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

Panned shot of St Margarets B1 4-6-0 61350 at speed on the Waverley route near Galashiels in the 1960s.
// Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney)

Galashiels [1st]

Nice to see the Flying Scotsman mural now on display next to the Grapevine bar across the river from the transport interchange.
21/03/2017 John Yellowlees


A quiet Sunday morning at Gorebridge on 12 March 2017 as a train for Tweedbank enters the station.
12/03/2017 John Furnevel


Looking across the Gala Water at Torwoodlee in the early 1960s as a Crab 2-6-0 approaches with a northbound freight. [See image 58078].
// Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney)


The northern approach to Galashiels in June 1963, with Kilnknowe Junction behind the camera. St Margarets V2 2-6-2 60846 is rounding the curve from Torwoodlee with an up freight on the Waverley route. On the left is the gradually diverging single line of the Peebles branch, closed the previous year but with track still in place. The view in the opposite direction one month later [see image 54691] shows tracklifting underway on the branch.
/06/1963 Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney)

Kilnknowe Junction

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

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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.
//1972 Line closed between Gorebridge ({{Lady Victoria Pit}}) and {{Millerhill Junction}} (excluded). The {{Carlisle Arrival Sidings}} at Millerhill and a short section south remained, used by trains rounding the Monktonhall Curve to access {{Millerhills Down Yard}}.
//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]
Niddrie North Junction
Niddrie Junction [2nd]
Niddrie South Junction
Millerhill Junction
Fushiebridge Junction
Tynehead Junction
Galabank Junction
Bowland Junction
Sheriffhall [2nd]
Fushiebridge [1st]
Newbattle Viaduct
Newtongrange [1st]
Lady Victoria Pit Signalbox
Borthwick Bank Signalbox
Falahill Summit
Bowshank Tunnel
Kilnknowe Junction
Ladhope Tunnel
Galashiels [1st]
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]

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