North British Railway

North British Railway

North British Railway

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The North British Railway was a Scottish railway company that was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923.


The North British Railway Company was established in 1844 and opened its first line, from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed, with a branch to Haddington, in 1846.


In 1865 it took over the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, the oldest in Scotland. Other amalgamations followed, altogether over 50 small lines being made part of the North British system, which ultimately totalled 2,739 miles.

Main line

The main line was from Aberdeen through Dundee to Edinburgh, whence it forked to Carlisle and Berwick to meet the main English routes (the London and North Western Railway (also the Midland Railway) and the North Eastern Railway respectively). Fife was covered with a network of lines, and the pleasure resorts on the east and west coasts were also served. The company owned the Tay Bridge and its services also used the Forth Bridge, for whose construction it was responsible as part of the Route to the North in the 19th century.

English lines

Although primarily a Scottish railway, the NBR also had an extensive branch network in northern Northumberland, reaching to Hexham, Morpeth and Rothbury, as well as the main line into Berwick. Its lines also reached into northern Cumberland as far as Silloth, Port Carlisle, Gretna <!-- is there a Gretna...
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