Edinburgh Princes Street railway station
- Princes Street station is not to be confused with former North British Railway's Waverley station, located at the east end of the Princes Street Gardens.
|Edinburgh Princes Street|
|Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian is the main surviving part of the former station complex|
|Original company||Caledonian Railway|
|2 May 1870||Temporary wooden station opened|
|1890||Partly destroyed by fire & building work on permanent station started|
|1893||Permanent station brought into use|
|6 September 1965||Station closed|
|Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom|
|Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
|UK Railways portal|
Princes Street Station was a mainline railway station which stood at the west end of Princes Street, in Edinburgh, Scotland, for almost 100 years. A temporary station was opened in 1870, with construction of the main station commencing in the 1890s. The station was closed completely in 1965 and largely demolished in 1969-70. Only its hotel remains, but it is no longer in railway ownership.
The Caledonian Railway
The Caledonian Railway company's main line reached Edinburgh, and was ceremonially opened on 15 February 1848. Its initial Edinburgh terminus was located at Lothian Road. The track was extended slightly and the temporary Lothian Road station, opened in 1848, was replaced in 1870 by another temporary station in Princes Street.
Construction of the Princes Street terminus
The 1870 temporary Princes Street station was rebuilt, between 1890 and 1893 to become a grand station with seven platforms and an 850 ft long bayed roof.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian (originally opened as Princes Street Station Hotel), a grand railway hotel, was eventually built above the main 3 archway entrances of the station and opened, after some construction delays, in 1903. The main entrance was then moved to Rutland Street. It was built in red sandstone in common with most Caledonian Railway buildings.
Mainline and suburban services
The mainline to London, via Carstairs, headed southwest from the station, which was later augmented with a number of suburban stops, Merchiston, Slateford, and Kingsknowe, and a branchline to Colinton and Balerno. The Caledonian railway company later added several other suburban lines serving the north and west of the city, including Barnton, Davidson's Mains, Granton, and Leith. By contrast the North British Railway's suburban lines mostly served the south and east of the city.
After nationalisation of the railways in 1948, it was considered logical to concentrate all rail services in Edinburgh on one station. With Waverley Station a short distance along Princes Street beyond Princes Street Gardens, by the 1960s Princes Street Station was seen as surplus to requirements. Although its street-level entrance was rather more convenient for travellers than that of Waverley (which is in a deep cutting and requires a steep climb to reach street level), the latter was much larger, more conveniently located within the city, and (crucially) had access to the East Coast Main Line. After closure of Princes Street, the west of the city would continue to be served by nearby Haymarket Station.
Local services were gradually withdrawn, starting with those to Balerno in 1943, followed by those to Barnton in 1951, Leith North in 1962, and stopping trains on the main line to Carstairs in 1964. The remaining services to Glasgow Central, Stirling and English cities were then diverted to Waverley, allowing Princes Street Station to be closed in September 1965. The station was demolished in 1969-70, with the West Approach Road being built along the track bed in the early 1970s. The hotel still operates on the site and has been renamed the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian. Part of the station space still remains within it and the grand entrance arch is still visible at the side of the hotel. The former Parcels Office survived, on Lothian Road between the hotel and the Western Approach Road, until a major office development was constructed on its site in the 1990s.
- Nock (1961)
- Butt (1995), p. 88.
- Dalton, Alastair (28 April 2012). "Fifty years after rail track fell silent, trams offer new lease of life". The Scotsman (Johnston Press). Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199.
- Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. OCLC 22311137.
- Nock, O.S. (1961). The Caledonian Railway (1st edition ed.). London: Ian Allan. OCLC 366646513.
- Nock, O.S. (1964). The Caledonian Railway (2nd edition ed.). London: Ian Allan. OCLC 21002535.
- Nock, O.S. (1973). The Caledonian Railway (3rd edition ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0408-0. OCLC 16232981.
|Preceding station||Historical railways||Following station|
CR Main Line
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
|Terminus||CR and NBR
Dalry Road Lines
|Dalry Road Lines to westbound
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
- Information about Princes Street Station
- Edinburgh's railway history (via archive.org)
- Details about the hotel