Penicuik Railway

Introduction

This line is closed. The line carried passengers and freight between Penicuik [2nd] and Edinburgh. The line is now a cycle path. The survival of this line for freight after closure to passengers and a local service to Rosewell kept the Peebles Railway open from Eskbank [1st] to Rosewell for a few months after closure of the Peebles route, but it was not a long reprieve.

Why built

The already open Peebles Railway took a course to the south of Penicuik on high ground. Its station, Penicuik [1st], served the town poorly and was very inconvenient for the mills along the River Esk.






Dates

  /  /1870[Penicuik Railway]
Act receives Royal assent.
02/07/1872Penicuik Railway
Penicuik Railway opened from Hawthornden Junction (Peebles Railway) to Penicuik [2nd]. Stations opened at: Rosslyn [Penicuik Railway], Auchendinny and Penicuik [2nd].
16/02/1874[Penicuik Railway]
Rosslyn re-named Rosslyn Castle.
01/07/1874[Penicuik Railway]
Eskbridge opened.
  /  /1876[Penicuik Railway]
[North British Railway]
Penicuik Railway absorbed by North British Railway.
01/01/1917[Penicuik Railway]
Eskbridge closed.
02/06/1919[Penicuik Railway]
Eskbridge re-opened.
22/09/1930[Penicuik Railway]
Eskbridge closed.
05/03/1951[Penicuik Railway]
Auchendinny closed.
10/09/1951[Penicuik Railway]
Penicuik to Rosewell and Hawthornden (Hawthornden Junction) closed to passengers.
10/09/1951[Penicuik Railway]
Line closed to passengers; Rosslyn Castle and Penicuik closed.
27/03/1967[Penicuik Railway]
Hawthornden Junction to Eskbank Paper Mill closed to freight.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This was the junction between the Peebles Railway of 1855 and the Penicuik Railway of 1872. The junction was to the south of a level crossing immediately south of Rosewell and Hawthornden station.
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This was a single platform station built beside Roslin Lee farm, about a mile to the south of the village of Roslin and over the River North Esk.
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Looking north over the former Rosslyn Castle. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The former Rosslyn Castle station, now a footpath. ...
John Yellowlees 17/06/2017
Peeking over bridge to find a station name opposite the platform. ...
Brian Forbes //2006
Rosslyn Castle Station viewed from overbridge looking east towards Hawthornden. ...
Clive Barlow 26/05/2006


This is a disused ten arch masonry viaduct just east of Auchendinny. It crosses the River North Esk. The line closed in 1967 but the viaduct remains standing, now carrying a foot and cycle path. ...

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View east across Firth Viaduct, Auchendinny, in October 2001. ...
John Furnevel 22/10/2001
View southeast showing the old Firth Viaduct over the North Esk just to the east of Auchendinny on the Penicuik branch in October 2007. ...
John Furnevel 5/10/2007
Crossing the North Esk between Auchendinny (left) and Rosslyn Castle is Firth Viaduct, seen here looking north on 20 April 2013. The 1872 viaduct now ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013

This is a single track tunnel immediately west of Firth Viaduct and east of the former Dalmore Mill, Auchendinny Tunnel, Auchendinny Viaduct and Auchendinny station.
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Looking out from the east portal of Old Woodhouselee Tunnel, Auchendinny, on 20 April 2013. View towards Firth Viaduct in the middle distance. ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013
The eastern approach to Old Woodhouselee Tunnel, Auchendinny, on 20 April 2013, with Firth Viaduct behind the camera [see image 2659]. The site of ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013
The approach to Old Woodhouselee Tunnel, Auchendinny, on 20 April 2013. View is east towards Rosslyn Castle station, with Firth Viaduct standing just ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013
Old Woodhouselee tunnel at Auchendinny on the Penicuik branch on 5 October. View looks southwest towards the station and the remains of Dalmore Mill. ...
John Furnevel 05/10/2007

By the time of its closure in 2004, this was the last paper mill in Midlothian. It was located to the south of Auchendinny and Dalmore House on the north bank of one of the bends in the River North Esk. Today it is a housing estate.
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View from the eastern portal of Auchendinny Tunnel on a September morning in 2017, heading for Hawthornden Junction along the route of the former ...
John Furnevel 27/09/2017
A view of the now demolished Dalmore Mill, Auchendinny, in 1999 viewed from the trackbed of the former Pencuik Railway. This mill was rail served and ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
Looking west towards Auchendinny Tunnel in 2017 along the trackbed of the Penicuik Railway. The branch from Hardengreen Junction closed in 1967 and ...
John Furnevel 27/09/2017
Trackbed of the Penicuik branch looking west towards Auchendinny Tunnel in April 2013. On the left lie the remains of the recently demolished Dalmore ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013

