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  PHOTO GALLERY GROUP 27
 
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Above: Granton Gas Works station. The first two photographs on this page pick up the trail of the Caledonian Railway's branch from Princes Street station, Edinburgh, to Leith North, which we featured in Photo Gallery 25. Just west of Granton Road station, a freight-only branch headed north to serve Granton Gas Works and Granton Harbour. So how come we have two pictures of a listed passenger station? The answer is that the station was built by the Gas Works company, which provided its own service into Princes Street station! The first half of this 'branch off the branch' has been built over by a road – West Granton Access – with a cycle path alongside, whilst the remainder to Granton Harbour is a separate cycle path. July 2007. (Ralph Rawlinson)

 
Left: This elevated view of Granton Gas Works station shows that the passenger platforms still survive, albeit infested with a few weeds. Incidentally, anyone planning to explore the lost lines of Edinburgh should get a copy of the Edinburgh Cycle Map, price £4.95 post free from local cycling group 'Spokes' – it's worth every penny. For further details, click here. July 2007. (Ralph Rawlinson)
 
Right: Modern offices and a road now occupy the site of Edinburgh Princes Street, but the Caledonian Hotel that provided the station's facade onto Princes Street is still there, together with the station entrance alongside. The hotel, including piers, railings and former screen entrance to the station, is listed Category A. When Princes Street closed in 1965, trains were diverted to Edinburgh Waverley via the Duff Street Spur, which had been installed two years earlier. A path runs through the site of Merchiston, the only other station on this closed section. July 2007. (Ralph Rawlinson)
 
Left: Longbridge Signal Box. On a rather gloomy day in April, member Phil Mullarkey was lucky enough to gain access to the disused branch into the closed Longbridge Rover Plant. Members of the Chasewater Railway were visiting the site as the English, Welsh & Scottish Railway had said that they could have a 'look around' to see if there was anything they wanted to salvage. April 2007. (Phil Mullarkey)
 
Above: Longbridge Signal Box – front elevation. The signal box was an obvious contender for re-use, but the bottom section was in a poor state of repair, as can be seen here and in the view above. Some thought was given to salvaging the top section and re-using it on a platform, but so far as we know nothing came of this. It is interesting to see the box still in Western Region colours. Does this mean that it lived through the era of the British Rail corporate image without being re-painted black and white, like everything else? April 2007. (Phil Mullarkey)
 
Above: The interior of Longbridge Signal Box. If it looks as if the box could still be operational, that's because it was. On arrival, the party from the Chasewater Railway was met by two engineers from Network Rail, who were on site to see if the box was switched out – it wasn't. Not surprisingly, their request to Saltley box to throw the switch to see if anything happened on the main line was firmly declined! Later that day, the Chasewater team took away smaller items such ground discs, point rodding, etc., and came back a month or so later with an articulated lorry to remove the trackwork. April 2007. (Phil Mullarkey)
 
Above: Merstone on the Isle of Wight was the junction station where the line from Newport split into separate branches to Sandown and Ventnor West. Most of the Newport to Sandown line is now an attractive cycle trail, although the Ventnor West line remains in private ownership except for a short length of public footpath situated midway between St. Lawrence and the Ventnor terminus. This sculptural sign has been erected on the station's island platform, its design conveying a visual impression of how the old railway has been reclaimed by nature. 15 August 2007. (Chris Jennings)
 
Above: A view of the Great Central Railway from across Swithland Reservoir. On the last Saturday of January, Bob Prigg, Paul Hudson and Nigel Willis explored the area south of Quorn & Woodhouse station, taking in Mountsorrel (home to a huge stone quarry), Beacon Hill and Swithland Reservoir. The GCR was so busy that it could have been mistaken for the West Coast Main Line, but it turned out to be a Winter Steam Gala Day, with photographers out in force at all the strategic locations. The train seen here is a real 'outsider' – there is no mistaking the Southern green livery of the coaches, which appear to be in the charge of a GWR prairie tank engine. 26 January 2008. (Bob Prigg)