Scale: ’00’ [4mm Scale on 16.5mm gauge].

This layout is no longer available for exhibition.

Newcastleton was a station on the Waverley Route. The station opened on the 1st of March 1862 and lay on the north-west side of the town, just off the central main square. It consisted of two platforms, goods yard [now the site of a caravan park], signal box, footbridge, level crossing and a station master’s house, which today is the only building still remaining. For trains heading north from Carlisle this was the last major centre of population on the line before Hawick, 21 miles away. At Newcastleton the 8 mile, 1 in 75 climb to Whitrope Summit started and banking engines were attached here to certain northbound goods trains.

The model depicts the line from the siding to the south of the level crossing through the station to the north end of the goods yard. It is a continuous run with the station on one side and a 12 road fiddle yard on the other. It is not an entirely accurate model, but we hope it is recognisable to anybody who knew the original.

  • Newcastleton, An A3 on the southbound 'Waverley' passes an A2 on a fitted van train.
    Newcastleton, An A3 on the southbound 'Waverley' passes an A2 on a fitted van train.
    Image courtesy British Railway Modelling / Nigel Burkin
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The Waverley Route

The Waverley Route ran south from Edinburgh. Leaving the East Coast mainline at Portobello Junction it ran through Galashiels, Melrose and Hawick in the Scottish borders to Carlisle. The first section from Edinburgh to Hawick was proposed by an independent company, but was absorbed by the North British Railway Company before it opened in 1849. It was extended to Carlisle by the Border Union Railway opening throughout in 1862. There were connections with the Border Counties Railway to Hexham at Riccarton Junction and the branch line to Langholm at Riddings Junction. The Waverley Route did not assume main line status until the Midland Railway reached Carlisle from Leeds in 1876. A victim of the Beeching cuts, the railway closed on the 6th January 1969.

On the night of the 5th / 6th of January 1969 the last service train, the southbound night sleeper hauled by 45 022 [D60] ‘Lytham St Annes’ passed over the line. In protest at the closure of the railway the local people led by their minister, the Reverend Brydon Maben, closed Newcastleton level crossing and stood on the line delaying the train for two hours. The minister was arrested, but Member of Parliament David Steel who was on the train negotiated the minister’s release and persuaded the crowd to allow the train to pass.

In 2006 a Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament to re-open the line as far as Tweedbank just south of Galashiels and this part of the line re-opened as the Borders Railway on 6th September 2015.

Waverley Headboard

Running between Waverley and St Pancras via Leeds, this was the premier train on the route. Originally called the Thames-Forth Express it, like almost all named trains in the UK, lost its title at the outbreak of World War 2. It was renamed as ‘The Waverley’ in June 1957. The Waverley ceased to run during the winter after 1964, but continued to operate during the summer until September 1968.

In British Railways days the only other through train between Edinburgh and London was the night sleeper, the train involved in the famous incident at Newcastleton described above.

Further reading.

Below are links to the Railscot and The Waverley Route Heritage Association web sites which contain detailed information on the history of the line.