Names and dates
Perth General (1848-1952)
Opened on the Scottish Midland Junction Railway.
Opened on the Scottish Central Railway.
Opened on the Dundee and Perth Railway.
Open on the Highland Main Line.
Open on the Glasgow to Perth.
Open on the Edinburgh to Perth.
Open on the Perth to Dundee.
This is a superb major station with a tudor styled building by William Tite and large glazed trainshed situated on the western edge of the Perth town centre. To the south lines from Glasgow Queen Street High Level and Edinburgh Waverley meet at Hilton Junction and in the station lines north to Inverness and north east to Dundee and Aberdeen divide. Today it is an eight platform station, although platform eight is a refuelling siding.
The west side of the station is the original 1848 portion. It is covered with a later, 1911, roof. The east side with its huge high roof and Dundee platforms dates from the 1880s. Between these is the original 1848 station building, the east side once being on the outside.
Historically several companies met here with differently coloured locomotives assembling and splitting trains to various destinations. R.D. Stephen described it thus:
It was one of those more exalted stations where one could see the engine and carriage liveries of three different companies.
The original station was owned by the Scottish Central Railway
to the south) with admittance allowed for the Scottish Midland Junction Railway
(from Forfar [2nd]
to the north).
An Act of 13 July 1846 authorised the Scottish Central Railway
to build a general station. The location chosen was the result of a long discussion of where to build the station and was later to prove awkward for the Dundee and Perth Railway
. The foundation stone for Perth General was laid on the 13th of October 1847. A temporary terminus opened at St Leonards on the 21st of May 1848 (prior to the line's completion) while the general station was completed. The new station was built over the St Leonards causeway, which ran south west out of Perth.
The permanent station was a four platform station. When opened it was on the western outskirts of Perth itself, then considerably smaller. The station had a through platform on either side of four running lines, the east side platform having a single track bay platform at both north and south ends. The main station building remains standing. It is in the Tudor Gothic style and bears a strong resemblance to Tite's other work at Carlisle
. It is topped with an octagonal tower. There was a glazed canopy over the main entrance on the east side of the station alongside the cab entry.
There were two sets of carriage sidings. A group of three within a building on the west side of the station, northern half. To the south of the station (and north of St Leonards Bridge) was a four road carriage shed on the west side.
The Ordnance Survey Name Book (around 1860) described the station:
A large handsome range of building, the style of which may be considered ornamental, there are attached, Passenger, Parcel, & Luggage Offices, Ladies & Gentlemens Refreshment Rooms, Waiting Rooms, & every accommodation & attention by the Rwy Officials equal to any in the Kingdom.
The line for 320 yds north of the station belonged to the Scottish Central Railway
The Scottish Midland Junction Railway
opened to Forfar [2nd]
on the 2nd of August 1848.
By the end of 1848 the Scottish Central Railway
ran south to Greenhill Junction
, the Scottish Midland Junction Railway
north and east to Forfar [2nd]
and (via the Aberdeen Railway
) on to Brechin
and Montrose [CR]
, and the Edinburgh and Northern Railway
took the line to Edinburgh via Ladybank
and the Burntisland [1st]
- Granton Pier
In 1849 an extension was made by the Dundee and Perth Railway
to a connection south of Perth General station at St Leonards Bridge Junction
(originally Dundee and Perth Junction), the general station being reached by reversal. The Aberdeen Railway
. In 1850 it reached a temporary Aberdeen Ferryhill
station and the permanent station at Aberdeen Guild Street
The Perth and Dunkeld Railway
opened to Birnam and Dunkeld
in 1856. The Perth, Almond Valley and Methven Railway
opened to Methven
In 1859 the cost of admittance to, and arrangements at, the station caused the Scottish North Eastern Railway
to stop trains at the northern limit of the former SMJR, the Glasgow Road Bridge where there was a temporary platform, Perth Glasgow Road [Temporary]
, until an agreement was reached. On the 8th of August 1859 an Act was passed for the Perth General Station Joint Committee (the original members were the Scottish Central Railway
, Scottish North Eastern Railway
and Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway
The Perth and Dunkeld Railway
was extended north to Inverness
by the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
in 1863. The Perth, Almond Valley and Methven Railway
was extended west to Crieff [1st]
The Perth General Station Joint Committee was superseded by the Perth Joint Station Committee's Act of the 5th of July 1865 (the original members were the Scottish Central Railway
, North British Railway
, Scottish North Eastern Railway
and the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
The Aberdeen Railway
was directly connected to the Great North of Scotland Railway
via Aberdeen Joint
All these expansions added to the traffic at Perth General. As the traffic grew the station clearly needed rebuilt to handle the traffic.
The rebuilding included:
- Scottish Central Railway
offices were demolished and a three road carriage shed for the North British Railway
built on west side (formerly the site of the offices) Perth Down Carriage Shed
- west wall extended at both ends by 150ft and an arch added.
- north (8 & 9) and south (5 & 6) bay platforms were doubled
- through goods lines in the station removed to allow expansion of the east platform (previous quite narrow)
- loading bank added at north end behind main building
- carriage shed added for the Highland Railway
In 1862 the Dundee dock opened at right angles to the main station on Marshall Place, putting an end to the reversing of Dundee trains into the station (although not entirely, this continued into the 1960s for train marshalling).
