Waverley Route (North British Railway)


This was the North British Railway's main line from Edinburgh Waverley to Carlisle Citadel via Galashiels and Hawick.

The route consisted principally of two lines owned by the North British Railway:
Edinburgh and Hawick Railway
Border Union Railway

This is holding page, for the details of the line see the line portions.

The name was a marketing name which references the works of Sir Walter Scott who much associated with the route as his home was Abbotsford near Galashiels.

The North British Railway's branch to Hawick, completed in 1849, was to be extended south to Carlisle in 1862 creating a Scotland-England line. With the opening of the Settle and Carlisle Line (Midland Railway) in 1875 it became part of the route stretching south to London St Pancras.

Nationalisation in 1948 undermined the line, there being the distantly parallel route through Carstairs. The line closed in 1969.

The northern portion re-opened as the Borders Railway (Network Rail) in 2015.

Route described

From Edinburgh to Hawick the line passed largely through farmland. South from Hawick it crossed higher moorland with some tortuous curves and much lower population. It was a double track line throughout.

The route was formed by the combination of several lines.

Edinburgh Waverley to Portobello East Junction (3.3 miles)

A short portion of the North British Railway, opened 1846.

Portobello East Junction to Niddrie South Junction (1.1 miles)

This was a short connecting branch built by the North British Railway in 1847.

Niddrie South Junction to Cairney (1 mile)

This short portion of the 1831 Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway was rebuilt.

Cairney to south of Millerhill (1 mile)

This was an 1847 deviation of the original route of the Dalkeith line which was built by the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway).

Near Millerhill to Sherrifhall to near South Esk (2.7 miles)

This was a portion of the former 1831 Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway, with the exception an 1846 curve easement at Sherrifhall built by the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway). The original line was rebuilt.

South Esk to Hawick [1st] (44 miles)

The Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway) extended the line south in 1847 to Gorebridge and 1848 to Bowland finally reaching Hawick [1st] in 1849.The original South Esk station, and its approach, were abandoned.

Hawick [2nd] to Canal Junction [Carlisle] (44 miles)

This portion was built by the Border Union Railway (North British Railway). Between Hawick [2nd] and Scotch Dyke opened in 1862, the southern portion having previously opened in 1861.

Canal Junction [Carlisle]

A very short portion of the 1853 Carlisle and Port Carlisle Railway and Dock was used to cross this junction.

Canal Junction [Carlisle] to Port Carlisle Junction (0.5 miles)

This short portion was built by the Caledonian Railway in 1860 and gave the Waverley route its approach to Carlisle station. Port Carlisle Junction to Canal Junction Curve (Caledonian Railway).

Port Carlisle Junction to Carlisle (0.8 miles)

This part of the Caledonian Railway opened in 1847.