Edinburgh Waverley: 385 113 about to depart from platform 14 with a service to Glasgow Queen Street. 30 December.
Bill Roberton 30/12/2018

Edinburgh Waverley

Location type

Major station

Names and dates

Edinburgh General (1846-1866)
Edinburgh Waverley (1866-)

Station code: EDB National Rail ScotRail
Where: City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Opened on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.
Opened on the North British Railway.
Opened on the Borders Railway (Network Rail).
Open on the North Berwick Line.
Open on the Fife Circle.
Open on the Edinburgh to Perth.
Open on the Edinburgh to Dundee.
Open on the Carlisle to Edinburgh.
Open on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Shotts.
Open on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Bathgate and Airdrie.
Open on the Edinburgh to Berwick.


This is the main station in Edinburgh and acts as both a terminus and through station. The larger part of the station is covered by a large glazed roof by Blyth and Cunningham and is an island platform with bays at either end. There is a smaller island platform outwith the main roof on the south side.

Services operate to every Scottish city and many long distance services to destinations in England.

Given the city location, the original construction of the station and its subsequent expansions has required purchase and demolition of many buildings (for example the Edinburgh Orphan's Hospital was demolished in 1845 to make space). Even the former Canal Street was subsumed into the station expansion.

The out of use Waverley West box, on the south side of the line, is 'B' listed.

There are tram stops nearby. Princes Street [Tram] is to the north west and St Andrew Square [Tram] to the north.

The station opened in 1846, an end-on junction between the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway to the west and North British Railway to the east. Initially there were two through platforms, five lines between the platforms. The booking office was at the west end, above the lines, on the Waverley Bridge.

To the north was Canal Street (1847) and to the north again Canal Street station. A tight curve linked the Mound Tunnels to the Scotland Street Tunnel.

To the south was the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's goods yard.

There was a major reconstruction in advance of, and following, the opening of the Forth Bridge in 1890. The 34,000 square metres roof was added in 1897. The railway west to Saughton Junction and east to Portobello East Junction was progressively quadrupled.


The North British Station Hotel was built to the north of the station, towering over it. It was sold by the British Transport Hotels in 1981. It is now the Balmoral Hotel , leading to the north side of the station being known as the Balmoral side.

The Scott Monument , commemorating Sir Walter Scott, is to the north of the station on Princes Street.

The Scottish National Gallery is on The Mount to the west of the station.

Edinburgh Castle is less than half a mile to the south west of the station.


Station terminus Klondyke


Waverley Edinburgh Edinburgh North Bridge North Bridge

External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Gaelic name: Waverley Dhun Eideann
Listing: A

Nearby stations
Princes Street [1st]
St Andrew Square [Tram]
York Place [Tram]
Picardy Place [Tram]
Princes Street [Tram]
Scotland Street
McDonald Road [Tram]
Edinburgh Princes Street
Leith Walk
Lothian Road
St Leonards
Easter Road
West End - Princes Street [Tram]
Balfour Street [Tram]
Waterloo Place [Tram]
Waterloo Place
Edinburgh Signalling Centre
Edinburgh Waverley Goods
Edinburgh Gas Works
Mound Tunnels
The Mound [Tram]
The Balmoral Hotel
Scott Monument
St Giles Cathedral
Gladstone^s Land
Scottish National Gallery
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Calton Hill
Camera Obscura
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Station walls

The station was rebuilt in the 1890s. The station roof is supported on the north side by the Balmoral Wall, named for The Balmoral Hotel to the north. The south wall is the Klondyke Wall, named for the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899.

Early photographs

An early photograph by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson of demolition before the station's construction exists.

National Galleries - Trinity College Chapel and Hospital, with Calton Hill in the background

A similar view by George Washington Wilson shows the station once open.

National Galleries - Calton Hill, Edinburgh

A view by Ross and Thomson shows the station from the west.

