A History of the Craigleith Hill District

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History of Craigleith Hill

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Caledonian Railway Line

On the map below, the initial route which took the Caledonian railway line from Haymarket passed underneath Queensferry Road at the junction with Craigleith Road, passing Craigleith Quarry was extended eastwards to Granton (1861)(the straight ahead track)and Leith in 1864 (track to right) and then northwards towards Cramond in 1894.

Click on the images below to view full size

The Caledonian Railway Line can be seen passing on the left of Craigleith Quarry in the picture ( centre left of picture)

Craigleith Station (two platforms) was built over the railway lines (see pictures below) on South side of Queensferry Road and opened on 1st August 1879.

In the above photo you can just make out the station built over the railway line. The 'triangular' wood in the centre encloses Blinkbonny Farm before the Hotel and Garage were built on the site. At the apex of the triangle on the right can be seen, very faintly, Craigleith Station bridging the railway line.

The diagram above will help you locate Craigleith Station.
Later, a branch line to Cramond Brig was started in 1892 and opened on 1st March 1894 for passengers and goods. The junction was just North of the station to the right on the plan above. Note also the railway lines going into the quarry.

Looking North under the Station which spanned Queensferry Road. Just past the bridge can be seen the Craigleith Signal Box and the lines split off to the left for Barnton, straight on for Granton and right into the Quarry.

Photograph from 'Bonnie Blackhall' by Margaret McArthur
See below for a modern colour photograph of the same area

In this photograph, by Alan Ross, the original station platform can still be identified on the right of the picture with the road bridge over Queensferry Road in the background The cycle and walkway under the bridge leads to Crewe Toll, Granton and Leith.

The Edinburgh Photographic Society (EPS/"EdinPhoto")

Read the following paragraph then look at EPS' website: -
History of Edinburgh Photographic Society

This is a fascinating web site to anyone interested in Edinburgh's history and you can spend hours browsing around it. I am grateful to Peter Stubbs to allow me the link to his web site and congratulate him on a super web site.
Have a look at two photographs showing the area on both sides of the road bridge around 1900.

To examine them follow the link 'Transport' and then scroll down to'Railways'. Choose 'West Edinburgh'.
The one labelled 'approaching Craigleith' is the view looking north from the road bridge with the train approaching the station with the signal box on its left and the Groathill houses in the distance
The other photograph labelled 'Craigleith Station' is taken further down the line to the south of the road bridge showing a train leaving the station with the booking office on the side of the road bridge.

The more modern photograph below, was taken from about the same spot.

Looking North towards the road bridge over the Queensferry Road from the Holiday Inn access road bridge.

The Barnton branch line was closed to passengers 7 May 1951 and to goods on 1st June 1960

The station and railway lines were removed and are now cycle paths and walkways.

The cycle and walkways are well signposted (as shown in above photograph) giving their destination and distances