Leith Walk Primary School

TV Excursion Trains

Pupils from Leith Walk Primary School queue up
 outside Abbeyhill Station for the TV Excursion Train

Pupils from Leith Walk Primary school queue up at Abbeyhill station in 1961 to catch the TV Excursion Train around Central Scotland.

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Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh for telling me about TV Excursion Trains, and about this photograph in particular.  Kim is one of the pupils in this queue.

Kim wrote:

Leith Walk Primary School

TV Excursion Trains

"Hereís an unusual event.  It looks like an evacuation, but in fact it was an educational experiment known as the TV Excursion Train.

Classes were taken round Central Scotland for a day, observing the countryís geography from the train window and  learning about the industries we passed.

The Headmaster and selected pupils broadcast from the on-board TV studio to each carriage, conducting lessons on everything from 'The Fife Coalfield' to Dundee's 'Jute, Journalism and Marmalade' and 'Shipping on the Clyde'.

It was a bit of a gimmick and didnít catch on; but it must have had some educational value.  It was on that train that I first learned about gradients and I've understood them clearly to this day.

The Photograph

"This photograph appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News.  It was taken at the brae outside Abbeyhill Station at about 8 am. 

The event was a whole-day train excursion through Central Scotland for Leith Walk Primary pupils in 1961."


"It might not be obvious but the pupils are lined up in pairs.   The boys in the queue are  (left to right, in each row):


- Billy Gracie, Hillside Street

- Ian Irvine, Easter Road (holding chalk)

2nd ROW:

- [unidentified.  He joined us in P7.]

David Sinclair, Buchanan Street

3rd ROW:

Ian Monaghan (partially hidden), Albert Street

Kim Traynor,  East Thomas Street

4th ROW:

-  Richard Sellars, Albert Street

Billy Wright, Crichton Place


The teacher holding the handbag and shopping bag is Miss Witherspoon.  The boy leaning out, nearest her, is Raymond Grant, East Thomas Street.

The female teacher with the black handbag further from the camera is the Music teacher, Miss Burnett.

The Journey

The route was:

-  across the Forth Bridge

up the east coast of Fife

across the Tay Bridge to Dundee

then via Perth and Stirling

to Glasgow and the Clyde.

There was a 1-hour stop at Lanark on the way home to Edinburgh.

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 1 + 5, 2009




GM Rigg


Thank you to GM Rigg who also remembered 'TV Excursion trains, and wrote:

Down the Clyde

"I went on one of those trips from Edinburgh through the scenic lines to Glasgow where we boarded a ship that took us up and down the Clyde, then back to the train to go home.

The time on the train journey was filled by talent shows that the kids were encouraged to participate in. It was fed from one carriage that had the camera to each carriage that had the receiving TV screens at the end of each carriage.

Great stuff when we were all about 9 or 10."

GM Rig, Edinburgh:  message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  September 11, 2009


Leith Walk Primary School