Innocent Railway Path

Innocent Railway Path

Submitted by edg on Thu, 5 May '11 8.48pm

The Innocent Railway path connects the Newington - Holyrood area with Brunstane to the East of the city on the coast. One of Edinburgh's extensive off-road pedestrian cycleways,

History of the Innocent Railway

The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway, opened in 1831, originally as a horse-drawn tramway built to haul coal from the mines of Lothian up to the Edinburgh at St Leonards. It was nicknamed "the Innocent Railway" possibly due to its safety record, carrying 300 to 400 thousand passengers a year without fatalities, in an age where steam engines had a reputation as dangerous (the name seems apt given its non-motorised use today) or due to the slow pace of travel.

The 350 yard Innocent Railway Tunnel under Holyrood Park is considered one the first railway tunnel in the UK. The tunnel was designed by James Jardine, with trains originally winched by cable up the steep incline.

The Innocent Railway  was Edinburgh's first railway line.

The railway line closed in 1968 and the section between Newington / St Leonard's and Craigmillar re-opened in 1981 as a pedestrian bicycle path.