Edinburgh Transport  -  Railways

Canal Street Station

Detail based on a watercolour by Ebsworth

Edinburgh from the Scott Monument, looking east  -  1847

Detail from a picture based on a watercolour by Ebsworth  -  View to the East from the Scott Monument in 1847

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Frank Hay, Queensferry, Edinburgh.

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    Detail from a picture based on a watercolour by Ebsworth  -  View to the East from the Scott Monument in 1847


Canal Street Station

Thank you to Frank for providing the detail above taken from a print in  "Life Jottings" by Sir J H A McDonald, published 1914, taken from a watercolour by Ebsworth entitled: "Edinburgh From Scott Monument, Looking East, 1847. 

This is, in fact, one of four images by Ebsworth from the 1840s - looking N, S, E and W from the recently constructed Sir Walter Scott Monument in East Princes street Gardens.

Frank writes:

Canal Street Station

"The print shows a number of interesting features:

- In the foreground, the newly opened Canal Street Station (Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway) with:

-  station buildings

-  engine shed

-  platform

-  winding engine

The carriages were pulled by cable up through a tunnel under Princes Street from Scotland Street.

- To the right, North British Station with its long covered platforms, opened 1846 (Waverly Station was built later in 1854 combining these two stations and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's, General Station)

- In the background, North Bridge with its original stone arches.

One thing I would like to know is, where was the canal in Canal Street?"

Edinburgh Canals

1. The canal referred to in Canal Street Station was, in fact, an ornamental canal, proposed to replace the North Loch. 

This canal appears on Armstrong's map of 1773, but the canal was never constructed, and Canal Street was suppressed in the redevelopment of Waverley Station in 1868.
Source:  The Place Names of Edinburgh:  Stuart Harris.

2. Plans were drawn up by Stevenson for the canal to extend from Princes Street Gardens to Leith, but these were never implemented.
Source:  Cassel's Old & New Edinburgh, Publ. 1890

The two quotes above appear to refer quite different canal proposals.

There appear to have been several different proposals for canals in North Edinburgh that did not come to fruition, including one to join the Union Canal at Tollcross to the Firth of Forth at Granton. 

I have a copy of a map showing the canal approaching Granton from the south through a flight of locks.  This map is titled: 'Granton made Magnificent'!

The rapid expansion of the railways in the mid-1800s put an end to many of the plans to extend canals.

-  Peter Stubbs:  July 16, 2006


History of Canal Street Station



Edinburgh Railway Lines and Stations