Tag Archives: railway

Beautiful red stone pediment above the caledonian

I just love the detail in this stone doorway to the mighty Caledonian Hotel, now the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.

Situated at the West End of Princes Street the red sand stone building was originally a railway station and opened in 1903. The station was closed in 1965.

It is amazing to think now, but at the time of opening there were two railway stations on Princes Street, one at either end. The other was the North British Railway station, now the Waverly and they were fierce rivals to the Caledonian Railway at the West End.

I love to find out about the details carved into building in the Victorian times and the following passage about the triangle sketched above is from the fantastic Canmore website. You can find out more about the building on their page HERE.

“The pediment over the door contains an elaborate scrolled shield carved with the coat of arms of the Caledonian Railway Company: a lion rampant. Flanking the shield are a seated male figure to left, and a seated female figure to right; their feet point towards the corners but their heads turn back to the centre. The male figure has his right hand on a model of an engine. By his left hand is a bag spilling coins. The female figure has her right hand on an open book, and her left hand on a winged wheel. Beyond the wheel is a lamp”
Canmore. National Record of the Historic Environment Scotland

Running beneath the traffic on the old railway

Old Railway pathThe North Edinburgh cycle paths are a lifeline for commuters, dog walkers and all those out for a traffic free hit of exercise.

I have recently started running and am finding these traffic free sketches of tarmac a real blessing, they make up many interesting circuits around north Edinburgh and have the added advantage of being relatively flat.

When I worked near Holyrood I often used these paths on my bike and now how busy they are with Edinburgh’s commuters in the mornings and evenings. So thanks must go to the council who have kept these routes clear during the snow storms of late, indeed they have been much safer to run/walk along than the pavements during this last week.

Old Railway pathphoto

If you are interested in getting started running I could not recommend the BBC One You Couch to 5K app enough. Exercising for around 30 minutes three times a week you start off walking more than you run and gradually over nine weeks decrease the walking and increase the running. And the feel good factor after each session really is addictive!

BBC One You Couch to 5K website.

Sketches from the historic opening of The Borders Railway

BordersRailway_RollingHillsThis week saw the near fifty year wait for train services to be reinstated in the Borders come to an end, as the new Borders Railway route opened to the public.


The longest domestic railway built in the UK for over a century, the new route was funded by Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government and constructed by Network Rail. It features thirty miles of new track and seven new stations between Edinburgh Waverley and Tweedbank.




The new line through the Borders will hopefully encourage more visitors out of Edinburgh and help the local communities in the area travel into Scotland’s capital much easier. A range of new buildings and attractions are planned along the route to increase tourism in the area.


I travelled along the new route last week and sketched my highlights, the landscape is breath taking and cuts through hills and valleys, over rivers and through picturesque ex-mining villages. I look forward to taking the train again and discovering more about the beauty and history within the Border country.


BordersRailway_TrainWaverley BordersRailway_NotesTrainBordersRailway_InsideAndOut BordersRailway_BorthwickCastle


Borders Railway website

Scotrail website


A magical day out at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Museum.

BonessRailway1Last week the sketcher family and I had a fantastic day, the twins first time on a steam train and they absolutely loved it.


We stayed until the end of the day and said good night to the engines as they had their night time coal and water before rolling into their shed for the night.
Here are two sketches from the day, I hope to go back soon for more sketching. I know the kids would jump at the chance to visit the engines again.

Sketches drawn on location in black ink and watercolour


The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Museum website