Locomotive 123 from Perth arrives at Princes Street Station, driven by John Powrie, in March 1958.Locomotive 123 from Perth arrives at Princes Street Station, driven by John Powrie, in March 1958.
Locomotive 123 from Perth arrives at Princes Street Station, driven by John Powrie, in March 1958.

Edinburgh's Princes Street Station: These 24 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s show life in the Capital's former transport hub

Thousands of passengers travelled through the station in Edinburgh’s west end for almost a hundred years, and it was still a hive of activity in the years before its closure.

Princes Street Station was the Caledonain Railway Company’s second railway station in Edinburgh – providing a replacement for the the nearby Lothian Road station which was opened in 1848.

This was only a temporary station, after lack of funds made more ambitious plans impossible, but by 1870 it was decided to build a new station at the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road.

Originally a fairly basic wooden structure, after it was destroyed by fire in 1890 plans were hatched to replace it with a grand station supplying the Capital with seven platforms under a 850 foot long bayed roof.

It was completed in 1893 and was swiftly followed by the construction of an attached luxury railway hotel in 1903, designed by Edinburgh architects, Peddie and Washington Browne and quickly becoming known at the Caledonian Hotel.

At the start of the 20th century Princes Street Station had regular local services, along with five trains a day to England, 20 to Carlisle, 16 to Glasgow, and 10 to Aberdeen.

The nationalisation of the railways in 1948 was the beginning of the end for the station, as a period of rationalisation meant that having two train stations near each other was seen as a luxury that the taxpayer could not afford.

Local services were slowly withdrawn, or moved to the preferred Waverley Station, until the station was finally closed in September 1965.

The station itself was demolished in 1969, with the Western Approach Road now following the route of the track.

The distinctive red sandstone Caledonian Hotel remains and was recently renamed the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.

These 24 pictures show life in the station during its final years of service.

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