For the reconstruction of the station a joint committee was created with the Caledonian Railway
, North British Railway
and Highland Railway
Perth General was substantially rebuilt and expanded between 1884 and 1888. Further platforms were added in the former forecourt (nos 3 and 4) and a very large glazed overall roof added, fitted with long runs of smoke deflectors (to channel away smoke from locomotives). The new roof was designed by Blyth and Cunningham
. The weight is taken by metal pillars on the east side of the original building and the east side curtain wall. The roof extended west covering the area to the north and south of the original trainshed. (The same company also built the new roof at Carlisle Citadel
.) Perth Up Carriage Shed
, covering a set of single ended sidings, was added on the east side at the north end of the new part of the station. Approach is from the south.
A double track goods bypass opened from Edinburgh Road Bridge Junction
to Dovecotland Junction
, passing behind the screen wall and Perth Down Carriage Shed
at the west side of the station.
Two footbridges crossed the new east side tracks to give access to the original west side station. The original entry canopy was moved to the new entrance, also on the east side of the station, where a new cab entry was made. A new entry was also made from St Leonards Bridge.
New ticket offices were built and the existing ticket offices in the original building became a restaurant.
A Post Office building, a large glazed brick building was built at the south end of platform 4/5 by the St Leonards stairs.
The Dundee Dock closed in 1886, replaced by the Dundee Platforms (1 & 2), two curved platforms on the east side of the station with a central road for engine release/goods bypass. These platforms were linked to the main station by the Dundee Corridor.
The platforms were now:
1 new, from Dundee West
2 new, to Dundee West
3 new, 'Hotel' platform, usually approached from south (Perth Station Hotel
is immediately to the east)
4 new through platform from the north, 1672 ft (north end was platform 10)
5 south bay, NBR
platform, 713 ft
6 south bay, NBR
platform, 550 ft
7 original through platform, extended to 1415 ft
8 north bay, 655 ft
9 north bay, 665 ft, Crieff or Methven
Ticket platforms also opened; Perth Glasgow Road
for trains from the north (just north of the Glasgow Road overbridge, east side of passenger lines) and Perth St Leonards Bridge
for trains from the south (south of the St Leonards Bridge and immediately south of St Leonards Bridge Junction
on the west side of the passenger line and east side of the goods bypass).
Perth General signal box opened in 1886 during the major reconstruction of the station. Initially it only controlled the up signals then the down signals in 1887. The box was located in the station under the trainshed in former offices within the original station building with Tudor styling and elevated bow windows looking out over the platforms.
With the opening of the Forth Bridge
and associated Glenfarg Line (North British Railway)
in 1890 the North British Railway
finally had an entirely railway route to Edinburgh Waverley
. The new Glenfarg route also allowed the Devon Valley Railway
to be used for trains to Glasgow Queen Street High Level
Perth General box controlled the down (northbound) signals alone from 1893 when it was renamed Perth Down Centre on the opening of a new box on the east side of the station, Perth Up Centre. This was erected above track level between the through tracks on the east side and line into the Perth Up Carriage Shed
, built in the 'V' of their junction directly south of the stone screen wall. The box was dirty from idling locomotives below and known as the 'crow's nest' for its high location.
Last new line
The Newburgh and North Fife Railway
opened in 1909 between Glenburnie Junction
and St Fort
was the last major railway opening, giving the North British Railway
an independent, if somewhat indirect, route to Dundee.
1911 new roof, west side
A covered area, the original circulating area, has a roof and platform canopies of 1911 covering platforms 5-7. The roof is very similar to that over the circulating area at Aberdeen
1960s to present
The station survived largely intact until the 1960s.
Both station boxes closed in 1962, taken over by Perth Power Box
. The Perth Down Carriage Shed
sidings (the shed was already removed) were interrupted with buffers. The northern sidings became the Perth Holding Sidings
where locomotives were stabled. The southern sidings remained in use as carriage sidings.
In 1967 the main line north through Strathmore closed to passengers and as a through route. Also in 1967 the Crieff [2nd]
line closed to goods. As a result from late 1967 the lines to the north only served Inverness
and a goods only route to Forfar [2nd]
, the main part of Perth General now being a very large station serving a limited number of destinations. It has remained the same ever since.
In 1968/69 the northern and southern ends of the 1880s station roof were cut back (leaving about a quarter or less), steps up to the St Leonards Road bridge were removed, and the Dundee canopies cut back.
In 1970 a new travel centre opened, the Dundee Corridor having been removed (its location can be discerned by the two groups of three Tudor arches which were at either end). The northern bays were cut back and the bay line singled to become a fuel road.
The west side avoiding line closed as a through route around 1971.
A loop on the west side of the station, on the east side of the west wall, has been fitted with a train washer.
Perth Station Hotel, a former British Transport Hotel, borders the hotel to the east. It was sold by the BTH in 1982/3.04/11/2019
Perth Station Hotel
Perth Station Garden - Twitter
External linksCanmore site record NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914 NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67 NLS Map NLS Map NLS Map