Lothian Lines (North British Railway)

Introduction

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.

Much of the system was single track with the exception of double track lines in Seafield and from Wanton Walls to Monktonhall.

The system also included Craigentinny Meadows Yard (near Seafield), the replacement of a level crossing at Seafield with a bridge over the existing and new lines, a connection from Meadows Yard to the Caley system, expansion of NBR sidings at Seafield, and sidings for the Lady Victoria Colliery.

A connection from the Caledonian Railway's Seafield line to the Leith Central line was not built.

With South Leith and the new Millerhill Marshalling Yard working together the closure of many of the Lothian Lines in 1967 is surprising. Their closure is perhaps a measure of the huge decline in traffic through Portobello East Junction.






Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Portobello to Niddrie

This line was single track from Portobello, South Leith Junction, to Niddrie south Junction. This is the best known portion of the former Lothian Lines.

A consignment of Russian coal on its way from Leith Docks to Cockenzie PS in April 2007. EWS 66059 is climbing from the site of South Leith Jct to ...
John Furnevel 13/04/2007
A North Berwick train bound for Waverley speeds past Portobello Junction on the ECML in March 2007 as an EWS class 66 with a trainload of imported ...
John Furnevel 22/03/2007

This junction opened with the Lothian Lines (North British Railway). Here three single track lines from the south, one from Niddrie West Junction, one from Niddrie South Junction and the other from Wanton Walls Junction met. These then ran north, as a single track, to South Leith Junction.
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You really need a map to make sense of the confusion of
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David Panton 30/10/2010
The signal box at Niddrie North photographed in the late autumn of 1970. Photographed from the 'upper level' trackbed of the former Lothian Lines. ...
Bill Jamieson 22/11/1970

The 0911 Edinburgh - Tweedbank approaching Niddrie South Junction shortly after leaving Brunstane on 10 June 2018. On the left is the line to Niddrie ...
John Furnevel 10/06/2018
A Tweedbank service clears the junction on the approach to Newcraighall on 5 June. The feathers are for the connection with the Sub at Niddrie West, ...
David Panton 05/06/2018
Immediately after leaving Newcraighall Station northbound, trains pass through Niddrie South Junction before either branching left trowards Niddrie ...
John Furnevel 10/06/2018
26024 heads for Millerhill Yard near Niddrie South Junction. ...
Bill Roberton //1975




Niddrie North to West

This junction opened with the Lothian Lines (North British Railway). Here three single track lines from the south, one from Niddrie West Junction, one from Niddrie South Junction and the other from Wanton Walls Junction met. These then ran north, as a single track, to South Leith Junction.
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You really need a map to make sense of the confusion of
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David Panton 30/10/2010
The signal box at Niddrie North photographed in the late autumn of 1970. Photographed from the 'upper level' trackbed of the former Lothian Lines. ...
Bill Jamieson 22/11/1970

This junction is between the single track line from Portobello East Junction and the double track from Niddrie South Junction. The line runs west to Craiglockhart Junction round the Edinburgh Suburban line (the former Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway).
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The 1031 Millerhill SS - Keith Loop, photographed running between Niddrie South and Niddrie West Junctions on 8 October 2017. Freightliner 66597 is at ...
John Furnevel 08/10/2017
New sign recently attached to the footbridge at Niddrie West Junction, photographed on 27 September 2018. Interesting choice of Wanton Walls Junction ...
John Furnevel 27/09/2018
Survivor... standing alongside the footbridge at Niddrie West Junction - September 2017. ...
John Furnevel 03/09/2017
GBRf 66717 takes the right fork at Niddrie West Junction with a freight on 15 October 2017. The train is the 6K25 0730 Cambuslang - Millerhill SS ...
John Furnevel 15/10/2017




Niddrie to Monktonhall

This portion was single track from Niddrie North Junction to Wanton Walls Junction and then double (after meeting a very short double track curve from the Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway) to Monktonhall Junction.

This junction opened with the Lothian Lines (North British Railway). Here three single track lines from the south, one from Niddrie West Junction, one from Niddrie South Junction and the other from Wanton Walls Junction met. These then ran north, as a single track, to South Leith Junction.
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More details
You really need a map to make sense of the confusion of
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David Panton 30/10/2010
The signal box at Niddrie North photographed in the late autumn of 1970. Photographed from the 'upper level' trackbed of the former Lothian Lines. ...
Bill Jamieson 22/11/1970

This was the junction between the single track line from Niddrie North Junction [Lothian Lines] (originally Brunstane Park Junction) and an altered double track connection to the line west to Niddrie West Junction. Both then ran south east as a double track to Monktonhall Junction to meet the Dalkeith Branch and a connection to the East Coast Main Line. All three lines were ...

