Stations on Edinburgh's South Suburban Line

Abbeyhill and Piershill

Early-1964

Please scroll beyond these photos to read the photographer's comments.

Photo
1.

Abbeyhill Station

Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh  -  early-1964

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Photo
2.

Tunnel at Abbeyhill Station

Tunnel at Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh  -  early-1964

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Photo
3.

Gradient Post at Abbeyhill Station

 Gradient Post at Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh  -  early-1964

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Photo
4.

Piershill Station -  Looking West

Piershill Station, Edinburgh, looking west  -  early-1964

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Photo
5.

Piershill Station -  Looking East

Piershill Station,Edinburgh,  looking east  -  early-1964

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

 

Enlarge these 5 photos

   Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh, early-1964

 

 

Recollections

1.

Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Laurie Thompson for allowing me to reproduce his photos above.

Laurie wrote:

My Photos

Early-1964

"Here are three photos of Abbeyhill Station and two of Piershill Station that I took in erly-1964.  I'd heard that the stations were closing, and decided to take a few record pictures, using the only camera then available to me.  Both stations closed to passenger traffic on September 7, 1964."

The photos are not great quality, all having been taken on 120 film with my old Kodak box camera, not long before I eventually got my first 35mm camera.

Abbeyhill Station

"Abbeyhill station was built by the North British Railway Company in 1869.

These photos might be of current interest, as well as historical interest, given that there have been proposals to reinstate a length of track through the old Abbeyhill Station site to allow it to be used as a turn-back siding/stabling point for Glasgow -Edinburgh train stock, to relieve congestion in Waverley Station itself.

Can any of your contributors possibly provide an update on this proposal? There also seems to have been some internet discussion about the possibility of re-instating passenger services from this stabling point, but I don't think they have come to much. That's another one for your contributors to comment on!"

Piershill Station

Although Abbeyhill station is similar in appearance to Piershill, there are some noticeable differences. For example, the Abbeyhill buildings don't have the ornamental roof finials or the paned glass draught screens at each end of the buildings, as found at Piershill.

This might be because Piershill station wasn't built until 1891.  It was the last of several stations that had been opened and closed in the Piershill area during a time when the NBR small station design standards may have changed.

Also, while Piershill, when built, was a 'semi-country' station on a raised embankment, with open areas - and therefore exposure to the elements - to the east, north and west, Abbeyhill was more urban, and sheltered from the elements, possibly making the draught screens unnecessary."

As you'll see, Piershill station, for all its small size, was quite well appointed, with waiting room fires on both sides, and stylish features such as the elegant finials at each end of the buildings' roofs."

Abbeyhill Station

Photo
1.

Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh, early-1964

"This is a general view, looking north, with the connection to the East Coast Main Line a couple of hundred yards behind the camera. The building immediately above the short tunnel running under London Road is the station's main entrance and ticket office. (Piershill's ticket office was at ground level, below the level of the raised running line and main station buildings, at the foot of covered staircases very like those shown in this picture.).

I don't know the reason for the curved cutaway of the Down side station canopy, but it may be because track relaying or realignment, some time after the station was originally built, resulted in the canopy coming into conflict with the new loading gauge, so creating a need for appropriate re-profiling.

The stylish and varied designs of the parapets and chimney stacks of the tenement block above and to the right of the station are also interesting. (They contrast strongly with the present-day ugly blue-green structure on the corner of London Road and Abbey Lane that will now obscure the view of those old tenements from this viewpoint!)"

Abbeyhill Station

Photo
2.

Tunnel at Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh  -  early-1964

"This view through the tunnel at the north end of Abbeyhill station shows the junction where the line to Granton and Leith branched off to the left, while the right-hand line led to Lochend Junction and the Leith Central and Piershill lines. The last-mentioned eventually met the East Coast Main Line again just east of Piershill station."

Abbeyhill Station

Photo
3.

Gradient Post at Abbeyhill Station, Edinburgh  -  early-1964

"This is simply a picture of the station's gradient board, showing the uphill gradient, increasing from 1-in-86 to 1-in-58, faced by trains immediately upon leaving the station for Waverley.

(This was probably much loved by steam loco drivers of the first Up trains starting away after a station stop, on icy rails, on snowy, freezing winter mornings!)"

Piershill Station

Photo
4.

Piershill Station, Edinburgh, looking west  -  early-1964

"In this photograph can be seen the spectators' grandstand (just to the left of the left-hand station building) and the terracing retaining wall (in the middle distance) of Old Meadowbank speedway and stock-car racing track.

This, of course, was demolished in connection with the building of the 1970 Commonwealth Games complex at Meadowbank. The short-lived Commonwealth Games Halt was built not far past the terracing retaining wall.

In the background are the still-existing Marionville Road tenements, now opposite Meadowbank athletics track, and the now-vanished western part of William Thyne's printing works."

Piershill Station

Photo
5
.

Piershill Station, Edinburgh, looking east  -  early-1964

"This shows a local two-car diesel multiple unit, probably from Musselburgh, taking on (unusually) several passengers heading for Waverley - under ten minutes away, with only one intermediate stop, at Abbeyhill.

The junction with the East Coast Main Line is only a couple of hundred yards down the line from the train, just across the bridge over Smokey Brae.

The nearby 'Piershill Barracks' tenements can be seen in the background on the right.  St Margaret's locomotive shed is out of shot, to the right of this picture, two minutes' walk away."

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:
emails received: Sep 19+19+21, 2014

 

Recollections

2.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kenneth Williamson who wrote:

Abbeyhill Station

"I liked the pictures of Abbeyhill Station (above).

I used to train spot there when I was a boy as my granny lived in Rossie Place.  The Abbeyhill signal box and trains waiting to go on the main line were visible from the end of Rossie Place."

Easter Road Station

"Easter Road Halt was interesting.  The incoming football specials stopped there ,but returning football specials always left from Easter Road Station.

I always thought it made more sense to keep both sets of fans apart.  Alas, nowadays it is not a problem!  (There are no longer any football specials to on the line to Easter Road.)"

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  October 17, 2014

 

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