Edinburgh Princes Street

Location type


Name and dates

Edinburgh Princes Street (1870-1965)

Opened on the Caledonian Railway.


This was a major terminus in Edinburgh originally opened in 1870 and entirely rebuilt in 1893-94. After the reconstruction the main station building was a single storey (but very high). In its final form, it had seven platforms, a 850 foot glass bayed roof and the "Caledonian Hotel", built 1899-1903. There was much in common with the architectural style of Glasgow Central station. On the concourse was a noted clock in a ^wooden castle^.

The hotel is in red sandstone, from Locharbriggs Quarries, which would stand out compared with the lighter sandstone of the New Town. It is four and five storeys high with an additional three attic floors - to create grand ground floor rooms those close to the north end of Lothian Road have very high ceilings (four floor section), the floor being subdivided elsewhere (five floors). Architects: Peddie and Browne. The hotel extended the existing ground floor (which was modified). The pillars and arches surviving from the original design, but with some changes to the main entrance including the removal of a clock and curved mansard roof.

The station^s large trainshed was by Blyth, Cunningham and Westland. Inside were seven platforms and a concourse with a round booking office built in timber (semi-circular versions exist at Stirling and Wemyss Bay). The longest platforms were on the west side with platforms becoming progressively shorter to the east. Carriage sidings were laid outside the trainshed on the west side.

The first incarnation replaced the Caledonian Railway's Lothian Road terminus which was just to the south and became a goods station. The original station had its ticket platform between Morrison Street and Grove Street.

Princes Street station closed completely on 6 September 1965 and the trainshed and platforms were largely demolished by 1970. The hotel remains intact and open.

A box opened with the first incarnation of station in 1870, replaced in 1893 during the rebuilding. The large box was on the east side of the lines as they approached the platforms, with the Lothian Road Goods lines to the south. There was a resignalling in 1937 which led to a signal bridge being erected over the passenger lines, just west of the box. It closed with the station in 1965.

A screen remains at the former vehicle entrance to the station, on the east side of Rutland Street, with entry and exit arches. This led directly into the west side of the trainshed, to the cab road between then main platforms, 1 and 2 (on the west side of the station).


The former Caledonian Hotel was sold by British Transport Hotels in 1981 and is now independent of the railway.

It was refurbished in 2011 and renamed the Waldorf Astoria.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian




Caledonian Hotel

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

Nearby stations
Lothian Road
Shandwick Place [Tram]
Princes Street [Tram]
Haymarket [Tram]
Princes Street [1st]
St Andrew Square [Tram]
Edinburgh Waverley
Dalry Road
Scotland Street
York Place [Tram]
Picardy Place [Tram]
St Leonards
Murrayfield Stadium [Tram]
Lothian Road Goods
Lothian Road Shed
Princes Street Gardens Cutting
Haymarket Tunnels
Morrison Street Goods
The Mound [Tram]
Mound Tunnels
Fountain Brewery
Princes Street Gardens
Georgian House Charlotte Square
Edinburgh Castle
Scottish National Gallery
Camera Obscura
Gladstone^s Land
Scott Monument
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Which Prince?

Edinburgh Princes Street was named for Princes Street, the southern boundary of the famous Edinburgh New Town, today a shopping street, with superb views of Edinburgh Castle over Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Waverley. The west end of the street is to the north of the former station site.

Princes Street was established in the rule of King George III and was named for his eldest son Prince George who later became King George IV.


