A first look inside an abandoned signal box at Waverley train station which could make stunning new cafe or restaurant

A hidden signal box in the centre of Edinburgh would make a stunning new cafe or restaurant with the best views in the city, according to historian and TV presenter Tim Dunn.

By Shona Elliott
Friday, 24th December 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 24th December 2021, 11:54 am

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A short video created by Network Rail and posted on Twitter saw Mr Dunn take a tour of the forgotten Waverley West power box inside Waverley train station.

Taking in the breathtaking views of Princes Street Gardens and the Scott Monument over the railway lines, Mr Dunn noted the potential the listed building would have as a cafe or restaurant.

Tim Dunn - Historian, geographer, trainspotter, presenter gets a sneak peak at Waverley Station signal boxes which have been out of commission for decades @UKTV #TheArchitectureTheRailwaysBuilt & #SecretsOfTheLondonUnderground,

He said: “It’s disused but it’s a cracking space with a view across all of Edinburgh. Waverley’s West End and up to the monument.“Every building deserves to be reused for something good, this could be a cracking cafe.”

Signal boxes are shelters or small buildings constructed specifically to house the levers and other control equipment used to safely space, route and locally coordinate railway trains and to provide signalling staff with a vantage point from which to safely observe and efficiently control nearby trains.

This particular one was built in 1936 by the London and North Easterly Railway but now sits disused in the train station.While the high voltage power wires for trains that run alongside the building could be problematic, Mr Dunn said he hoped all parties would be able to work together to breathe new life into the unique structure.

He went on to say that they must find a way to make sure that any project undertaken makes economic sense.

Tim Dunn - Historian, geographer, trainspotter, presenter gets a sneak peak at Waverley Station signal boxes which have been out of commission for decades @UKTV #TheArchitectureTheRailwaysBuilt & #SecretsOfTheLondonUnderground,

If all those things could be achieved, he said the old building could be brought back to life as an eatery with some of the best views in the capital.“A lot of people will be wondering why it isn’t being reused,” he said.

"Well, below that floor is actually modern signalling equipment and outside there are high voltage power wires for trains which aren’t ideal for running right past your window. But it is hoped if all parties can find a way and it makes sound economic sense maybe, just maybe, this old building could one day be redeveloped and find a new life as a cafe or restaurant with a view and a half.”

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Tim Dunn - Historian, geographer, trainspotter, presenter gets a sneak peak at Waverley Station signal boxes which have been out of commission for decades @UKTV #TheArchitectureTheRailwaysBuilt & #SecretsOfTheLondonUnderground,

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Tim Dunn - Historian, geographer, trainspotter, presenter gets a sneak peak at Waverley Station signal boxes which have been out of commission for decades @UKTV #TheArchitectureTheRailwaysBuilt & #SecretsOfTheLondonUnderground,
Tim Dunn - Historian, geographer, trainspotter, presenter gets a sneak peak at Waverley Station signal boxes which have been out of commission for decades @UKTV #TheArchitectureTheRailwaysBuilt & #SecretsOfTheLondonUnderground,