A History of Britain’s Railways

A train near Fountainhall on a pretty section of the re-opened railway.

Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway) Tags: Moorland Farmland Main line Scotland
Opened by North British Railway

This railway has largely re-opened as the Borders Railway (Network Rail).

The line was an integral part of the former Waverley Route from Edinburgh to Carlisle via Galashiels and Hawick.

Originally to be built by the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway Company, the company was bought by the North British Railway before construction began and was opened as the larger company's Hawick Branch.

The line closed in 1969.

It re-opened in 2015 from Sheriffhall south to Galashiels and Tweedbank on the 6th of September.

The northern portion from Portobello East Junction to Niddrie South Junction never closed and Brunstane station opened in 2002. Newcraighall opened on a portion of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway at the same time. From Newcraighall a new line, the Millerhill Deviation (Network Rail) takes the line south to Sheriffhall via a new station at Shawfair.


Most recently added photographs

Deep in the woods to the east of Borthwick Bank lurk a remarkable number of survivors of the former ash dump sidings - in this case a 1900 NBR chair.
20/08/2017 David Spaven

Borthwick Bank Signalbox

ScotRail 158715 forming the 1154 Edinburgh – Tweedbank on 6 September 2017, seen here shortly after crossing the Gore Glen bridge over the A7.
06/09/2017 John Furnevel

Gore Glen Bridge

Author Sandy Mullay's description of a 'sinuous succession of curves' comes to mind in this long shot of the SRPS Railtour passing through the distinctive deep stone cutting at the south end of Borthwick Bank.
20/08/2017 David Spaven

Borthwick Bank Signalbox

37 685 pushes from the rear of the SRPS Railtour on the approach to Tynehead. This was the first time the photographer had ever witnessed a Class 37 on the Waverley Route / Borders Railway, as most of his travel on the line was from 1961 to 1966, prior to the introduction of EE Types 3s. It was worth the 50-plus year wait for the sight and sound!
20/08/2017 David Spaven

Borthwick Bank Signalbox

The Kinghorn/Squance photo overlooking Gala station taken from the south [see image 59883] shows an UP passenger and steam engine on PW work. This is the view today. What a let-down!
04/09/2017 Bruce McCartney

Galashiels [1st]

All photographs of Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway).

Map controls

Add additional layers


Show locations

Show map introduction


How to use the map.

This map is interactive. Below the map is a slider which can be moved to change the date. For complicated maps, don't move the slider too quickly! The date may also be typed in, this defaults to the present year. To the right is a 'tab' for Map controls. In particular you can try pressing the buttons Open lines only followed by Animate dates. Further detail can be added with Goods only lines, All locations and Roads and canals, but note that adding these will slow down the slider and animation. Location layers can be shown or hidden using the Show locations checkboxes.

Clicking on a location or other line will take you to the relevant page. Only locations on, or served by, the line are shown, for other locations click All locations.

This message will only appear once - a cookie 'mapintro' is saved to prevent re-display.

Why built

This line was built to carry passengers, goods and livestock from the border towns of Hawick, Newtown St Boswells, Galashiels and the surrounding area to Edinburgh.

The re-opened line carries a passenger service from Tweedbank via Galashiels, where there is a transport interchange, north to Edinburgh.


//1845 Act receives Royal assent.
//1845 Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (as yet unbuilt) absorbed by North British Railway.
14/07/1847 [[Portobello East Junction]] to [[Niddrie South Junction]], [[Cairnie]] to [[Millerhill]], re-alignment at [[Sheriffhall]] and [[Dalhousie]] to [[Gorebridge]] opened.
01/05/1848 Line extended from {{Gorebridge}} to {{Bowland}}.
20/04/1849 Line opened from Bowland to Hawick.
/10/1852 Newstead station closed
01/07/1862 Hawick 1st closed to passengers on opening of the Border Union Railway (North British Railway).
//1870 Fountainhall station masters house built.
17/07/1871 Auction Mart started by John Swan & Sons by the St Boswells station
14/12/1916 A major landslip at {{Ladhope Tunnel}}, just west of {{Galashiels}} station, blocks line.
//1923 {{Melrose}} station's timber roof removed.
//1964 {{Fountainhall}} becomes de-staffed.
06/01/1969 Edinburgh ({{Portobello East Junction}}) to Hawick to Carlisle ({{Port Carlisle Junction}}) closed to passengers. {{Newtongrange}}, {{Gorebridge}}, {{Tynehead}}, {{Heriot}}, {{Fountainhall}}, {{Stow}}, {{Galashiels 1st}}, {{Melrose}}, {{St Boswells}}, {{Hassendean}}, {{Hawick 2nd}}, {{Stobs}}, {{Shankend}}, {{Riccarton Junction}}, {{Steele Road}}, {{Newcastleton}} stations closed.
28/04/1969 Gorebridge, {{Lady Victoria Pit}}, (excluded) to {{Hawick 2nd}} officially closed to goods.
//1989 [[Millerhill Yard Junction]] (by [[Millerhill MPD]], approximate location of the former [[Cairnie]] station) to [[Millerhill Junction]] (south of the former [[Millerhill]] station) closed.
03/06/2002 {{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}}.
06/09/2015 [[Newcraighall North Junction]] to [[Tweedbank]] opened to passengers with stations at [[Shawfair]], [[Eskbank]], [[Newtongrange]], [[Gorebridge]], [[Stow]], [[Galashiels]] and [[Tweedbank]]. [[Newcraighall Junction]] renamed [[Newcraighall South Junction]].


The re-opened line carries passengers from Tweedbank and Galashiels to Edinburgh Waverley.


The original line ran south from Dalhousie to Gorebridge, Galashiels, Newtown St Boswells and Hawick. As built the line was double track and the northern approach, via the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway, was re-gauged and partly re-aligned. A short section was also opened from Portobello East Junction to Niddrie South Junction upon which the 2002 Brunstane station opened, whereas Newcraighall is on the older Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway.

Portobello East Junction
Joppa [1st]
Millerhill Junction
Newbattle Viaduct
Newtongrange [1st]
Sheriffhall [2nd]
Niddrie North Junction
Niddrie Junction [2nd]
Lady Victoria Pit Signalbox
Arniston Catchpoints
Niddrie South Junction
Gore Glen Bridge
Fushiebridge Junction
Fushiebridge [1st]
Borthwick Bank Signalbox
Tynehead Junction
Falahill Summit
Galabank Junction
Bowshank Tunnel
Bowland Junction
Torwoodlee Tunnel
Kilnknowe Junction
Ladhope Tunnel
Galashiels [1st]
Galashiels Goods
Galashiels Shed
Selkirk Junction
Darnick Siding
Newstead [Melrose]
Ravenswood Junction
St Boswells
St Boswells Shed
Kelso Junction
Charlesfield Halt
Greenend Siding
Standhill Siding
Hawick Shed
Hawick [1st]

Related books

Column 'priority' in order clause is ambiguous