Longniddry railway station

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Longniddry National Rail
Place Longniddry
Local authority East Lothian
Coordinates 55°58′35″N 2°53′18″W / 55.9763°N 2.8884°W / 55.9763; -2.8884Coordinates: 55°58′35″N 2°53′18″W / 55.9763°N 2.8884°W / 55.9763; -2.8884
Grid reference NT446762
Station code LND
Managed by Abellio ScotRail
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.163 million
2012/13 Increase 0.178 million
2013/14 Increase 0.184 million
2014/15 Increase 0.192 million
2015/16 Increase 0.194 million
Original company North British Railway
Post-grouping LNER
22 June 1846[1] Opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Longniddry from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Longniddry railway station is located at the southeast corner of the village of Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland. The station is on the East Coast Main Line, 13 14 miles (21.3 km) east of Edinburgh Waverley, and is served by stopping passenger trains on the North Berwick Line.


The main line between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed was opened by the North British Railway on 22 June 1846, with Longniddry station and the branch line to Haddington opening on the same date. Longniddry's importance as a junction station increased in 1898 with the opening of the Gullane branch.

There were originally three platforms, the Up (eastbound) platform with the main station building, and an island platform serving the Down (westbound) main line and the Haddington branch, which diverged immediately to the east of the station and ran parallel to the main lines for some distance before curving off to the south on an embankment. The branch was originally built as double track, but was singled in 1856. Between the Down line and the Haddington branch east of the station were two long trailing sidings known as Blawearie Sidings which were used for storing rolling stock. On the south side of the branch was a two road engine shed and the Harelaw Lime Works siding. On the Up side, east of the station, was the goods yard containing a goods shed and three trailing sidings. At the west end of the station the branch platform line continued as a 160-yard siding (headshunt) on the Down side, whilst further west was a short trailing siding on the Up side, known as Longniddry West Siding. The latter was also known as 'Manure Siding' or 'the dung lye', as it was used to receive wagons loaded with horse dung collected from the streets of Edinburgh and sent to Longniddry for sale as agricultural fertiliser. Longniddry signal box was located at the east end of the Down platform. The junction of the Gullane branch was at Spittal (Aberlady Junction), 1.5 miles to the east.

Retrenchment during the Twentieth Century saw passenger services withdrawn from the Gullane and Haddington branch lines on 12 September 1932 and 5 December 1949 respectively. On 15 June 1964 the Gullane branch closed to all traffic, followed by closure of Longniddry goods yard on 28 December 1964 and the Haddington branch on 30 March 1968. The locomotive shed had closed in 1964, and following the demise of the Haddington branch the signal box was closed on 8 September 1968 and all sidings removed. The former goods yard site was redeveloped as the new station car park, while the waiting rooms and canopy on the Down platform were removed in the late 1960s and replaced with bus-stop type shelters. Closure of the North Berwick branch and of Drem, Longniddry and Prestonpans stations was proposed in 1969, but not approved by the Minister of Transport. Nonetheless, stopping passenger services were drastically reduced from 1970, and their future was again in doubt following the publication of the Serpell Report in 1982. However, the number of local trains had gradually recovered from the low of the 1970s and by the end of the 1980s the service was once again hourly.

'Pay train' operation began east of Edinburgh on 27 May 1985, at which point the station became unstaffed. The main station building and ticket office (a single storey stone building with a flat-roofed extension) was demolished in 1986/87, at which time the platforms were extended to the east and cut back at the western ends, and the station footbridge was replaced. This work was a prelude to electrification of the East Coast Main Line by British Rail, with most North Berwick line trains being electrically powered from 8 July 1991.

One minor landmark of which little is known save for its ingenuity and efficiency was a mailbag switch device still in use in the 1970s. It was located on the trackside some 160 yards (150 m) west of the station, and mailbags previously loaded on the device's arm could be captured at speed by a matching mechanism on passing southbound express trains which therefore did not need to stop.


All trains calling at Longniddry are operated by Abellio ScotRail. Long distance passenger trains operated by CrossCountry and Virgin Trains East Coast pass through Longniddry non-stop, as do freight trains.


  • Monday - Friday - Hourly from Edinburgh to North Berwick and return, with a half-hour frequency at peak times. Certain trains continued beyond Edinburgh to Glasgow Central.
  • Saturdays - Half-hourly throughout the day until early evening, reducing to hourly.
  • Sundays - Hourly


  • Monday - Friday - Hourly from Edinburgh to North Berwick and return, with a half-hour frequency at peak times. Certain trains continue beyond Edinburgh to Glasgow Central via Carstairs.
  • Saturdays - Half-hourly throughout the day until early evening, reducing to hourly.
  • Sundays - Hourly


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Drem   Abellio ScotRail
North Berwick Line
Historical railways
Line open; Station closed
  North British Railway
NBR Main Line
  Seton Mains Halt
Line open; Station closed
Line and Station closed
  North British Railway
Aberlady, Gullane and North Berwick Railway
Line and Station closed
  North British Railway
NBR Haddington Branch

1953 accident[edit]

A serious accident occurred at Longniddry in the early hours of 17 December 1953. The 12.41am Edinburgh Waverley to London Kings Cross special parcels train, carrying Christmas mail, struck a set of narrow-gauge Decauville points which were lying on the Up Main line at the west end of the station. The train was travelling at approximately 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), and derailed immediately. The locomotive (Peppercorn A2 4-6-2 no. 60530 Sayajirao) was thrown across the Up platform, and ended up lying upside down in the road below the station, facing back towards Edinburgh. The locomotive tender and the leading vans piled up between the platforms. Fireman Robert McKenzie was killed and Driver D. Drummond was badly injured.

The Decauville points had fallen from a wagon on the 9.45pm 'Class D' (express goods, partially fitted with continuous brake) train from Heaton, which had passed through the station moments earlier. The wagon had originated at Gildersome West, near Leeds, and its oversized load of narrow gauge track for an industrial railway had not been adequately secured. The guard of the goods train had noticed sparks as the train passed under the road bridge west of Aberlady Junction, and realised that the load had come loose. He attempted to attract his driver's attention by applying and releasing the handbrake in his van, but this was not noticed. He therefore displayed a red light to the signalman at Longniddry box as he passed. The signalman immediately threw his Up line signals to danger and sent the 'stop and examine' bell code to Prestonpans signal box. The overhanging points struck the locomotive water column at the west end of the Down platform and rebounded, falling off the wagon onto the Up Main line. Meanwhile, the parcels train had already passed the Longniddry Up Distant signal at 'clear', so its crew received no warning of the danger ahead.

The site where the derailed locomotive ended up can still be identified by a blue brick retaining wall adjacent to the bus stop at the entrance to the station. This was built to stabilise the embankment after the locomotive was removed.



  1. ^ Butt (1995), page 149
  2. ^ Hajducki (1992), page 14