Edinburgh Princes Street

Location type


Name and dates

Edinburgh Princes Street (1870-1965)

Opened on the Caledonian Railway.


This was a major terminus in Edinburgh originally opened in 1870 and entirely rebuilt in 1893-94. After the reconstruction the main station building was a single storey (but very high). In its final form, it had seven platforms, a 850 foot glass bayed roof and the "Caledonian Hotel", built 1899-1903. There was much in common with the architectural style of Glasgow Central station. On the concourse was a noted clock in a 'wooden castle'.

The hotel is in red sandstone, from Locharbriggs Quarries. It is four and five storeys high with an additional three attic floors - to create grand ground floor rooms those close to the north end of Lothian Road have very high ceilings (four floor section), the floor being subdivided elsewhere (five floors). Architects: Peddie and Browne. The hotel extended the existing ground floor (which was modified). The pillars and arches surviving from the original design, but with some changes to the main entrance including the removal of a clock and curved mansard roof.

The station's large trainshed was by Blyth, Cunningham and Westland. Inside were seven platforms and a concourse with a round booking office built in timber (semi-circular versions exist at Stirling and Wemyss Bay). The longest platforms were on the west side with platforms becoming progressively shorter to the east. Carriage sidings were laid outside the trainshed on the west side.

The first incarnation replaced the Caledonian Railway's Lothian Road terminus which was just to the south and became a goods station. The original station had its ticket platform between Morrison Street and Grove Street.

Princes Street station closed completely on 6 September 1965 and the trainshed and platforms were largely demolished by 1970. The hotel remains intact and open.

A box opened with the first incarnation of station in 1870, replaced in 1893 during the rebuilding. The large box was on the east side of the lines as they approached the platforms, with the Lothian Road Goods lines to the south. There was a resignalling in 1937 which led to a signal bridge being erected over the passenger lines, just west of the box. It closed with the station in 1965.

A screen remains at the former vehicle entrance to the station, on the east side of Rutland Street, with entry and exit arches. This led directly into the west side of the trainshed, to the cab road between then main platforms, 1 and 2 (on the west side of the station).


The former Caledonian Hotel was sold by British Transport Hotels in 1981 and is now independent of the railway.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian




Caledonian Hotel

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


  /  /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)
29/09/1897Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway
Tweedsmuir Express runs from Edinburgh Princes Street to Victoria Lodge.
28/09/1905Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway
Talla Dam officially opened; two trains run from Edinburgh Princes Street.
04/03/1964Dalry Road Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Stirling and Falkirk trains diverted from Edinburgh Princes Street to Edinburgh Waverley.
07/09/1964Edinburgh Station and Branches (Caledonian Railway)
Duff street connection opened (Duff Street Junction, at Haymarket on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway opened). This connection allowed Edinburgh Princes Street to be closed.


An Illustrated History of Carlisle's Railways

Caledonian Dunalastairs and Associated Classes (Locomotive Monograph)

Caledonian in LMS Days (Railways in Retrospect)

Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Railway Carriages

Caledonian Railway Livery: The True Line Elegance and Style

Caledonian Railway Wagons & Non-Passenger Coaching Stock

Caledonian Routes 3: Stirling to Crianlarich - DVD - Oakwood Press

Caley to the Coast: Rothesay by Wemyss Bay (Oakwood Library of Railway History)

Callander & Oban Railway Through Time

Callander and Oban Railway (Library of Railway History)

Signalling the Caledonian Railway

The Caledonian Railway 'jumbos' the 18in. X 26in. 0-6-0s

The Caledonian, Scotland's Imperial Railway: A History

The Vanished Railways of Old Western Dunbartonshire (Britains Railways/Old Photos)

Through Scotland with the Caledonian Railway

Vanished Railways of West Lothian