North Leith

Location type


Names and dates

Leith [ELGR] (1846-1868)
North Leith (1868-1947)

Note: text in square brackets is added for clarity and was not part of the location's name.

Opened on the Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway.


This was the Leith passenger terminus for trains from Edinburgh Canal Street until 1868 when these were re-routed to the new more easily graded route via Leith Walk to reach Edinburgh Waverley.

The station building fronted Commercial Street and Citadel Street and has a fine single storey classically styled frontage with a columns on either side of the entries. The passenger station's platform area was modest. Although initially sufficient it was not ideal as time went on. This was a very cramped site. There were two platforms with three lines between covered with a trainshed. To the south was a two faced loading bank and to the west a dock platform. The trainshed was severely cut back before closure.

The station was on the south side of Commercial Street and a goods line continued down the west side of the station to serve Leith West Old Dock and Leith East Old Dock and later further Leith docks.

The goods facilities (North Leith Goods) were enlarged around 1864 and moved from east side of the line to the docks to the west side. Later the tunnel was shorted at north end to allow a larger station throat and more lines in the goods yard.

A signal box opened in 1894. This was on the west side of the passenger station and east side of the goods line running north to the docks.

The station closed to passengers in 1947. The box closed in 1952. The railway closed in 1968.

The fine station frontage on Commercial Street still stands.The building is now in use as the Citadel Youth Centre .


On the north side of Commercial Street a long range of former warehouses run from Ocean Drive, to the west, as far east as the Water of Leith.




Leith Citadel

External links

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


Listing: B

Nearby stations
Junction Bridge
Leith North
Ocean Terminal [Tram]
The Shore [Tram]
South Leith
Port of Leith [Tram]
Foot of the Walk [Tram]
Leith Central
Leith Walk [CR]
Pilrig Street
Newhaven [Tram]
Ferry Road
Balfour Street [Tram]
Leith Citadel Goods
East Old Dock [Leith]
North Leith Tunnel
Scottish Executive
Leith Engine Works
West Old Dock [Leith]
Bridge Street Shipyard
Victoria Dock [Leith]
Queens Dock Graving Docks and Shipyard
Sandport Street Shipyard
Custom House Quay [Leith]
Leith North Goods
Victoria Shipbuilding Yard [Leith]
Victoria Swing Bridge [Leith]
Leith Inner Harbour
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

The Citadel

In 1952, a little after the passenger services ended, the site and goods yard, were known as Leith Citadel.

The Citadel was a fortification built in the 1650s. An entrance arch still survives alongside the former St Ninians Church in Dock Street (the upper part above the arch is not original).

Leith Local History Society - Citadel

Chronology Dates

16/06/1947Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway
Passenger services to North Leith withdrawn. Easter Road, Bonnington, Junction Road and North Leith stations closed on withdrawal of Leith to Edinburgh via Abbeyhill service.
05/02/1968Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway
Leith Citadel to Junction Mills Siding closed to freight. The daily North Leith fish train is withdrawn.

News items

07/03/2023Historic Edinburgh railway station building that secured new lease of life [Edinburgh Live]