This tunnel is immediately east of Auchendinny Viaduct and the former Auchendinny station. It is immediately west of the site of Dalmore Mill.
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Looking out from the south portal of Auchendinny Tunnel on 10 September 2002. The former station stood on the other side of the bridge which carried ...
John Furnevel 10/09/2002
East end of Auchendinny tunnel, September 2002. ...
John Furnevel 10/09/2002
On leaving the west portal of Auchendinny tunnel, trains on the Penicuik Railway crossed a bowstring girder bridge over the North Esk before reaching ...
John Furnevel 28/03/2016
Looking west towards Auchendinny Tunnel on 20 April, with the remains of the former station located just beyond the far end. Taken from the site of ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013

This is a disused single track single span bowstring viaduct over the river north esk between the former Auchendinny station and Auchendinny Tunnel. Below Auchendinny Bridge on the road above. ...

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Looking south over the Auchendinny bridge towards the former station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The sun catches the rail bridge over the North Esk at Auchendinny, seen here looking along the trackbed towards Penicuik from above the tunnel in ...
John Furnevel 07/04/2004
Standing on the bank of the North Esk at Auchendinny looking east in March 2016, with the surviving station platform beyond the wall on the right [see ...
John Furnevel 28/03/2016
The bowstring girder bridge spanning the North Esk at Auchendinny on 20 April 2013, seen from the west portal of Auchendinny Tunnel. The station site ...
John Furnevel 20/04/2013

This single platform station was south of Auchendinny itself, at a very much lower level by the River North Esk.
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Making sense of old railway locations becomes more like archeology with each passing year. Here, at peevish sounding Auchendinny on the Penicuik line, ...
David Panton 09/05/2017
Looking north from Auchendinny Station in 2002 towards the bridge over the North Esk and the tunnel beyond. ...
John Furnevel 10/09/2002
The remains of Auchendinny station in September 2002 looking east towards the tunnel. The former rail bridge over the North Esk can just be seen in ...
John Furnevel 10/09/2002
Station House, Auchendinny, photographed looking north west from the B7026 in April 2013. The lane leading down to the station site (now part of a ...
John Furnevel 24/04/2013

This was a single platform station on a single track line. The platform was located on the west side of the line and built in timber and ash (the southern part entirely in timber as it overhung the river). The station building was in timber. The station was reached by a very short approach running south from the east end of the Esk Bridge.
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The substantial skew bridge carrying a minor road over the trackbed of the Penicuik Railway near the site of Eskbridge station (located some 150m ...
John Furnevel 19/05/2017
I have drawn to Midlothian Council's attention the error that this was not the Peebles railway, on which I travelled many times. It's the Penicuik ...
John Yellowlees 17/06/2017
Looking north at the former Eskbridge station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
A mile after leaving the terminus, trains on the Penicuik Railway reached the single wooden platform at Eskbridge. The station here closed in 1930 and ...
John Furnevel 27/02/2016

Originally cotton mills on the west bank of the River North Esk by 1820 this paper mill was owned by James Brown and Co. Before the opening of the Penicuik Railway it was apparently served by sidings at Rosslynlee (although Loanstone Sidings were closer and much more likely, probably considered under Rosslynlee's accounts).
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This paper mill was built, with the support of the Clerks of Penicuik, by Agnes Campbell, a very successful printer and bookmaker. The mill expanded to fill the flat land on the north bank of the River North Esk and had a mill lade. The mill was used for French prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars and returned to being a paper mill afterwards. It was not only the oldest mill but also ...

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This was a single platform station with a passing loop built in the east of Penicuik itself, unlike Penicuik [1st] to the east.
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Looking north over the site of the former Penicuik station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
65234 on a railtour at Penicuik in August 1964. [See image 23124]. District Operating Inspector Kerr stands in the 4 foot on the right, hands behind ...
K A Gray 29/08/1964
Despite closure to passengers in 1951 Penicuik remained open for goods traffic for another sixteen years, due mainly to the surviving paper mills ...
Jim Peebles 27/03/1967
Holmes J36 0-6-0 no 65234 with a railtour at Penicuik terminus in 1964. The Penicuik branch had closed to passengers in 1951 but freight traffic ...
K A Gray 29/08/1964

This mill was on the west side of Bridge Street in Penicuik, on the north bank of the River North Esk. It was converted from a very long established corn mill into a paper mill by the owners of the Valleyfield Mill in 1803. It specialised in making paper for banknotes.
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Bridge over the siding into Bank Mill, Penicuik. ...
John Yellowlees 17/05/2017
Beyond the former terminus at Penicuik a line ran south to reach Bank Mill on the other side of the A701 [see image 29992]. One of the mills that made ...
John Furnevel 09/05/2011