Two elephants from Princes International Circus arrive at Waverley Station in December 1952.
Two elephants from Princes International Circus arrive at Waverley Station in December 1952.

Edinburgh's Waverley Station: These 29 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s show what the Capital's main train station was like over half a century ago

It’s welcomed arriving and departing passengers for over 150 years, and there was plenty going at Edinburgh Waverley back in the 1950s and 1960s.

The station’s name – from the series of novels by Sir Walter Scott – initially referred to a trio of stations which all served Edinburgh City Centre, namely the North Bridge Station, Canal Street Station and Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's General Station.

Initially used as the name for the through route to Carlisle which opened in around 1854, Waverley was adopted by the North British Railway company when it bought all its rivals’ stations, demolished them, and started construction on a single transport hub for all route.

The station was built on its current site in 1868 and was extended in the late 19th century, with the glass dome added in 1897.

Since then it has been in continual use by a number of different transport companies and public bodies, including North British, the LNER, British Railways, British Rail, Railtrack and Network Rail.

In all that time it has remained the city's principal station, despite competition from rivals Caledonian Railway, who built and ran Princes Street Station, at the bottom of Lothian Road, from 1870 to 1965.

Railway electrification arrived in 1991, followed by extensive refurbishments in 2006 and 2007.

From 2010 to 2012, the roof of the station was upgraded using strengthened clear glass panels, greatly increasing the amount of natural light in the building.

Waverley currently has 20 platforms, with notable services including the Caledonian Sleeper linking London Euston with the Highlands, the TransPenine Express to Manchester and Liverpool, and

the Avanti West Coast route to London Euston via Birmingham.

Further improvements are planned as part of Network Rail’s Waverley Masterplan, including a new mezzanine concourse above the main platforms with a link to the Waverley Mall shopping centre.

Here are 29 pictures to take you back to the station in the 1950s and 1960s.

Read more:

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Page 1 of 8