scotland, racism

St. Leonards Yard

Opened: 2nd June, 1832.
Closed: 1846.
Reopened: 1st June, 1860.
Closed to passengers: 30th September, 1860.
Closed to goods: 1967.

St. Leonards Station was the Edinburgh terminus of the Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway, and was Edinburgh's first railway station. The E&DR was built in 1831 to transport coal from the mining towns south of the city, and passenger services commenced during the following year. The terminus occupied an extensive site on the southern edge of the Old Town, and it was laid out for mineral traffic with numerous sidings fanning out to individual coal banks. A row of grim warehouses grew up on the eastern side of the yard, and it must have been a rather unappealing place for passengers. Passenger services ceased in 1846, when the North British Railway opened its North Bridge Station in the centre of the city. Trains from Dalkeith were then re-routed to North Bridge via Portobello. St. Leonards Station reopened briefly in 1860, but closed again within a few months; however the location continued to see heavy use in its original role as a coal yard until the depot was closed in 1967. Both the coal depot and the railway line are now gone, but the Innocent Railway cyclepath now occupies the trackbed of the railway from St. Leonards to Duddingston.

Wikipedia page.


Ex-North British Railway Class B (LNER Class J35) 0-6-0 No. 64570 stands at St. Leonards Goods Station with the Stephenson Locomotive Society (Scottish Area)'s Edinburgh & Dalkeith Rail Tour on 25th August, 1962. The figure second from the left in the foreground is W.A.C. Smith who, as Scottish Secretary of the Stephenson Locomotive Society, organised the tour. Full details of the railtour can be found here. [W.S. Sellar]

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Duddingston Junction


Ex-North British Railway Class B (LNER Class J35) 0-6-0 No. 64510 stands on the Edinburgh & Dalkeith lines at Duddingston Junction after detaching from the Stephenson Locomotive Society Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railtour which it had taken to St. Leonard's Yard on 25th August, 1962. No. 64510 was then the last survivor of the seventy-six locomotives of Class B which had been built by the NBR between 1906 and 1913. On the right is ex-LNER Class V3 2-6-2T No. 67668 which took over the train for the remainder of the tour, which included the Lothian Lines and the Dalkeith and Musselburgh branches. Full details of the railtour can be found here. [W.A.C. Smith]
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South Leith


Ex-LNER Class V3 2-6-2T No. 67668 stands at the former South Leith Station with the Stephenson Locomotive Society Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railtour on 25th August, 1962. Full details of the railtour can be found here. [W.A.C. Smith]
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Meadows Signal Box


Ex-North British Railway Class A (LNER Class N15) 0-6-2T No. 69219 has just passed beneath the Fillyside Road bridge as it heads a short goods train from Leith Docks towards Portobello on a bright December day in 1959. At this point, the South Leith Branch ran alongside Seafield Road, which can be seen on the right of the photo with tramway poles still in use as street-lamp standards. No. 69219 was one of the final series of Class A locomotives, having been built by the former NBR Cowlairs Works and delivered to the LNER in February 1924. The majority of the Edinburgh-based Class N15 0-6-2Ts were allocated to St. Margaret's Shed and were used for shunting the Meadows, Niddrie and Portobello Yards on the city's eastern side, on local goods work, Lothian mineral traffic, and in Leith Docks. However, two engines of the class, Nos. 69169 and 69220, were allocated to Haymarket Shed for banking trains from Gorgie to Morningside and for goods trains on the Edinburgh Suburban line. [W.J.V. Anderson/Rail Archive Stephenson]

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St. Leonards Branch


Making a second attempt to climb the gradient, ex-North British Railway Class B (LNER Class J35) 0-6-0 No. 64486 climbs past the western flanks of Arthur's Seat at Prestonfield with a goods train for St. Leonards Depot on 19th October, 1955. Despite the abandonment of rope haulage, the Duddingston to St. Leonards section of the Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway retained some of its early character, notably the hefty stone boundary walls. [W.S. Sellar]

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Millerhill Yard

Opened: 1963.

Cairney, a short way south of the present-day Newcraighall Station, was located in a coal-mining area and was the terminus of the Edmonston Waggonway, an early colliery line which ran from there to Little France. Millerhill Yard was located on the former Ediburgh & Dalkeith Railway between the sites of Cairney Station at the northern end and Millerhill Station at the southern end, with the main running lines bisecting the yard. To the south of Cairney Station the E&DR originally followed an alignment similar to the western edge of the much later yard before passing through Millerhill village to the west of today's line, then continuing southwards before meeting the later alignment at Sheriffhall. The alignment of the original route was probably due to connections with, or re-use of, the earlier waggonway. The northern portion of the original route was retained in early NBR days for access to a colliery. In 1988 the original arrangement of the marshalling yard remained largely intact. Viewed from the south, sidings for Monktonhall Colliery were on the west side of the yard. Adjacent were the reception sidings for the 'Down' yard, beyond which was the hump for the yard, followed by the 'Down' sorting sidings to the north. Bisecting the 'Down' and 'Up' yards were the main running lines with loops on either side; these were were in the process of being lifted in 1988. To the east of the main lines was the 'Up' yard and the diesel locomotive depot, both of which remain in operation. Beyond these were the 'Up' reception sidings which had been lifted by this date; their site is now obliterated by the Edinburgh City Bypass. The 'Up' sorting sidings were slightly shorter than those of the 'Down' yard, which allowed the south end of the 'Up' yard to be connected by a new link to the East Coast Main Line. A south-to-east chord allowed northbound Waverley Route trains access to the ECML. Parts of Millerhill 'Up' yard remain, and the running lines and some sidings were electrified in 1991 as part of the East Coast Main Line electrification. The yard is now accessed from the north by a double track line from Niddrie South Junction. This becomes single-track (where there was previously a crossover on the double-track running lines giving access to the 'Up' yard) and then turns away into the 'Up' yard. Disused tracks remain at Millerhill Junction, where one of the buildings of Millerhill Station remains, and where the Edinburgh, Loanhead & Roslin Railway's line to Bilston Glen Colliery and Glencorse diverged. The tracks on the Edinburgh & Dalkeith route terminate near the Edinburgh City Bypass. However, these will not be reactivated as part of the new Borders Railway; the new route bypasses the original main line, following a more westerly course close to that of the original Edinburgh & Dalkeith route.


Viewed from Whitehill Road Bridge with the laying of sidings for Millerhill Yard underway, ex-LNER Class A3 4-6-2 No. 60093 Coronach heads southards with the 5.52pm Edinburgh Waverley to Carlisle train on 3rd April, 1961. The present-day Newcraighall Station occupies the site of the second Niddrie Station, which was located adjecent to Newcraighall Road, immediately to the south of Niddrie South Junction. This view has now been almost entirely oblitered by the growth of trees and by the construction of the Musselburgh bypass dual carriageway on a massive embankment across the northern end of Millerhall Yard. [W.A.C. Smith]

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