Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This line connected Newhaven to the east end of Leith docks. The line carried freight only although passenger stations were built. Although built at great expense it never saw major use.

Why built

The Caledonian Railway already had a line to the western docks at Leith, but the larger and more modern docks were to the east. This line gave the Caledonian Railway an approach to these docks.

The Caledonian did not have much access to the East Lothian coalfield. If they had, this line could have been used to alleviate the bottlenecks the North British Railway were suffering which led to the coal owners considering their own lines to the docks. The expected large traffic never came and the double track line was reduced to a single track. After all, the Caledonian already had a coal export terminal at Grangemouth Docks so busy they would continue to improve it for years to come.






Dates

  /  /1881Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)]
Leith Edinburgh Dock, rail served, opened.
  /  /1889Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Leith New Lines planned; (Newhaven to Leith passenger terminus by North British Railway's Leith station, a triangular junction at Lochend with a line to Edinburgh Princes Street under the city with a branch to Waverley Market by Edinburgh Waverley station). Branch to Leith Edinburgh Dock authorised.
04/07/1890Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Act received for a line from Newhaven to Seafield (Seafield Junction [CR] was for the line to the terminus and the North British Railway lines). Extension through Princes Street rejected.
  /  /1891Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Railways nos 4 and 5 authorised.
03/07/1891Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway
The Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway) are given an Act which allows a link from the Leith New Lines to Easter Road on the North British Railway. This connection was not built.
  /  /1894Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Railway no 2 partially abandoned and a replacement authorised. Extension of time to complete the lines granted.
  /  /1901Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time until 1904 to complete construction.
  /  /1902Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Seafield Shed [CR] (a two road shed, with coaling facilities and sidings) opened.
  /  /1902Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Double track line opened to goods from Newhaven Junction to Seafield Junction [CR] and South Leith [CR]. (Two-platform passenger stations at Newhaven [Leith New Lines], Ferry Road and Leith Walk [CR] built but not opened). Branch to Chancelot Mills [1st] opened.
01/08/1903Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Line opened to minerals.
  /  /1904Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time until 1907 to complete construction.
  /  /1908Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Pilrig Street, a temporary station, opened for a Military review.
12/04/1912Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
North British Railway granted running powers at South Leith.
  /  /1913Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
North British Railway granted running powers at Seafield.
  /  /1917Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Line singled.
  /  /1917Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Seafield Shed [CR] leased to the North British Railway.
  /04/1952Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
South Leith [CR] renamed Leith East Goods.
  /10/1962Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Seafield Shed [CR] closed.
04/07/1966Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Newhaven Junction to Leith Walk West Goods (excluded) closed.
06/05/1968Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Leith Walk West Goods to Seafield Junction [CR] (excluded) closed.
05/08/1968Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Leith High Depot to Leith North Goods (excluded) closed. (Latterly accessed via the Leith Harbour and Dock Commissioners Railway dock lines from the Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway).
31/12/1973Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Leith East Goods, last section of the line, closed. (Latterly accessed from North British Railway lines via Seafield Road Junction).

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Newhaven to Leith

This junction opened in 1879 when the Leith North, which had opened in 1864, was converted for passenger use. A separate line ran from here on the south side of the original goods line to North Leith.
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See also
Leith North Passenger Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Leith North Branch (Caledonian Railway)
The location where the CR's Leith New Lines left the Leith North branch, seen in January 2019. There was a small mineral depot where the flats now ...
David Panton 18/01/2019
The former Newhaven Junction - goods sidings fanned off to the right, quickly followed by the line to Seafield. Looking east towards Leith on 25 Nov ...
David Panton 25/11/2009
2 of 2 images.


Some preparations were made for platforms on the Leith New Lines south of the existing Newhaven station. The brick platforms, on the west to south curve, never opened. These commenced, in the west, at the extreme west end of the very long Edinburgh Princes Street bound platform of the main Newhaven station, which extended far west of the Craighall Road overbridge. The were bounded ...

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Maker's plate on the 1903 bridge carrying Craighall Road over the CR's Leith New Lines from Newhaven junction, just to the south of Newhaven station ...
David Panton 12/07/2010
The course of the CR's Leith New Lines under Craighall Road, Newhaven, looking towards Newhaven Junction. Platforms were built here for a station. ...
David Panton 12/07/2010
View west from Craighall Road overbridge towards Newhaven Junction in January 1970. The Caledonian's Leith New Lines, running from here to Leith East ...
Bill Jamieson /01/1970
3 of 3 images.




