Lost Edinburgh: The Caley

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Between 1903 and 1965 Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hotel had a split-personality.

While today the left entrance continues to lead into the Caledonian’s main foyer as it has done for the past 113 years, the right entrance did not always lead into the hotel bar. For over 60 years the right doorway provided the main passenger access into the Caledonian Railway Station, Princes Street Station as it was officially known. Once a rival to Edinburgh Waverley, Princes Street Station boasted 7 platforms and had existed on the site since the 1870s, but was closed in 1965 following the proposal of nationwide cuts to railway infrastructure by Dr Beeching.

The ornate iron arches of the station’s vehicle entrance, which once welcomed royalty into the capital, on Rutland Street continue to stand today, and a third entrance into the old station on Lothian Road opposite Castle Terrace is still visible but can no longer be accessed.

The West Approach Road was built along the Caledonian Railway’s old lines in the 1970s.