the routes to Carlisle and Gretna [NBR] divided. To the north was a goods yard on the east side and locomotive shed on the west side.
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Total cost - thirty bob (including delivery to Hawick by BR van). ...
Bruce McCartney //
A B1 with a short freight heads south on the Waverley route on the approach to Longtown in the 1960s. ...
K A Gray //
View from the southbound Scottish Grand Tour about to pass through Longtown station on 4 January 1969. [Ref query 6622] ...
D Walker Collection [Courtesy Bruce McCartney] 04/01/1969
We could speculate about the possible future reopening of the Waverley route from Tweedback through to Carlisle till the cows come home but... hang ...
Bruce McCartney 06/05/2015


This was a two platform station just west of the small village of Westlinton in Cumbria, England. There was a level crossing to the south and a goods yard to the north on the east side of the line.
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Great Western tank engine on the Waverley route! Sign at the gates of the former Lyneside station in November 2007. ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2007
Looking north at Lyneside station ...
Ewan Crawford //
Lyneside 2. View south at the site of Lyneside station on 4 January 1969 following the passage of the 1pm Carlisle - Edinburgh train, with part of the ...
K A Gray 04/01/1969
View north from the site of Lyneside station (closed 1929) in the early afternoon of 4 January 1969, the last day of scheduled passenger services over ...
K A Gray 04/01/1969

This was a two platform station. There was a goods yard to the north, on the east side of the line. The main station building was on the southbound platform.
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View north at Harker in 1998 showing the station site, building, platform and one of the few remaining signal boxes on the former Waverley Route. [Ref ...
Ewan Crawford //1998

This private halt had two platforms. It was built in 1941 to serve Carlisle RAF Maintenance Unit (14MU), just to the west. The RAF depot was expanded to cover a considerable area. The halt was named for Park House, just to the west.
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This single ended shed was in the 'V' of the junction between the Border Union Railway and the Silloth branch. It was served from the east, from Canal Junction, splitting off the Border Union just after the junction.
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J36 no 65312 photographed on Carlisle Canal shed in the summer of 1962. Having spent the entire BR period based at Canal, the 0-6-0 was finally ...
John Robin 24/06/1962
A4 Pacific 60012 Commonwealth of Australia in the shed yard at Carlisle Canal in the summer of 1961. ...
K A Gray 01/07/1961
Part of the shed yard at Carlisle Canal in 1960, with an A3 Pacific manoeuvering in the background. ...
K A Gray //1960
Locomotives in the shed yard at Carlisle Canal on 12 April 1963. Centre stage is Gresley J39 0-6-0 no 64899, a resident here throughout the BR period. ...
K A Gray 12/04/1963