National Galleries - Edinburgh from the Castle

Chronology Dates

  /  /1762Nor Loch, Edinburgh
Drained, this was the future site of North British Railway's Edinburgh Waverley station.
  /  /1846Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Edinburgh General station (Edinburgh Waverley) opened further east from Haymarket, the former terminus.
01/07/1862Border Union Railway (North British Railway)
The line from Edinburgh Waverley to Carlisle Citadel via Galashiels and Hawick [2nd] is completed. The line opened from Hawick [2nd] to Scotch Dyke. Stations opened at Hawick [2nd], Barnes, Shankend, Riccarton, Steele Road, Newcastleton, Kershope Foot, Penton, Riddings Junction (and Canonbie on the incomplete Langholm branch). (Alternative date 01/08/1862.)
  /  /1868Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Edinburgh Waverley station re-building starts, new station designed by James Bell.
01/06/1869North Eastern Railway North British Railway
North Eastern Railway locomotives hauling trains from the south start running through over the North British Railway to Edinburgh Waverley.
31/07/1873North British Railway
The first proper sleeping coach is built at Cowlairs Works, a re-building of a six wheeled double saloon. It went into operation between Glasgow Queen Street, Edinburgh Waverley and London Kings Cross, running north and south on alternate days.
  /  /1874Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
1868 Edinburgh Waverley station re-building ends.
  /07/1888Nottingham and Melton Line (Midland Railway)
London St Pancras - Glasgow St Enoch and Edinburgh Waverley trains start to use line.
  /  /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.
  /  /1890Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Edinburgh Waverley extended following opening of the Forth Rail Bridge.
  /  /1890Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway
During Edinburgh Waverley station expansion the tunnel mouth and station at Canal Street are demolished.
  /  /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.
  /  /1891North British Railway
Expansion of Edinburgh Waverley authorised.
14/01/1897North Eastern Railway North British Railway
North Eastern Railway locomotives cease to run through through over the North British Railway to Edinburgh Waverley.
15/01/1897North British Railway
The North British Railway begins to operate the through trains from Edinburgh Waverley to London Kings Cross from Edinburgh as far as Berwick where the North Eastern Railway takes over.
25/04/1897North British Railway
Edinburgh Waverley to Abbeyhill Junction quadrupled.
28/12/1906Dundee and Arbroath Railway
A North British Railway express which had been travelling from Edinburgh Waverley to Aberdeen Joint is blocked by snow at Arbroath and returns south. It strikes a local Caledonian Railway Arbroath to Dundee East train at Elliot Junction in a blizzard killing 22 passengers.
02/11/1925Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway
Easter Road Deviation (North British Railway)
Edinburgh Waverley to Granton passenger service withdrawn. Trinity [2nd] and Granton closed.
08/01/1956Glasgow City and District Railway Coatbridge Branch (North British Railway) Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway New Monkland Line (Monkland Railways) Boghead to Cowdenhead Branch (Monkland Railways) Torbanehill and Bathgate Branch (Monkland Railways) Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Last regular Glasgow Queen Street Low Level to Edinburgh Waverley via Shettleston, Coatbridge Sunnyside and Bathgate Upper service runs.
17/02/1958North British Railway
Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway)
Peebles Railway
Galashiels, Innerleithen and Peebles Railway (North British Railway)
Class 100 DMUs introduced on the Edinburgh Waverley - Peebles - Galashiels [1st] loop service. This leads to an immediate more than doubling of the passenger numbers.
09/06/1958Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway
Edinburgh Waverley to Edinburgh Waverley via the outer circle and then on to Rosewell and Hawthornden service introduced using Class 100 DMUs.
09/06/1958Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway Edinburgh, Suburban and Southside Junction Railway
Musselburgh [1st] to Edinburgh Waverley then via the inner circle to return to Edinburgh Waverley service introduced using Class 100 DMUs.
04/03/1964Dalry Road Lines (Caledonian Railway)
Stirling and Falkirk trains diverted from Edinburgh Princes Street to Edinburgh Waverley.
15/07/1967Newcastle and Berwick Railway
Edinburgh Waverley to Leeds 'North Briton' derails at Acklington. The train was travelling at 75mph and derailed due to the track condition. No casualties.