This two platform station never opened to regular traffic. It was located between Ferry Road Junction to the north and Ferry Road itself to the south. Two brick built platforms were in a cutting on either side of the double track line.
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Course of the CR's Leith New Line (1903 to 1968) as it passed under Ferry Road, looking north on 12 July 2010. For a view the other way in 1963 see ...
David Panton 12/07/2010
The lorry has just turned north into Connaught Place after leaving the Chancelot Mill [1st] in March 1963, passing the footbridge across the ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) 25/03/1963
2 of 2 images.


The bridge abutment just south of the planned (but never built) Ferry Road station that once helped to carry the Caledonian Railway's 1903 'Leith New ...
John Furnevel 07/06/2009
View from Gosford Place of the partly demolished viaduct which carried the Caledonian Railway's 'Leith New Lines' towards the Eastern Docks. (See ...
Bill Roberton //1975
Looking SE from the abutment in Gosford Place at former Caley route to Leith East and the docks. The two circular columns which supported the bridge ...
John Furnevel 10/03/2003
Looking like the remains of a long abandoned ski-jump, the high level bridge abutment at the bottom of Gosford Place, seen here on 18 July 2009, ...
John Furnevel 18/07/2009
4 of 6 images. more


This goods depot was from the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway). This was the Caledonian Railway's equivalent goods depot to the North British Railway's Bonnington Goods.
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This halt was opened for a military review in 1908. It was to the east of a large lattice bridge over the Newhaven Road/Pilrig Street and Broughton Road/Bonnington Road crossroads. The line was raised on an embankment here. The halt's name may have been Pilrig rather than Pilrig Street.
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The Caledonian's Leith New Lines crossed over here. ...
John Yellowlees 16/05/2018
An overbridge on the Caledonian's meandering goods branch from Newhaven to Leith Docks once dominated the scene here, running diagonally over a ...
David Panton 13/11/2010
Looking along the route of the Caledonian goods line from Pilrig Park towards the former bridge over Leith Walk. November 1985. ...
David Panton /11/1985
3 of 3 images.


This goods station was west of the unopened Leith Walk [CR] station. It was served from the west and fanned out at a lower level than the line on the west side of Leith Walk itself. There was a large goods shed to the south and series of sidings with the embankment of the through route to the north.
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The goods shed at Leith Walk West Goods still stood in 1999, since replaced by more flats. The view looks north west. ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
This block was built by the LMS in 1935 in front of their goods station. The first floor supposedly was occupied by the goods station office, but the ...
David Panton 25/06/2018
Sign fronting Leith Walk in May 1986, approximately 18 years after closure of the goods depot at Leith Walk West. ...
David Panton 01/05/1986
At the junction of Leith Walk and Stead's Place stood the entrance to the former Caledonian goods depot at Leith Walk West. View in September 2006 ...
John Furnevel 10/09/2006
4 of 7 images. more


This was built as an elevated two platform station on the east side of Leith Walk. The line was double track. Across Leith Walk, crossed by a large girder bridge, was Leith Walk West Goods. The passenger station did not open to regular traffic but the goods station was opened.
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The platforms of the Caledonian's never-opened station at Leith Walk are tantalisingly out of view as they are above steet level with no public ...
David Panton 08/03/2015
The elevated section of the Caledonian Railway's Leith New Lines after crossing Leith Walk ran west along Manderston Street towards the Docks. ...
John Furnevel 31/11/2009
The Caledonian Railway had to go a long way round to get access to the eastern half of Leith docks, so they perhaps hoped that a passenger service ...
David Panton 10/10/2009
A wet Wednesday on Leith Walk in April 2004, with the remains of the bridge that once carried the Caledonian's 'Leith new lines' towards the eastern ...
John Furnevel 26/04/2004
4 of 6 images. more


