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 Waverley 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 Junction.

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.



Dates

01/07/1862[Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway)]
Hawick [1st] closed to passengers on opening of the [Border Union Railway (North British Railway)].
  /  /1866Settle and Carlisle Line (Midland Railway)
Bill for the line presented with support from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, Glasgow and South Western Railway and the North British Railway (who did not have a partner other than the North Eastern Railway route to Newcastle Central for taking traffic from the Border Union Railway (North British Railway) (Waverley Route) at Carlisle).

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This station is closed. The station was opened to the immediate north of the Teviot Viaduct along which its platforms extended.
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Manoeuvres at Hawick station in 1968. Station pilot, Clayton D8574, having attached a parcels van to the rear of the evening Edinburgh - Carlisle ...
Bruce McCartney //1968
A close up of the Jellicoe Express plaque unveiled at Hawick. The Teviotdale Leisure Centre is on roughly the site of the second (better known) ...
John Yellowlees 30/11/2018
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
Captain Chris Smith checks out the plaque that he has just unveiled at Hawick Leisure Centre on 30th November 2018. The centre stands on the site of ...
Bruce McCartney 30/11/2018

Workshops opened at Loch Park in 1921 to replace the workshops at Riccarton Junction. The works closed in the mid 1960s, before the line closed in 1969.
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A view looking south from the Brougham Place bridge, about 1/2 mile south of Hawick station, in November 2019. The short path from Morrison's ...
Bruce McCartney 13/11/2019
View north over the former permanent way depot at Loch Park, located around half a mile south of Hawick station, seen here in 1968. An unidentified ...
K A Gray //1968
Track lifting in 1971 south of Hawick station with the Lochpark Siding site on the distant left. On the right is the Melgund Pump Bar.
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Bruce McCartney //1971
An EE Type 4 takes the 9.30am Edinburgh - Carlisle/St Pancras train south out of Hawick past Loch park PW depot on a rainy day in late 1968. ...
K A Gray //1968

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 an impressive disused double track fifteen arch viaduct to the north of the former Shankend station. The viaduct is 597 ft long and 60 ft high.
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The graceful Shankend Viaduct, located between Riccarton Junction and Stobs on the old Waverley route. View north towards the latter in July 2009 from ...
John Furnevel 10/07/2009
Standing alongside Shankend Viaduct on 10 July 2009 looking north towards Stobs.
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John Furnevel 10/07/2009
View west towards Shankend Viaduct on 1 April 1970 as D5307 crosses with an engineer's inspection coach. ...
Bruce McCartney 01/04/1970
An A3 Pacific takes a freight south over Shankend Viaduct in the early 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
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 //
View from a layby on the B6399 just south of Shankend Viaduct on 6 February 2008, looking up towards the refurbished and privately occupied Shankend ...
John Furnevel 06/02/2008

This is a disused twin track tunnel, 1208 yards long. It is the 6th longest railway tunnel in Scotland. It is located between the former Shankend and Riccarton Junction stations on the closed Waverley Route.
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Twixt the Whitrope Tunnel and Shankend. The distant Eildons give away the location of this shot. ...
Bruce McCartney Collection //
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
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 //

This was a summit of the Border Union Railway (North British Railway) at 970 ft.
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26040 parked at the south end of the Whitrope site. Access with permission. ...
Bill Roberton 04/06/2016
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
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

This is a new station opened on a section of preserved line.
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At about 1650hrs on Tuesday 31st December 1968 during the last few days of the Waverley Route in fast fading light on this fast fading route, 2M52, ...
Douglas Blades 31/12/1968
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
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 in 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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Photographed in the back garden of a house in the Scottish Borders in June 2010. ...
Bruce McCartney /06/2010
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
All quiet at Riccarton Junction on the afternoon of 7 November 2007. Rails at this time had been provided courtesy of the Friends of Riccarton ...
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
Lifting of the Up line at Steele Road had come to a halt several months before this 25th May 1969 shot, looking south. This was the favoured territory ...
Ian Holoran 25/05/1969
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


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
View over Newcastleton station looking towards the level crossing in the 1960s. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

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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The dates are assumed. The Railway Clearing House name is Peter's Crook, the name of a farm just to the south west. This quarry, which might be described as Watleyhirst Quarry, was served by a looped siding off the Waverley Route. The loop was on the west side of the line. To the north it connected to the northbound line and to the south to the southbound line. There was a tramway to the quarry, ...

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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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Scotch Dyke station, seen during an outing of the North British Railway Study Group on 1st June 2019. The 'Speed and Comfort By Rail' legend is ...
Bill Roberton 01/06/2019
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
The signal box at Scotch Dyke on the Waverley route in the 1960s. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
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) //

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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The former station house at Lyneside, closed to passengers in 1929, seen during a North British Railway Study Group visit on 1st June 2019 with access ...
Bill Roberton 01/06/2019
The base of the former signalbox at Lyneside. Seen on an NBRSG outing on the 1st of June. ...
Bill Roberton 01/06/2019
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 //

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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The Brunthill Road entrance to the rail freight terminal of Carlisle Warehousing Ltd in November 2007. Part of Kingstown Industrial Estate in the ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2007
According to the map of the park (Kingmoor Nature Reserve), I'm walking beside the old line. Could ETC be Edinburgh to Carlisle - the distance would ...
Bruce McCartney 09/05/2017
The Carlisle Warehousing Ltd warehouse at Brunthill looking south. ...
Ewan Crawford //
An unidentified Ivatt 2-6-0 at the southern end of the Waverley Route in early 1964. The train is passing Brunthill and heading north east towards ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1964

An Ivatt class 4 about to cross the bridge over the WCML at the south end of Kingmoor Yard with a down freight on the Waverley route, thought to be in ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1966
Brush Type 4 no 1536 photographed in fading winter light at Stainton crossing on 28 Deccember 1968 with the 8.50am from St Pancras (3.58pm ...
K A Gray 28/12/1968
The bridge carrying the Waverley route over the WCML at the south end of Kingmoor yard in May 1964. The train crossing the bridge is the late ...
K A Gray 23/05/1964
A V2 brings a freight across the bridge over the WCML at the south end of Kingmoor yard in the 1960s heading north on the Waverley route. ...
K A Gray //

The bridge that once carried the Waverley route north over the River Eden, photographed looking west in April 2007. Carlisle Canal shed stood off to ...
John Furnevel 18/04/2007
The grade 2 listed Waverley Viaduct that carried the Border Union Railway over the River Eden at Carlisle (also referred to as Eden Viaduct, Canal ...
Colin Alexander 03/08/2011

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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Part of the shed yard at Carlisle Canal in 1960, with an A3 Pacific manoeuvering in the background. ...
K A Gray //1960
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
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