06/10/1975Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Some Perth to Edinburgh Waverley workings diverted from via Stirling to via Newburgh [2nd].
15/05/1978East Coast Main Line
InterCity HST 125s start running on line between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley.
02/08/1981West Highland Railway Callander and Oban Railway
A Class 55 'Deltic' visits Oban for the first time (55021 'Argyll and Sutherland Highlander') on a 'Merrymaker' excursion from Edinburgh Waverley to Oban.
23/08/1981West Highland Railway Callander and Oban Railway
Second visit of 'Deltic' 55021 to Oban on a 'Merrymaker' excursion from Edinburgh Waverley.
  /  /1983Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway
The south end of the tunnel at Canal Street station is found and then destroyed during building of the Waverley Centre to the north of Edinburgh Waverley.
  /  /1991North British Railway
North British Station Hotel, by Edinburgh Waverley, becomes the The Balmoral Hotel.
31/03/1997British Railways
The last British Rail trains run: the 23:55 from Edinburgh Waverley to London Euston Sleeper, and 23:55 London Euston to Edinburgh Waverley Sleeper.
03/06/1997North British Railway
New GNER under four hours (3hrs 59mins) service from London to Edinburgh Waverley begins.
  /02/1998North British Railway
Abbeymont station proposed, half a mile east of Edinburgh Waverley, to serve the new Scottish Parliament building.
  /06/2000Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
Strategic Rail Authority to contribute £800,000 towards the operation of Edinburgh CrossRail - a half hour service from west of Edinburgh through Haymarket and Edinburgh Waverley to new stations at Brunstane and Kinnaird Park (Newcraighall). The Scottish Executive has commited £8M.
  /09/2002Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Railtrack announces re-wiring of Edinburgh Waverley signal box, despite impending remodelling of Edinburgh Waverley station.
17/01/2004North British Railway Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
During a two day (17-18) blockade Edinburgh Waverley's signalled and control equipment is re-fitted.
  /03/2004Edinburgh Airport Rail Link
Proposed scheme would have a station under Edinburgh Airport served by a link off the Forth Bridge Connecting Lines (North British Railway) and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway and the Forth Bridge lines. The layout would be southern approaches (both approached from the east) from South Gyle and Gogar combining and passing under Edinburgh Airport before dividing with a western link to Humbie Signal Box and northern link to Dalmeny South Junction. This layout would allow trains from Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street High Level to serve the station and the line to the north from Edinburgh to Fife, Aberdeen and Inverness over the Forth Bridge. The estimated cost was £500M.
  /05/2010North British Railway
Approval granted to provide an escalator and lifts for the Waverley Steps entrance to Edinburgh Waverley.
  /08/2011North British Railway
Escalators from Edinburgh Waverley to Princes Street being installed.
03/04/2019Cleland and Midcalder Line (Caledonian Railway)
First electric train runs (a return Corkerhill Depot - Edinburgh Waverley).
28/12/2019North British Railway
Platforms 5 and 6 of Edinburgh Waverley extended to 275 metres.

News items

16/11/2023Edinburgh Waverley passengers shown VR film on harassment [The Herald]
03/11/2023Scotrail warns of Friday disruption after Edinburgh signal fault [The Herald]
03/11/2023Edinburgh Waverley rail disruption: Huge power surge fried everything [Scotsman]
02/11/2023Engineers working to fix signalling fault at Edinburgh Waverley [Network Rail]
30/10/2023New timetable delivers electric trains between Barrhead and Glasgow [ScotRail]
26/10/2023£13.3m upgrade for customer information in Scotland's busiest stations [Network Rail]
20/10/2023Luxurious Edinburgh steam train experience will see guests cross Forth Bridge in style [Edinburgh Live]
25/08/2023New dedicated taxi zone launched at Edinburgh Waverley Station [TaxiPoint Taxi News]
16/08/2023Commuter chaos on ScotRail trains due to signalling fault at Edinburgh Waverley station [STV]
10/07/2023Edinburgh train lines closed after fire alarm at Waverley [STV]


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An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways

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Edinburgh (Rail Centres)
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Edinburgh Waverley

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