- Princes Street station is not to be
confused with former North British
Railway's Waverley station, located at the east end of the Princes
Princes Street Station was a
mainline railway station which stood
at the west end of Princes
Street, in Edinburgh, Scotland, for almost
The Caledonian Hotel from street
A temporary station was opened in 1870, with
construction of the main station commencing in the 1890s. The
station was closed completely in 1965 and largely demolished in
1969-70. Only its hotel remains, but it is no longer in railway
The Caledonian Railway
The Caledonian Railway
main line reached Edinburgh, and was ceremonially opened on 15
February 1848. Its initial Edinburgh terminus was located at
Lothian Road. The track was extended slightly and the temporary
Lothian Road station, opened in 1848, was replaced in 1870 by
another temporary station in Princes Street.
Construction of the Princes Street terminus
The 1870 temporary Princes Street station was rebuilt, between 1890
and 1893 to become a grand station with seven platforms
and an 850 ft long bayed
The Caledonian Hotel
, a grand
railway hotel, was built above the main entrance of the station and
opened in 1903.
Mainline and suburban services
to London, via
Carstairs, headed southwest from the station, which was later
augmented with a number of suburban stops and a branchline to
Colinton and Balerno.
Caledonian railway company later added several other suburban lines
serving the north and west of the city, including Barnton, Davidson's
Mains, Granton, and Leith.
contrast the North British Railway's suburban lines largely served
the south and east of the city.
After nationalisation of the railways in 1948, it was logical to
concentrate all rail services in Edinburgh on one station.
Waverley Station a short distance along Princes Street beyond
Gardens, by the 1960s Princes Street Station was seen as
surplus to requirements.
Although its street-level entrance
was rather more convenient for travellers than that of Waverley
(which is in a deep cutting and requires a steep climb to reach
street level), the latter was much larger, more conveniently
located within the city, and (crucially) had access to the East Coast Main Line
. After closure of
Princes Street, the west end of the city centre would continue to
be served by nearby Haymarket Station.
services were gradually withdrawn, starting with those to Balerno in 1943, followed by those to Barnton in 1951, Leith North in 1962, and
stopping trains on the main line to Carstairs in 1964. The remaining services to Glasgow
Central, Stirling and English cities were
then diverted to Waverley, allowing Princes Street Station to be
closed in September 1965, and largely demolished in 1969/1970, with
the Western Approach Road being built along the track bed in the early 1970s.
Caledonian Hotel still operates on the site and has been renamed
the Caledonian Hilton
of the station space still remains within it and the grand entrance
arch is still visible at the side of the hotel. The former Parcels
Office lingered, on Lothian Road between the hotel and the Western
Approach Road, until a major office development was constructed on
its site in the 1990s.