Portobello Junction

Location type


Names and dates

Hawick Junction (1847-1862)
Portobello East Junction (1862-1973)
Portobello Junction (1973-)

Opened on the North British Railway.
Opened on the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway).
Opened on the New Portobello Station (North British Railway).
Opened on the Portobello Yard (North British Railway).


This junction is open. The double track East Coast Main Line from Berwick-Upon-Tweed meets the single track line from Tweedbank and passenger trains run west to Edinburgh Waverley.

Two single track lines approach from the south - one from Niddrie West Junction and another from Niddrie South Junction used by trains to Tweedbank, Millerhill EGIP Depot and the engineer^s sidings at Millerhill Marshalling Yard.

The original version of this junction was further west, just to the east of Portobello [2nd] station.

Here a short branch (1847) of the North British Railway (1846) left the main line to run south and east to join the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway^s Eskbank route. This was to give access to the line south to Hawick. A signal box opened on the south side of the junction in 1874.

A substantial yard, Portobello Yard, was developed to the north of the running lines, and absorbed the original alignment pushing the passenger lines south to a new alignment through Portobello [3rd] station. With the quarupling of the railway from Piershill Junction in 1909 the signal box was replaced with a gantry box over the main running lines west of the junction.

The Lothian Lines were built partly to sidestep this junction and give trains to and from Leith South an alternative approach to the Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway, East Coast Main Line and Waverley Route.

After closure of the yards (1962/3 after Millerhill Marshalling Yard (British Railways) opened) and station (1964) the line was realigned further north and junction much simplified. A few sidings remain as the disused Portobello Freightliner Terminal and PW sidings.

Around 1973, when the box at Niddrie North Junction closed, the junction between the Suburban and Millerhill lines was moved north to just shy of Portobello Junction.

The gantry signal box was closed in 1973, replaced by Portobello Power Box which survived until 1977 when it was replaced by the Edinburgh Signalling Centre.




14/07/1847Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
New line from Portobello (Hawick Junction) to Niddrie South Junction opened, Niddrie to South Esk re-gauged. The Arniston Branch (Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway) was replaced by a new alignment further west.
14/07/1847Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway)
Portobello East Junction to Niddrie South Junction, Cairney to Millerhill, re-alignment at Sheriffhall [2nd] and Dalhousie to Gorebridge opened.
01/06/1862North British Railway
Hawick Junction (at Portobello) becomes Portobello East Junction.
06/01/1969Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway Marquis of Lothians Waggonway Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway) Border Union Railway (North British Railway) Carlisle and Port Carlisle Railway and Dock
Edinburgh (Portobello East Junction) to Hawick [2nd] to Carlisle (Port Carlisle Junction) closed to passengers. Newtongrange [1st], Gorebridge, Tynehead, Heriot, Fountainhall, Stow, Galashiels [1st], Melrose, St Boswells, Hassendean, Hawick [2nd], Stobs, Shankend, Riccarton Junction, Steele Road, Newcastleton stations closed.
03/06/2002Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
Portobello Junction to Newcraighall (north of Millerhill) re-opened to passengers with stations at; Brunstane, Newcraighall.
03/06/2002Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway)
Portobello East Junction to Niddrie South Junction and Niddrie South Junction to Newcraighall re-opened to passengers with a stations at Brunstane and Newcraighall. A long reversing spur was provided south of Newcraighall from the new Newcraighall Junction.


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