Plans for abandoned Edinburgh rail line ‘delayed by rail bosses …

Network Rail[1] have been accused of "dragging their feet" over plans to reopen an abandoned Edinburgh[2] railway line as an active travel route.

The old line which traverses Leith[3] has lay derelict since freight stopped collecting compacted refuse from the Powederhall Waste Transfer Station, which was demolished in 2019 with the site now being redeveloped with new homes.

Connecting the Piershill to Powderhall railway with the paths network in the north of the city would be "transformational" for walking, wheeling and cycling in the area, SNP councillor Danny Aston said.

The council recently completed a feasibility study into the project - but an ongoing lease between rail bosses and the freight operator for the former waste compactor has put plans "on hold".

And despite the line no longer being in use, Network Rail has decided to continue classifying it as a "supplementary strategic freight site" meaning it could be re-opened in the future.

However Cllr Aston said the ball was in the arms-length rail company's court, accusing it of "hiding behind contractual arrangements which have seen the line left abandoned".

He said: "It’s time for them to take action and work with us on this for the benefit of the citizens of Edinburgh.

"It could have a new life now as an off-road active travel link allowing people to walk, wheel and cycle from Jock's Lodge, right through the most densely populated neighbourhood in the whole of Scotland between Easter Road and Leith Walk, onto Powderhall.

Old Leith Station


  1. ^ Network Rail (
  2. ^ Edinburgh (
  3. ^ Leith (
  4. ^