Edinburgh Waverley

Location type

Major station

Names and dates

North Bridge (1846-1866)
Edinburgh Waverley (1866-)

Opened on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.

Opened on the North British Railway.

Opened on the Borders Railway (Network Rail).

Open on the North Berwick Line.
Open on the Fife Circle.
Open on the Edinburgh to Perth.
Open on the Edinburgh to Dundee.
Open on the Carlisle to Edinburgh.
Open on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Shotts.
Open on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Bathgate and Airdrie.
Open on the Edinburgh to Berwick.


This is the main station in Edinburgh and acts as both a terminus and through station. The larger part of the station is covered by a large glazed roof and is an island platform with bays at either end. There is a smaller island platform outwith the main roof on the south side.

Services operate to every Scottish city and many long distance services to destinations in England.

Given the city location, the original construction of the station and its subsequent expansions has required purchase and demolition of many buildings (for example the Edinburgh Orphan's Hospital was demolished in 1845 to make space). Even the former Edinburgh Canal Street was subsumed into the station expansion.

The out of use Waverley West box, on the south side of the line, is 'B' listed.

There are tram stops nearby. Princes Street [Tram] is to the north west and St Andrew Square [Tram] to the north.

The station opened in 1846, an end-on junction between the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway to the west and North British Railway to the east. Initially there were two through platforms, five lines between the platforms. The booking office was at the west end, above the lines, on the Waverley Bridge.

To the north was Canal Street (1847) and to the north again Canal Street station. A tight curve linked the Mound Tunnel to the Scotland Street Tunnel.

To the south was the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's goods yard.

There was a major reconstruction in advance of, and following, the opening of the Forth Bridge in 1890. The railway west to Saughton Junction and east to Portobello East Junction was progressively quadrupled.


The North British Station Hotel was built to the north of the station, towering over it. It was sold by the British Transport Hotels in 1981. It is now the Balmoral Hotel , leading to the north side of the station being known as the Balmoral side.

The Scott Monument , commemorating Sir Walter Scott, is to the north of the station on Princes Street.

The Scottish National Gallery is on The Mount to the west of the station.

Edinburgh Castle is less than half a mile to the south west of the station.


Station terminus Klondyke

External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Listing: A

Nearby stations
Edinburgh Waverley
Princes Street [1st]
St Andrew Square [Tram]
York Place [Tram]
Princes Street [Tram]
Scotland Street
Edinburgh Princes Street
Leith Walk
Lothian Road
St Leonards
Easter Road
Shandwick Place [Tram]
Pilrig Street

Other railway and industry locations
Waterloo Place [Tram]
Waterloo Place
Edinburgh Signalling Centre
Edinburgh Waverley Goods
Mound Tunnels
Scotland Street Tunnel
Calton Tunnels
Princes Street Gardens Cutting
The Balmoral Hotel
St Giles Cathedral
Scott Monument
Gladstone^s Land
Calton Hill
Camera Obscura
Scottish Parliament
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Station walls

The station was rebuilt in the 1890s. The station roof is supported on the north side by the Balmoral Wall, named for The Balmoral Hotel to the north. The south wall is the Klondyke Wall, named for the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899.

Early photographs

An early photograph by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson of demolition before the station's construction exists.

National Galleries - Trinity College Chapel and Hospital, with Calton Hill in the background

A similar view by George Washington Wilson shows the station once open.

National Galleries - Calton Hill, Edinburgh

A view by Ross and Thomson shows the station from the west.

National Galleries - Edinburgh from the Castle


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Scotland - The Lowlands and the Borders v. 6 (Regional railway history series)

A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Scotland - The Lowlands and the Borders v. 6 (Regional railway history series)

An Illustrated History of Edinburgh's Railways

An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways

An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways

Central Glasgow 1893: Lanarkshire Sheet 6.10a (Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Lanarkshire)

Drem to Edinburgh: Including Gullane, Haddington, Tranent, Musselburgh and Fisherrow Branches (Scottish Main Lines)

Edinburgh ( Western New Town) 1877: Edinburgh Large Scale Sheet 34 (Old Ordnance Survey Maps - Yard to the Mile)

Edinburgh (Rail Centres)

Edinburgh (Rail Centres)
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Guidebook (Auld Kirk Museum Publications)
Edinburgh St. Margaret's: The Story of the 'Other' Edinburgh Depot of the North British Railway 1845-1967

Edinburgh Waverley

Edinburgh Waverley Station Through Time
Edinburgh's Transport: The Early Years v. 1
Exploring Disused Railways in East Scotland

Glasgow Stations

Glasgow's Last Days of Steam

Haymarket Motive Power Depot Edinburgh: A History of the Depot, Its Work and Locomotives, 1842-2010

Landranger (66) Edinburgh, Penicuik & North Berwick (OS Landranger Map)

Last Trains: Edinburgh and South East Scotland v. 1

Last Trains: Edinburgh and South East Scotland v. 1
LNER Wagons: Volume 3: Scottish Area: Ex North British and Ex-Great North of Scotland Railway Wagons
Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

North British Railway in Northumberland, The

North British Railway, Vol. 1 (Standard Railway History)

North British Railway, Vol. 2 (Standard Railway History)

On Either Side, 1939: The Train between London King's Cross & Edinburgh Waverley, Fort William, Inverness & Aberdeen (Old House)

Rails Around Glasgow

Signalling and Signal Boxes along the North British Railway, Great North of Scotland Railway and the CLC Routes

South East Scotland (British Railways Past & Present)

The Castle and the Bear: A Brief History of the North British Railway

The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, station by station

The North British Railway a History
The North British Railway, Volume 1, One,
The Vanished Railways of Old Western Dunbartonshire (Britains Railways/Old Photos)

This Magnificent Line (the story of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Railway

Vanished Railways of West Lothian

Vanished Railways of West Lothian