John Speller's Web Pages Waverley Route (NBR)

John Speller's Web Pages - North British Railway
Waverley Route
The Edinburgh & Hawick Railway was incorporated by an Act of 31 July 1845 to build a double tracked railway 45 miles 28 chains long from a junction with the Dalkeith Railway (Edinburgh to Dalkeith) to Hawick. By another Act in the same session the North British Railway absorbed both the Dalkeith and Edinburgh & Hawick companies. The Engineer was John Miller. The line was completed and opened to traffic on 25 October 1849. The 44-mile Border Union Railway was chartered under an Act of 21 July 1859 to extend the line from Hawick to Carlisle, with a 7-mile branch to Langholm, and a 3-mile branch to a station adjacent to the Caledonian company's station in Gretna. The line opened on 1 July 1862, contemporaneously with the Border Counties Railway from Hexham to Riccarton Junction. This made possible through running over the North British Railway from Newcastle to Edinburgh Waverley avoiding the East Coast Main Line) as well as from Carlisle Citadel to Edinburgh Waverley. Owing to the associations of several places on the line with Sir Walter Scott's novels, the line became known as the Waverley Route. From 1876 the Midland Railway began running trains from St. Pancras via Carlisle to Edinburgh over the Waverley Route in co-operation with the North British Railway. The heavier weight of the Midland trains over the steeply graded route necessitated the use of more powerful locomotives, so Dugald Drummond designed the "M" or "Abbotsford" Class of 4-4-0 locomotives for working these services. The line is in the process of being relaid, and a video of the partially complete line may be seen here. The first part of the line to reopen will be between Edinburgh and Tweedbank (a village between Galashiels and Melrose), which is due to open on 6 September 2015. It is eventually hoped to reopen the line all the way to Carlisle. Since the old line has been heavily redeveloped on the outskirts of Carlisle, the plan is to use the old North British Railway Longtown to Gretna branch line as a link and then use the West Coast Main Line for the last few miles into Carlisle.
Map of the Waverley Route of the North British Railway
Lothianbridge Viaduct (also known as Newbattle Viaduct and Newtongrange Viaduct) is located near Dalkeith. The fine 23-arch stone structure was designed by John Miller in 1847 and replaced a timber viaduct originally built in 1832 as part of the Marquis of Lothian's Waggonway. It spans the River South Esk and is a total length of 1,011 feet. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Gresley "D-49" Class 4-4-0 No. 62712, "Morayshire" at Hawick. Image from Wikipedia copyright John Griffiths and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
Edinburgh - Carlisle express approaching Carlisle in a postcard view of around 1905
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