Location type

Major station

Names and dates

Perth General (1848-1952)
Perth (1952-)

Station code: PTH National Rail ScotRail
Where: Perth and Kinross, Scotland
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.


Perth Station Hotel, a former British Transport Hotel, borders the hotel to the east. It was sold by the BTH in 1982/3.

Perth Station Hotel

Perth Station Garden - Twitter



External links

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


Listing: B

Nearby stations
Perth Glasgow Road [Temporary]
Perth Glasgow Road
Perth Princes Street
Barnhill [P&DR]
Ruthven Road
Bridge of Earn [2nd]
Bridge of Earn [1st]
Methven Junction
Perth Holding Sidings
Perth Rowntree Mackintosh Siding
Perth Goods [CR] [1st]
Orchardbank Signal Box
Perth Carriage Sidings
St Leonards Junction Signal Box
Glasgow Road Junction
Perth Power Box
Perth Works Sidings
St Leonards Bridge Junction
Perth Central Goods
Earlsdyke Coal Depot
Perth Shed [HR]
Perth Station Hotel
Dewer^s Bonded Warehousing
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Coming South, Perth Station

Perth is the subject of one of a pair of paintings, painted in 1895 by George Earl. The view shows a busy station scene at the end of the shooting season, as it looked before the major reconstruction of the 1880s.

The painting shows the extent of the large migration of rich families who took to their Highland estates in the Summer.

Art UK - Coming South, Perth Station

The equivalent view is Going North, Kings Cross Station

National Preservation - Going North, Kings Cross Station

Perth station and Queen Victoria

En route to Balmoral Castle Queen Victoria would call a Perth station. When her train called she would alight from the train and was escorted to the joint committee offices for refreshments. After station rebuilding the hotel replaced the offices.

Original station

The original station was owned by the Scottish Central Railway (from Stirling 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.

Line openings

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 ferry.

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 reached Portlethen. In 1850 it reached a temporary Aberdeen Ferryhill station and the permanent station at Aberdeen Guild Street in 1854.

The Perth and Dunkeld Railway opened to Birnam and Dunkeld in 1856. The Perth, Almond Valley and Methven Railway opened to Methven in 1858.

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] in 1866.

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 in 1867.

All these expansions added to the traffic at Perth General. As the traffic grew the station clearly needed rebuilt to handle the traffic.

1860s rebuilding

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).

1884-1888 rebuilding

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 to south
2 new, to Dundee West from south
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 dock

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.

Forth Bridge

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.

Centre boxes

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.


