Location type


Name and dates

Fisherrow (1834-1847)

Opened on the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway.


Fisherrow is a small tidal harbour on the west bank of the River Esk. The present stone harbour dates from the 17th century with modifications for waggonways. The town itself sits between the harbour and the river, on the east bank of which is Musselburgh. As the name suggest, fishing fleets were based here.

The Pinkie Waggonway ran from Sir John Hope's Pinkie Colliery, south east of Musselburgh, over the River Esk to the harbour, and salt pans, between 1812 and 1832. To the west were the Pinkie Salt Pans, connected to the east harbour wall by a short waggonway, probably the Pinkie relaid, and to the south the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway approached after 1831 and ran to the west harbour wall. A depot was south of the harbour, the site of which is now a small park and petrol station. Passenger coaches ran to Fisherrow from 1834.

The Ordnance Survey Name Book describes the railway depot thus

A considerable sized Depot for all Kinds of merchandise at Fisherrow Harbour. formerly it was a Coal Store of Sir Hope, and afterwards was intended for the Musselburgh Railway Depot, there is a small branch of the Railway to it, propelled generally by Steam

The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway branch to Fisherrow could transport fish to Edinburgh, export low volumes of coal, serve local collieries and the salt pans and it provided a relatively level route to tidewater suitable for horse operation. As a harbour it was soon eclipsed being tidal and somewhat small. The approach from the East Lothian coalfield required a reversal. The railway opened a branch to South Leith in 1835.

The Fisherrow branch opened from a junction at Niddrie [1st], wagons from Edinburgh not requiring reversal.

Some time after the opening of the North British Railway in 1846 a link was put in at Craigentinny to join the South Leith branch which allowed trains from Edinburgh North Bridge to join the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. This curve is shown on the Ordnance Survey map for 1854, dates unknown, possibly 1847 to 1859.

A permanent connection was made, a new line from Portobello East Junction to Niddry Junction [2nd] where there was a junction between a connection to the Fisherrow branch and the rebuilt Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway main line to Dallhouse and beyond. The latter crossed the Fisherrow branch on the level which was severed. The Fisherrow branch was extended to Musselburgh [2nd] with a short branch from Fisherrow Junction and the branch regauged. Fisherrow station, left on a short branch, closed to passengers.

In 1859 a new curve was installed between New Hailes Junction and Fisherrow Junction which allowed a further portion of the Fisherrow branch to close where it crossed the North British Railway main line. The western portion, with some realignment, re-opened in 1884 as an eastern outlet for the Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway.

Fisherrow continued as a goods yard until 1961.

Very little remains of the railway in Fisherrow. The line ran down the east side of New Hales Road and a walkway follows the route.

Traditionally coal for export from around Newbattle was brought down the Salters Road to Morrison's Haven (salt and imported goods returning in the reverse direction).


Fisherrow Centre



Station terminus

External links

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