The History of Leith

September 20, 2004

Edinburgh- Dalkeith



This was Edinburgh’s first railway. It ran from Edinburgh St Leonard’s station in Edinburgh to Dalkeith. St Leonard’s station was beneath the slopes of Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park.

This was a 4ft 6ins gauge horse-drawn railway. It opened on 4 July 1931 to transport coal. A passenger service was introduced from 2 June 1832, at first using a converted stage coach.

The line ran to the south to:

– Niddrie

– Sheriffhall

– Dalkeith

Branches to Leith and Musselburgh were added in 1838.

This railway was absorbed into the North British Railway in 1845 and converted to steam operation.


Passenger services to St Leonard’s were withdrawn in 1846 when the North British Railway opened Bridge Street station on the site now occupied by Waverley Station.

St Leonard’s station re-opened briefly to passengers in 1860, but this service lasted for only a few months.


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