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|Location|| Leith, City of Edinburgh |
|Original company||North British Railway|
|Pre-grouping||North British Railway|
|Post-grouping||London and North Eastern Railway|
|1 July 1903||Opened|
|7 April 1952||Closed|
|1952||Reused as a DMU depot|
|1972||DMU depot closed|
Leith Central Railway Station was a railway station in Leith, Scotland. It formed the terminus of a North British Railway branch line from Edinburgh Waverley. The station was built on a large scale, and it included a trainshed over the platforms.
Following the amalgamation of the City of Edinburgh and the Burgh of Leith in 1920, the two formerly separate tram systems were joined (including the conversion of Edinburgh's system from cable haulage to electricity). The improved services provided intense competition with the railway, affecting the viability of Leith Central station.
Until 1952 Leith Central had a regular passenger service to Edinburgh.
The most striking feature of Leith Central Station was its size. The station occupied a whole town block at the foot of Leith Walk, being bounded by Leith Walk on the western side; Easter Road on the east and Duke Street to the north. The four platforms were positioned around fifteen feet above street level, with the buffer stops being at the western end. On this, the Leith Walk side, the station was entered by doors on the corner of Duke Street, leading to stairs up to the ticket office, waiting rooms and other passenger facilities, which were situated at platform level, one storey above the street. Below these consisted of series of retail premises on the Leith Walk and Duke Street sides of the Foot of the Walk, most notably the Central Bar, which still exists.
At the eastern side, the station was still as high above street level, however, the four platforms and many sidings contained within the station narrowed to cross Easter Road on a four-track bridge. Before crossing Easter Road, the train sheds finished just before the platform ends, around 45 yards (41 m) from Easter Road. Between the glass panelled gable end of the train shed and the Easter Road bridge was Leith Central signal box, controlling the approach to the station, most notably the three scissors crossings at the station mouth. Also provided at the Easter Road end of the station was an additional entrance. From almost underneath the Easter Road bridge, access was gained to the platforms by way of two stairways, meaning passengers did not have to make the long trip from the bottom of Easter Road to the foot of Leith Walk to catch their train.
The station is of similar scale to the Caledonian Railway's Princes Street railway station. It is generally believed that it was the threat of this railway company's ambitious plans to complete a circular route of North Edinburgh by building an extension to its existing Newhaven branch via Leith and an extensive tunnel under Calton Hill and George Street back to Princes Street Station which led to the construction of Leith Central. The size of the completed station was therefore a symbol of the might of the North British, and an indication to the Caledonian of its dominance in Leith.
Following closure to passengers, the station was adapted to become a motive power depot (MPD) for the new Swindon-built Inter City Diesel multiple unit train sets used on express services (from 1956) between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street. By the beginning of the 1970s the Inter City units were becoming unreliable and in May 1971 they were replaced by trains consisting of 6 coaches worked in top 'n tail mode by a pair of Class 27 locomotives. This change rendered Leith Central redundant as a depot. It was finally closed completely in 1972 and became derelict.
In the 1980s the derelict station was notorious as a haven for drug addicts, and this inspired a key scene in Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. The character Begbie is in the station for that purpose, when from the shadows an alcoholic tramp jeers that he must be there for train-spotting. Begbie realises that the tramp is his father. 
The large train-shed was subsequently demolished and all that remains is the terminal building and clock tower.
The site of the station platforms currently houses a children's soft-play centre, formerly Leith Waterworld, and a supermarket (Tesco Superstore). The main building which housed the station offices, waiting room etc. the station clock and the shops at street level all still stand at the foot of Leith Walk. Presently the main building is occupied by Social Bite in the office above, and several independent retails below, (7 to 9 - Central Bar, 11 - Pekotea, 13 - Logan Malloch, 17 (including 15) to 19 Argonaut Books and 21 - Krema Bakehouse. Number 23 Leith Walk is presently unoccupied)
Business in the station shops in 1910 were; 11 Leith Walk - George Dickson, Hatter, hosier and shirtmaker. Also had a shop in Easter Road and Granton 13 Leith Walk - Edward Henderson, Bootmaker 15 Leith Walk - Glasgow Sausage Works Wholesale Branch 17 and 19 Leith Walk were station door ways 21 Leith Walk - Melroses Tea and Coffee Merchants suppliers to the King. Also had shops in Princes Street, George Street and North Bridge 23 Leith Walk - William McKinnell Tobacco Manufacturer
A tenement block on the opposite side of Easter Road which was demolished as part of the construction of the station has now been replaced by modern housing.
