Edinburgh Transport  -  Railways

Leith Central Station

'Deltic' at Leith Central station

'Deltic' at Leith Central station

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Mike Jarron, East Lothian, Scotland


Leith Central Station

Thank you to Mike Jarron for providing the photograph above.  Mike wrote:

"Here, 'Deltic' is in the old Leith Central station which was used to stable diesels before the line was finally closed."

Mike Jarron:  East Lothian, Scotland:  February 22, 2007

The station was in fact used for several years to stable diesel multiple units after it closed to passengers.  It was then demolished to allow a swim centre and supermarket to be built on the site.




Thank you to Donald Grant, now living in Penicuik, who gave the following comments.  These help to date the photograph above.  Donald wrote:


1955 to 1959

"Moving on to a photo on the site of 'Deltic' at Leith Central I have a little more info on that.

The loco in the photo is in fact the prototype of the Deltic class and that came into service with British Rail in 1955. It did not appear on the Edinburgh area until 1959 when it spent five days of testing on the Waverley route. It was then diagrammed to work the East Coast Main Line (ECML) alongside the A4 Pacific steam locos."


1959 to 1961

"The loco suffered a major failure in 1961 * and never returned to traffic so that perhaps helps date the picture to between 1959 and 1961.

The loco is now part of the national collection and was last seen by me at Locomotion, Shildon, Co. Durham three years ago."

* See also:  comments from Andy Shortel (below.)


up to 1977

"Production Deltics (which didn't have the headlamp on the nose) entered service on the ECML replacing the A4s and ran until they were replaced by 125 units from 1977. In all 22 production Deltics were built and six survived into preservation.

The Deltic name comes from the triangular cylinder arrangement of the diesel engine which was developed from a Napier marine engine.

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  September 5, 2007




Thank you to Andy Shortel, Edinburgh, who wrote:


Reason for 1961 Withdrawal

"I have just read the entry about the prototype Deltic.  The author says it suffered a failure in 1961, causing its withdrawal.

According to the book I have,  Deltic was withdrawn not due to serious failure, but due to the 22 production Deltics entering full service.

A few of the engine internals and traction motors were different in design and their gear ratios were different, so it would have been non-standard as far as spare parts supply went.

I'm not saying the author is wrong & I am right.  I am merely casting doubt over that statement.

Andy Shortel, Edinburgh:  February 1, 2008

Thank you, Andrew, for your comments (above).  However, whatever the reason for Deltic's withdrawal, it still seems that the photograph above is likely to have been take between 1959 and 1961.

Please see Reply 4 below for a more accurate dating of this photo.

    'Deltic' at Leith Central Station ©

Peter Stubbs:  February 3, 2008




Donald Grant replied:


Reason for 1961 Withdrawal

"I note that Andy Shortel has responded doubting my note on the reason for the withdrawal of Deltic .

He is correct in saying in relation to the production version it had 'non standard' parts.

However, you may like to have a look at this page on The Railway Centre web site.  This was the source of my information that I sent in September 2007."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  February 19, 2008




Paul Bettany wrote:

Deltic at Leith Central

"You maybe interested to know that DELTICís only Scottish turns were between June 8 and June 18, 1959.  See details here.  This will help to date the photograph further."

The link above is to one of the pages on  the Napier Chronicles web site, a site that  records:

-  details of the DELTIC prototype locomotive, including its movements each year from 1955 when its trials began, and

-   information about the later Deltic production locomotives.

Paul Bettany, who edits the Napier Chronicles web site, added:

Deltic Locomotives

"DELTIC suffered a severe oil leak on November 24, 1960 and was dispatched back to the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-willows, where it stayed until it was officially withdrawn in March 1961, by which time the production locomotives were only just emerging.

These links to other pages on the Napier Chronicles web site give more information regarding:

-  DELTIC, prototype

other Deltic locomotives"

Paul Bettany, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England:  December 22, 2008



Thank you to Mike Jarron, who supplied the photo at the top of this page, for writing again.  Mike wrote:


Leith Central -  1959

    'Deltic' at Leith Central Station ©

"Some viewers have written, speculating on the date of this photo.  However, I can confirm that it was taken in June 1959."

Mike Jarron, East Lothian, Scotland:  August 27, 2015

Thank You, Mike

Thank you  to Mike for sending me a higher resolution copy of the photo above and for offering to send me higher resolution copier of more of his photos to add to the EdinPhoto web site.

That's a kind offer, but unfortunately there is no way that I'll bbe able to find the time to add any of them to the web site.  I currently have a large backlog of photos waiting to be added to the web site.  I now have 701 emails still to reply to, and more emails are arriving daily, faster than I am able to cope with them!

Peter Stubbs:  August 27, 2015, 2008



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