These maltings were rail served from the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway). The maltings were on the south side of this line and served from the west. The buildings were demolished shortly after closure.
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Restalrig Goods and Mineral Depot was on the north side of the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)'s double track line. Access was from the west and to the west the line crossed over the Leith Central Branch (North British Railway). Although a connection between the two here was proposed it was not built.
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Victorian confidence. It is impossible to imagine a prefabricated bridge today carrying any sort of provenance, let alone one as detailed as this. The ...
David Panton 14/05/2020
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This was the junction between the branch to Leith East Goods and the line on the Seafield Viaduct over Seafield Road to Seafield Yard [CR]. The lines ran west to Newhaven. Both lines were double track. Fillyside house was immediately to the west.
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These railway remnants make a rather impressive, not to say forbidding entrance to Seafield crematorium and cemetery. Enough of a deck remains to ...
David Panton 18/06/2020
View towards Seafield Junction from the eastern edge of Seafield Crematorium in September 2016. The trackbed to the right leads to the site of the ...
John Furnevel 07/09/2016
Between Seafield Junction (off to the left) and Leith East Goods the Caledonian crossed the entrance to Seafield Cemetery and Crematorium. View is ...
John Furnevel 07/09/2016
Caledonian bridge to Leith East crossing Seafield Place, April 2004. ...
John Furnevel 28/04/2004
4 of 6 images. more


This terminus was a goods and mineral station in South Leith. It was opened close to the competing North British Railway's South Leith Goods, just to the north over Salamander Street.
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An untouched fragment remains of the CR's goods branch for Leith Docks and is seen looking west on 31 December 2019. Behind me is the cycle path ...
David Panton 31/12/2019
Must not pass... Scene of desolation at Leith East in 1975, looking back to the former level crossing over Salamander Place see image 3175. ...
Bill Roberton //1975
Remains of the level crossing in Salamander Place, looking north west in April 2004 as new flats take over the area. The former Caledonian Leith East ...
John Furnevel 28/04/2004
Site of the former Caledonian Leith East goods station seen looking north towards the docks in August 2011, with the vacant yard on the near side of ...
Bill Roberton 23/08/2011
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In Leith on Elbe Street. Served by a siding crossing Salamander Place from Leith East Goods. Siding laid in during the late 1930s.
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Seafield Branch

This was the junction between the branch to Leith East Goods and the line on the Seafield Viaduct over Seafield Road to Seafield Yard [CR]. The lines ran west to Newhaven. Both lines were double track. Fillyside house was immediately to the west.
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These railway remnants make a rather impressive, not to say forbidding entrance to Seafield crematorium and cemetery. Enough of a deck remains to ...
David Panton 18/06/2020
View towards Seafield Junction from the eastern edge of Seafield Crematorium in September 2016. The trackbed to the right leads to the site of the ...
John Furnevel 07/09/2016
Between Seafield Junction (off to the left) and Leith East Goods the Caledonian crossed the entrance to Seafield Cemetery and Crematorium. View is ...
John Furnevel 07/09/2016
Caledonian bridge to Leith East crossing Seafield Place, April 2004. ...
John Furnevel 28/04/2004
4 of 6 images. more


This junction was at the south end of the Caledonian Railway's Seafield Viaduct which crossed Seafield Road and the east end of the North British Railway's Seafield Yard by Seafield Junction [NB].
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See also
Lothian Lines (North British Railway)
There was once a confusion of lines in the Seafield area of Leith; this location was near (but not directly connected to) Seafield Road Junction. The ...
David Panton 07/11/2019
Looking south in December 2004 at the remaining abutment of the bridge across Seafield Street which carried the NBR line on its way up from Meadows ...
John Furnevel 10/12/2004
2 of 2 images.


This was a double track viaduct over (from south to north) Seafield Road, the former Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway's South Leith branch and the later Lothian Lines (North British Railway).
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I doubt if many passengers waiting for a number 12 bus on Seafield Road notice the subtle change in the angle of the wall on the left, behind which ...
John Furnevel 06/06/2010
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This yard was laid out to the north of Leith South Yard at the end of the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway) branch. The yard consisted of two groups of marshalling sidings, a locomotive shed (Seafield Shed [CR]) and a connection to the Leith Harbour and Dock Commissioners Railway serving Leith Imperial Dock and the other docks.
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This shed opened in 1902 as part of the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway).
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Holmes J83 0-6-0T no 68453 on shed at Seafield around 1959. ...
K A Gray //1959
J35 0-6-0 no 64479 stands alongside the Forth on Seafield shed in the early 1960s. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
Class J37 0-6-0 no 64608 outside the former Caledonian shed at Seafield (by this time a sub of 64A St Margarets). The sidings of Leith South Yard lie ...
K A Gray //
A busy shed yard at Seafield on 22 November 1959, with Reid J35 0-6-0 no 64489 centre stage. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 22/11/1959
4 of 11 images. more