Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Tram Line Maintenance

Howard Street

"As a child, living in Howard Street, a treat that my parents disapproved of, but over which they had no control, was when the nightshift workmen would repair the tram lines that ran alongside our flat.

My bedroom would be lit up by blue flashing lights as the workmen cut out and arc welded in new sections of rail, particularly at the points where the wear was the greatest.

Even although it was a freezing cold winter's night, I would sit with my nose glued to the window, keeping a small hole clear of frost so that I could observe the spectacle.

My Mother used to suspect that this was what I might be up to, and would often catch me at it, saying that I would "catch my death of cold" if I didn't get back under the bedclothes.

Such innocent transgressions!"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 29, 2012




Robyn Lloyd Hughes

Preston St Mary, Suffolk, England

Thank you to Robyn Lloyd Hughes who wrote:

Trams and Trains


"I was born in Edinburgh, but we moved to North Wales when I was one year old.  Between 1996 and 2000, I commuted weekly from Suffolk to Edinburgh."

Summer Holidays (1950s-60s)

"Through the 1950s and 1960s I spent time in the Summer Holidays each year:

-  with my grandmother who lived in Bruntsfield Place, or

with my aunts, uncles and cousins who lived around Edinburgh.

Even when I was quite small, my brothers and I used to go on our own to Bruntsfield Links and across to the Meadows to play. I also remember walking past the King’s Theatre to the Tollcross and on to see my aunt and uncle in Lauriston Place. Kids were much more independent in those days."


"I remember, fondly, the trams which I could watch from the windows of Grandma’s flat.

Although I was only 10 in the summer of 1956 (the last year that the trams ran) I remember:

-  the Edinburgh Standard cars (flat roofs)

-  the ‘New’ Standard cars (domed roofs).

-  the non-standard cars, which we looked out for.   Some of these could only be recognised from the curved glass in the ‘corner’ windows."

 Tram Routes

"The tram routes which ran along Bruntsfield Place included the 11, 15, 16, 23, 27, and also the Church Hill Circulars (routes 13 and 14, clockwise and anti-clockwise) which we could see by running down Whitehouse Loan to Strathearn Place."


"Still on our own, I can remember taking the tram (15 or 16) to the Braids and then walking down the Braidburn Valley with my cousin, who lived then in a prefab in Oxgangs.

In the 1950s Oxgangs must have been one of the biggest estates of prefabs anywhere.  I remember it as a walk in the countryside, but then I also remember later the whole area being covered in high rise blocks of flats."


"Like most boys, I was also keen to see the trains.  When I was taken to Princes Street Gardens I always ran to the footbridge over the railway to watch the East Coast expresses, Flying Scotsman, Elizabethan and the rest* which were all new to me, and caused great excitement.

I also remember walking to Blackford Hill and watching the local trains on the southern loop line to Craiglockhart."

Robyn Lloyd Hughes, Preston St Mary, Suffolk, England:  11 January 2017


*  Many of the East Coast trains (including, I think)  the Flying Scotsman and Elizabethan ran between London and Edinburgh.  Others continued further north beyond Edinburgh, passing through Princes Street Gardens on their way to The Forth Bridge and their final destination, Aberdeen.    
-  Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  12 Jan 2017..


Thank you to Robyn Lloyd Hughes for responding to my 'Note' above, and expanding my knowledge of the railway workings on the East Coast main line.  Please see Robyn's comments in his 'Recollections 3' below

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  12 January 2017




Robyn Lloyd Hughes

Preston St Mary, Suffolk, England

Thank you to Robyn Lloyd Hughes for responding to my 'Note' above with his informative comments below.

Robyn wrote:

Trains through Princes Street Gardens

"Most of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) London-Edinburgh trains had an Aberdeen portion, including both the Scotsman and the Elizabethan.

The Aberdeen portion was usually 2 coaches only.  These were added to an Edinburgh-Aberdeen train but kept the name boards. The main portion of the train would then move on to Haymarket for servicing, so from the Gardens you could see 2 versions of each train within a short time."

Robyn Lloyd Hughes, Preston St Mary, Suffolk, England:  12 January 2017




Gus Coutts

Duddingston, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gus Coutts for adding to the discussion about trains through Princes Street Gardens in the 1950s.

Gus wrote:

Princes Street Gardens and Craigentinny

"In the 1950s, was there not a portion of The Flying Scotsman which continued from Edinburgh through Princes Street Gardens to Glasgow Queen Street station?

Re servicing - while the incoming  locomotive would go to Haymarket for servicing, the coaching stock would go to Craigentinny.

I seem to recall that 'The Queen of Scots' Pullman started its journey at Glasgow Queen Street station.

From my boyhood train spotting days at Craigentinny, I can't remember ever having seen any Pullman coaches entering or leaving the Craigentinny depot."

Gus Coutts:  13 January 2017



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