Edinburgh Transport  -  Railways

Granton Station

Granton Station

Granton Station  -  Where and when?

  For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                        Photographer and date of photo not known

Granton  Station


Here is a photo of a line of LMS wagons at Granton Station.

-  When was this photograph taken?

-  Is this the station that was close to the Custom House at Granton Square?

If you know the answers to these questions, please email me

Answer - 1

Thank you to Patrick Hutton of Edinburgh for emailing me within a couple of days of this photo being added to the site.  Patrick wrote:


"I think the photo is wartime (1939-45), or immediately post-war.

I have an idea that the LNER shortened the lettering on wagons and locos to NE around this time (as an economy measure?!) If so, the station itself would be closed to passengers by then. I presume it was still used as a goods office.

The station is on the pier, the photographer is about where the yacht club is now. The building in the haze in the distance still stands, I think, albeit very derelict."

[Patrick Hutton: November 8, 2004]


Answer - 2

Thank you to Walter Hume for the comments and recollections below:


"Granton Station, appears much too tidy to have been after 1930.

We as a family often had a day out to Burntisland beach, walking from Newhaven to Granton then a ferry trip on the old William Muir.  Tickets were obtained from the station which in the mid to late thirties was much more run down than the photograph indicates.

The actual station entrance was through a large gate in the high wall seen behind the platform, the Lighthouse Pier which was used by the 'Pharos' was at the southern end of the platform.

Although not easy to see in the photo the old steam crane can be picked out, this was used, along with two others on the West Pier, to load bunker coal on the large number of steam trawlers then operating from the port.

The building immediately beyond had a weighbridge.  Coal wagons were moved through an arch using a wire and electric capstan.  A before and after weight kept the record of coal loaded.  The big crane in question was removed soon after the conveyor was built at the end of the middle pier pre war, circa 1938."

[Walter Hume, Isle of Wight, England: February  3, 2005]


Answer - 3

Thank you to Douglas Beath, Tasmania, for the comments below:

1923-25?  or 1926-40?

"I've just found the Granton Station photo.  The L.M.S. wagon proves it was at earliest 1923,  and yes, the good condition and tidiness suggest pre-closure in 1925.

However the absence of platform lighting and seating support the post-closure idea and the building's continued use by staff.  It would certainly be pre-1940.

I remember it only as derelict,  and the name board would have been removed with the threat of enemy landings.  In the late 1940s(?) it burned down.

Coal Wagons

The N.E. wagons could be from the coal-dominated North Eastern Railway, a pre-1923 constituent of the L.N.E.R.,  but Mr Hutton's (L) N E (R) suggestion also appeals.

A coal wagon's diagonal line indicated that it had an end-tipping door.  The steam ship-loading crane  (visible by tilting my laptop screen)  was astride a rail track and lifted a ground-level deck with rails carrying the laden wagon;  slewed,  and tilted the whole thing to discharge the coal.  I feel sure it was there until after the war.

The other ship-loader at the northwest tip of Middle Pier was more efficient and more interesting.  A rake of weighed wagons was indexed along by a between-rails winch pawl pushing on the wagon's axle. 

Uncoupled, it rolled onto a turntable which rotated about 45 degrees then hinged up to discharge the coal into a below-ground hopper from where a belt conveyor continuously carried it up and out over the ship, to be dropped down two hanging chutes into the bunkers. 

The wagon turntable was re-lowered, rotated back into line, then tipped a little to nudge the wagon northward.  It rolled down through a long dip in the track and its momentum carried it up the opposite slope. 

Then it rolled back southward and spring points in  the dip diverted it onto the outbound track where another winching pawl caught it and pushed it and preceding empties forward together ready for re-coupling and departure."


Watching all this with boyish mechanical interest, little did I guess that thirty years later I would be engineer of a private railway and ship-loader in faraway Tasmania!

Douglas Beath, Tasmania:  February 1, 2006


Further Comments


Please click on the map below to see the position of the station on Middle Pier in 1870 (near the top of the map):



Please click on the picture below to see a view in 2002, looking north along Middle Pier from beside the slipway at the Royal Forth Yacht Club on Middle Pier.  This is about where the far end of the platform would have stood.


  Edinburgh Waterfront  -  Middle Pier  -  19 August 2002    

There is now no longer any evidence of the station, but some of the old railway track leading north from the station towards the derelict buildings can still be found.  No doubt it will soon be lifted as part of the Edinburgh Waterfront development.

The old railway track is not apparent in the photograph above, but it can be clearly seen in this photo:


Edinburgh Waterfront  -  A walk down Middle Pier, Granton Harbour  -  3 August 2002

[Peter Stubbs: 10 November 2004]


Granton Road Station

Granton Road Station was on the railway line that ran from Princes Street Station to Craigleith, East Pilton, Granton Road, Newhaven and North Leith.

Edinburgh's Railways  -  Edinburgh to North Leith

It is now one of many lines in North Edinburgh that have been converted into a cycle track and walkway.



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