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Looking south across Newcraighall Road on 5 July 2018, at the point where the NB route from Wanton Walls Junction (which stood beyond the surviving ...
John Furnevel 05/07/2018
Looking south along a lane off Newcraighall Road, Edinburgh. The bridge abutments are of the Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway's ...
Bill Roberton //1975
The complex arrangement of lines to the east of Edinburgh was complicated still further in 1915 with the advent of the Lothian Lines. These were ...
John Furnevel 05/07/2018
The Lothian number 30 'electric bus' heading west along Newcraighall Road on its way from Musselburgh to Clovenstone on 5 July 2018. The bus has just ...
John Furnevel 05/07/2018

This junction has had several different layouts and refers to several slightly different locations. The original junction was for the Macmerry Branch (North British Railway) the present version is between the East Coast Main Line (former North British Railway) and line to Millerhill Marshalling Yard.
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A northbound cement train photographed shortly after turning west off the ECML at Monktonhall Junction on 19 July 2018. GBRf 66736 is on the 1961 BR ...
John Furnevel 19/07/2018
View south east towards Monktonhall Junction in 1999, taken from the trackbed of the NB Lothian Lines route to Wanton Walls Junction. The ECML is on ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
View of Monktonhall Junction from eastbound (and with somewhat dirty windows) DMU. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
View from a diverted North Berwick-bound DMU. Looking west in 1989 along, on the left, the disused trackbed of the Lothian Lines line from Monktonhall ...
Bill Roberton //1989




King^s Road Box to Meadows Box

This box was on the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway's South Leith branch. It opened with the development of the [[Lothian Lines (North British Railway).
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This yard was on the Lothian Lines (North British Railway) close to Seafield and South Leith. It was also known as Craigentinny Meadows Yard. It was built on undeveloped land south west of South Leith.
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Looking east towards the former Meadows Yard from Fillyside Road in April 2004. The location is now a neighbourhood nature area [see image 6697]. ...
John Furnevel 26/04/2004
A coal train for Cockenzie leaves Leith Docks via South Leith yard and emerges from the bridge under Seafield Road in February 2006. The train is on ...
John Furnevel 07/02/2006
EWS 66028 passing through the former Meadows Yard eastbound in February 2006 with imported coal from Leith Docks heading for Cockenzie power station. ...
John Furnevel 07/02/2006
On a cold February morning in 2006, with mist hanging over the Forth, EWS 66028 brings a trainload of imported coal from Leith Docks below Seafield ...
John Furnevel 07/02/2006

This junction was at the north end of Meadows Yard. The line ran south from here into the yard. To the north it divided into two double track lines with the more southerly line running to meet the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway) at Seafield Road Junction and the other running to Meadows Box [2nd].
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Meadows signal box was between the two pairs of lines which pass under
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David Panton 12/02/2018
47283 departs from Leith South with a fertiliser van train on 28 August 1991, passing stacks of pipes which have also arrived by rail. The former ...
Bill Roberton 28/08/1991




Meadows Box to Leith South

Meadows signal box was between the two pairs of lines which pass under
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David Panton 12/02/2018
47283 departs from Leith South with a fertiliser van train on 28 August 1991, passing stacks of pipes which have also arrived by rail. The former ...
Bill Roberton 28/08/1991

Seafield Junction was at the Marine Esplanade Level Crossing (now called Seafield Level Crossing).
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An unfortunate red light near Seafield level crossing on 9 July 2007 - at least it was for road traffic running between Marine Esplanade and Seafield ...
John Furnevel 09/07/2007
Leith South - Millerhill departmental service stopped at signals on 9 July stands alongside Seafield Road. ...
John Furnevel 09/07/2007
EWS 66205 moving away from Seafield level crossing on 7 June 2006 with a trainload of imported coal from Leith Docks. The contents are destined for ...
John Furnevel 07/06/2006
Sadly the Leith Docks branch has fallen into disuse and it's evident that
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David Panton 25/05/2017

This marshalling yard was developed to the north of the South Leith branch to the east of the station on reclaimed land. The yard served the Leith Docks. It is approached from the east, from Portobello, and fans out over a wide area between Seafield Road and Marine Esplanade.
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Loading pipes onto road transport - Leith South yard - 11 April 2005. ...
John Furnevel 11/04/2005
Pipes in the south sidings at Leith South yard on 11 April 2005. The pipes had been produced in Hartlepool and were coated at Leith prior to use in ...
John Furnevel 11/04/2005
Road entrance to Leith South yard from Albert Road - April 2004. ...
John Furnevel 28/04/2004
Coal empties and steel pipe flats at Leith South yard on 9 June 2005 with one or two of said steel pipes forming the backdrop. ...
John Furnevel 09/06/2005




Meadows Junction to Seafield Road Junction

This junction was at the north end of Meadows Yard. The line ran south from here into the yard. To the north it divided into two double track lines with the more southerly line running to meet the Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway) at Seafield Road Junction and the other running to Meadows Box [2nd].
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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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