The Railway at Innerleithen
On the 1st October 1864 the railway track linking Peebles to its smaller neighbour was completed. Innerleithen Station was built where the line crosses Traquair Road. The line to Galashiels became operational on 18th June 1866 and the station became an industrial and passenger hub exploiting the many benefits the railway brought to Innerleithen as industry developed. A substantial goods yard was built on the north side and a private siding was provided for the nearby Waverley Mills in the 1870s.
As well as a boon for ordinary folk wishing to visit the town the rich and famous also had occasion to alight at Innerleithen, usually on a visit to Glen House, home of wealthy industrialist Sir Charles Tennant. During the 1880 General Election William Gladstone made a speech in Traquair Road from just outside the station. Another Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, who was married to Margot, daughter of Sir Charles, was an occasional visitor.
In the early 1900s there were about six trains daily in each direction, “up” to Galashiels and “down” to Edinburgh, from where passengers could travel throughout the United Kingdom. Special trains were frequently hired, usually by the mills, for staff excursions to the seaside, annual picnics and sporting events. Before the advent of bus services and private ownership of the now ubiquitous motor car the trains provided a welcome and reliable commuter service to and from nearby stations.
Sadly, by the 1960s the line was deemed unviable and the station closed on 5th February 1962
Today the station house, combined with the former ticketing office and waiting room, is a private dwelling house. The old track bed between Innerleithen and Peebles has been tarred and forms the Tweed Valley Railway Path, a valuable and popular leisure amenity for Peebles, Cardrona and Innerleithen.