31/07/1845Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Act receives Royal assent. Mainline from Burntisland to Perth via Ladybank. Branches from Ladybank to Cupar and Kirkcaldy to the harbour. The Perth station was to be beside the Dundee and Perth Railway station.
  /  /1846Scottish Central Railway
Perth General station and Perth Harbour branch approved. Junction with Scottish Midland Junction Railway approved.
  /  /1846Scottish Central Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Dundee and Perth Railway Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Agreement and authorisation that Perth General station be owned by Scottish Central Railway, Scottish Midland Junction Railway, Dundee and Perth Railway and Edinburgh and Northern Railway jointly.
  /  /1846Scottish Central Railway
Company authorised to extend to and build what would become the joint passenger station Perth General.
  /  /1847Dundee and Perth Railway
Further Act authorising change of alignment at Perth. The line will now meet the Scottish Central Railway south of Perth station at Dundee and Perth Junction (St Leonards Bridge Junction). Trains from Dundee will reverse into Perth station.
03/02/1847Scottish Central Railway Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Agreement for use of the Scottish Central Railway between Hilton Junction and Perth General by the Edinburgh and Northern Railway.
24/05/1847Dundee and Perth Railway
Line opened from Dundee Union Street (later Dundee West) to Barnhill [DPR], on the east bank of the River Tay near Perth.
22/05/1848Scottish Central Railway
Opened from Stirling to Perth. Stations at: Bridge of Allan [1st], Dunblane, Kinbuck, Greenloaning, Auchterarder, Dunning, Forteviot, Forgandenny, Perth General.
02/08/1848Scottish Midland Junction Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway
Scottish Midland Junction Railway line opened from Perth to Forfar [2nd]. Forfar (Playfield) closed to passengers. The line incorporates the former Newtyle, Eassie and Glammis Railway and Newtyle and Coupar Angus Railway.
  /  /1853Scottish Midland Junction Railway
Extension of works and widening of railway north of Perth General authorised.
  /  /1859Scottish Central Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Dundee and Perth Railway Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Limits of Perth General station defined by the joint committee, repealing the agreement of 1846. The Scottish North Eastern Railway is authorised to use Perth General and to form a siding on the east side of the station.
  /  /1860Scottish Central Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Dundee and Perth Railway Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Rights of access to Perth General of the companies agreed .
  /  /1861Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish North Eastern Railway Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Scottish North Eastern Railway makes arrangement made with the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway, land for future Perth Shed [HR] near Perth General on the former SMJR.
  /  /1861Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Agreement for access to Perth General. (Reaffirming and adjustment of the Perth and Dunkeld Railway agreement.)
22/07/1861Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Act obtained for a line between Dunkeld and Forres, and Ballinluig to Aberfeldy. Engineer: Joseph Mitchell. Running power from Stanley Junction to Perth General over the Scottish Midland Junction Railway.
  /  /1862Scottish North Eastern Railway Scottish Central Railway
Confirmation of agreements regarding Perth General between the Scottish North Eastern Railway and Scottish Central Railway.
09/09/1863Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Line opened from Pitlochry to Aviemore, thus throughout from Inverness to Perth. Additional stations opened at Blair Athole, Struan, Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Kingussie and Boat of Insh.
  /  /1864Scottish Central Railway
Agreement between Scottish Central Railway and North British Railway over the toll for the line between Hilton Junction and Perth General and use allowed of Perth General.
  /  /1866Scottish North Eastern Railway Caledonian Railway
Scottish North Eastern Railway absorbed by Caledonian Railway. Confirmation of running powers for the Highland Railway between Perth General and Stanley Junction. Confirmation of running powers for North British Railway, London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway and Glasgow and South Western Railway. The SNER's running powers over the Montrose and Bervie Railway are transferred to the Caledonian.
  /  /1870Scottish Central Railway
The North British Railway begins running Glasgow to Perth General services over the former Scottish Central Railway.
  /  /1884Perth General Enlargement (Perth Station Committee (Caledonian Railway, North British Railway and Highland Railway))
Perth General station enlargement authorised.
01/12/1886Scottish Midland Junction Railway
New Perth Goods [CR] station opens to the north of Perth General.
  /  /1887Perth General Enlargement (Perth Station Committee (Caledonian Railway, North British Railway and Highland Railway))
Reconstruction and enlargement of Perth General completed.
01/02/1890Edinburgh and Northern Railway
New further west Bridge of Earn [2nd] station opened to serve both the Perth to Ladybank and Perth to Cowdenbeath lines. Bridge of Earn [1st] closes.
  /04/1905Lochearnhead, St Fillans and Comrie Railway
Balquhidder Shed, a single road timber shed with a 60ft turntable opened at Balquhidder [2nd]. A sub-shed of Perth.
01/10/1951Crieff and Methven Junction Railway Perth, Almond Valley and Methven Railway
Perth (Almond Valley Junction) (excluded) to Crieff [2nd] closed to passengers. Stations Methven Junction, Balgowan, Madderty, Abercairney, Innerpeffray closed.
04/09/1967Scottish Midland Junction Railway Aberdeen Railway
Perth (Stanley Junction) to Laurencekirk (Kinnaber Junction) closed to passengers.
11/09/1967Crieff and Methven Junction Railway
Crieff [1st] to Perth Inveralmond Distillery (excluded) closed to freight.
05/01/1970Kinross-shire Railway Fife and Kinross Railway Glenfarg Line (North British Railway)
Perth (Hilton Junction) to Cowdenbeath North Junction closed to passengers.
05/01/1970Glenfarg Line (North British Railway) Kinross-shire Railway Fife and Kinross Railway
Cowdenbeath to Perth closed to passengers, Bridge of Earn [2nd] to Milnathort closed to goods, Cowdenbeath to Milnathort singled.
01/05/1972Rutherglen and Coatbridge Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Coatbridge Central to Rutherglen Junction re-opened for Glasgow Central to Perth workings
04/05/1974Rutherglen and Coatbridge Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Coatbridge Central to Rutherglen Junction ceases to be used for Glasgow Central to Perth workings.
06/10/1975Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Some Perth to Edinburgh Waverley workings diverted from via Stirling to via Newburgh [2nd].
  /  /1985North British Railway
Perth Pool built on the former Perth Central Goods yard of the North British Railway by Perth station.
  /03/2000Tay Bridge (North British Railway)
Railtrack commits £15M to refurbish the Tay Bridge. This will lift a speed restriction and allow freight to pass over the bridge (instead of via Perth).


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

An Illustrated History of Tayside's Railways

An Illustrated History of Tayside's Railways

An Illustrated History of Tayside's Railways

Scottish Central Railway (Oakwood Library of Railway History)

Tayside's Last Days of Steam
The Railways of Strathmore (Perth, Forfar and Brechin)