  /  /1863Caledonian Railway
Approval for the Strawfrank Junction to Dolphinton Junction curve. The curve is required as the Dolphinton Branch (Caledonian Railway) will sever the Lampits Junction to Float Junction curve allowing direct running to Edinburgh Princes Street from the south, rather than reversal at Carstairs.
  /  /1865Caledonian Railway
Authorisation to rebuild and expand the Edinburgh terminus. This would lead to replacement of Lothian Road with Edinburgh Princes Street.
  /  /1866Caledonian Railway
Further authorisation of the Edinburgh station enlargement and permission to cover St Cuthberts Lane. (St Cuthberts Poorhouse was to be removed for the new Edinburgh Princes Street station). Edinburgh Station Hotel authorised.
  /  /1870Caledonian Railway
Edinburgh Princes Street opened. (Lothian Road closed.)
01/05/1879Uddingston Junction to Fullwood Junction (Caledonian Railway)
Mossend branch opened for passengers from Uddingston Junction to Fullwood Junction. Associated with the impending opening of Glasgow Central and the diversion of trains from Edinburgh Princes Street via Shotts from Buchanan Street.
01/09/1879Glasgow Central Station (Caledonian Railway)
Glasgow Central fully opened. Trains for England via the Caledonian Railway are transferred from Glasgow Buchanan Street. The service to Edinburgh Princes Street is also transferred. South Side [CR] closed.
13/07/1881Caledonian Railway
Authorisation to rebuild Edinburgh Princes Street and absorb Cuthberts Lane (the lane was not closed).
  /  /1889Leith New Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Leith New Lines planned; (Newhaven to Leith passenger terminus by North British Railway's Leith station, a triangular junction at Lochend with a line to Edinburgh Princes Street under the city with a branch to Waverley Market by Edinburgh Waverley station). Branch to Leith Edinburgh Dock authorised.
  /  /1889Caledonian Railway
Authorisation to widen lines from Dalry Junction to Edinburgh Princes Street.
  /  /1890Caledonian Railway
Caledonian Railway trains for the north now use Edinburgh Princes Street and the Dalry Junction to Haymarket West Junction link. The Caledonian Railway booking office at Edinburgh Waverley closes on 30/09/1890.
16/06/1890Caledonian Railway
Fire at Edinburgh Princes Street station.
  /  /1893Caledonian Railway
Edinburgh Princes Street reconstruction begins.
  /  /1894Caledonian Railway
Completion of Edinburgh Princes Street reconstruction.
29/09/1897Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway
The Tweedsmuir Express runs from Edinburgh Princes Street to Victoria Lodge.
21/12/1903Caledonian Railway
Edinburgh Princes Street Station Hotel opened.
28/09/1905Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway
Talla Dam officially opened; two trains run from Edinburgh Princes Street.
30/04/1962Leith North Passenger Branch (Caledonian Railway) Leith North Branch (Caledonian Railway) Granton Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Edinburgh Princes Street (Dalry Middle Junction) to Leith North passenger service withdrawn. Craigleith, Murrayfield, Granton Road, Newhaven and Leith North closed.
04/03/1964Dalry Road Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Stirling and Falkirk trains diverted from Edinburgh Princes Street to Edinburgh Waverley.
07/09/1964Edinburgh Station and Branches (Caledonian Railway)
Duff street connection opened (Duff Street Junction, at Haymarket on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway opened). This connection allowed Edinburgh Princes Street to be closed.
06/09/1965Caledonian Railway
Edinburgh Princes Street to Slateford Junction closed to passengers.
15/08/1966Caledonian Railway
Edinburgh Princes Street - Slateford Junction closed to freight.


An Illustrated History of Carlisle's Railways

Caledonian Dunalastairs and Associated Classes (Locomotive Monograph)

Caledonian in LMS Days (Railways in Retrospect)

Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Railway Carriages

Caledonian Railway Livery: The True Line Elegance and Style

Caledonian Railway Wagons & Non-Passenger Coaching Stock

Caledonian Routes 3: Stirling to Crianlarich - DVD - Oakwood Press

Caley to the Coast: Rothesay by Wemyss Bay (Oakwood Library of Railway History)

Callander & Oban Railway Through Time

Callander and Oban Railway (Library of Railway History)

Signalling the Caledonian Railway

The Caledonian Railway 'jumbos' the 18in. X 26in. 0-6-0s

The Caledonian, Scotland's Imperial Railway: A History

The Vanished Railways of Old Western Dunbartonshire (Britains Railways/Old Photos)

Through Scotland with the Caledonian Railway

Vanished Railways of West Lothian