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Ilkley railway station is a railway station in Ilkley, in the City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. On the Wharfedale Line, it is served by Class 333 electric trains run by Northern Trains, which also manages the station.
Dundee railway station serves the city of Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. It is situated on the northern, non-electrified section of the East Coast Main Line, 59+1⁄4 miles (95.4 km) northeast of Edinburgh. Dundee is the tenth busiest station in Scotland. In January 2014, the former main station building was demolished to make way for a new building as part of the Dundee Waterfront Project which opened on 9 July 2018.
St Austell station is a Grade II listed station which serves the town of St Austell, Cornwall, England. It is 286 miles (460 km) from London Paddington via Bristol Temple Meads. The station is operated by Great Western Railway, as is every other station in Cornwall.
Drem railway station serves the village of Drem in East Lothian, 5 miles (8 km) from the seaside town of North Berwick in Scotland. It is located on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) 18 miles (29 km) east of Edinburgh Waverley. Passenger services are provided on the ScotRail North Berwick Line, and the junction where the North Berwick branch diverges from the ECML is a short distance to the east of the station.
North Berwick railway station is a railway station serving the seaside town of North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the terminus of the Edinburgh to North Berwick Line, 22+1⁄4 miles (35.8 km) east of Edinburgh Waverley.
Princes Street Station was a mainline railway station which stood at the west end of Princes Street, in Edinburgh, Scotland, for almost 100 years. Temporary stations were opened in 1848 and 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.
Easter Road is an arterial road in north Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The road is so called as it was known as the "Easter (eastern) road to Leith". As maps of Edinburgh in the late 18th century show, it had a counterpart in "Wester Road". Until the creation of Leith Walk in the middle of the 17th century these were the two main routes from Leith to Edinburgh. Historic personages who have ridden up Easter Road have included Mary, Queen of Scots (1561) and Oliver Cromwell.
The Edinburgh Suburban and Southside Junction Railway was a railway company that built an east-west railway on the southern margin of Edinburgh, Scotland, primarily to facilitate the operation of heavy goods and mineral traffic across the city. The line opened in 1884. Although its route was rural at the time, suburban development quickly caught up and passenger carryings on the line were buoyant; the passenger service operated on a circular basis through Edinburgh Waverley railway station.
Leith Walk is one of the longest streets in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is the main road connecting the centre of the city to Leith. Forming most of the A900 road, it slopes downwards from Picardy Place at the south-western end of the street to the 'Foot of the Walk' at the north-eastern end, where Great Junction Street, Duke Street, Constitution Street and the Kirkgate meet.
The Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway was a railway company formed in 1836 to connect the city of Edinburgh with the harbours on the Firth of Forth. When the line connected to Granton, the company name was changed to the Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway. It opened part of its route in 1846, but reaching the centre of Edinburgh involved the difficult construction of a long tunnel; this was opened in 1847. It was on a steep incline and was worked by rope haulage.
Portobello railway station was located at Station Brae, off Southfield Place, in the Portobello area of Edinburgh (Scotland), with footpath access from other locations. The station was opened in 1846 by the North British Railway. It replaced an earlier Portobello station nearby on the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway.
The Caledonian Railway lines to Edinburgh started with the main line that reached Edinburgh in 1848 as part of its route connecting the city with Glasgow and Carlisle. The potential of the docks at Granton and Leith led to branch line extensions, and residential development encouraged branch lines in what became the suburbs of Edinburgh. In 1869 a line was opened from Carfin through Shotts giving the Caledonian a shorter route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Waverley Steps is a stair link of unique character linking Princes Street to Waverley station, an essential pedestrian route in the centre of Edinburgh.
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
| Abbeyhill |
Line and station closed
| North British Railway |
Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Line
Leith Central Branch
Coordinates: 55°58′13″N3°10′18″W / 55.9703°N 3.1716°W