Ticked off a few more in and around Edinburgh this weekend
Firstly I trailed out to Longniddry on the well beaten road to North Berwick. There were lots of singles out and no groups, which was good to see. Just past Longniddry station, you can turn under the current ECML (through a really cool small bridge which still has the setts under it). You then pop out into what used to be the junction and a railway cottage remains there, in good order.
The line was a 4.8mile branch, opened in 1846 by the North British Railway, after the residents of Haddington lost their shit about the ECML not passing directly through their town. It was well used by passengers and goods until the `20's, but closed to passengers in the 1930's after the A1 proved to good a competitor. The line was closed to goods in 1968 and East Lothian Council bought the track bed in 1978.
I didn't realise under I got on the alignment that its a climb on a 1 in 66 until the 3 mile post, its an easy grade and the past is cinders with a hint of mud, there are still mileage posts and bridges intact and in all its a really usable bit of line that gets you to Haddington quickly.
Once you get under the A1, the path is tarmaced into the the town its self, but just past the old sidings the path stops and even though the cutting continues away under the road bridge a mile out of town, the path hasn't been carried on. There is a group, amazingly called RAGES (Rail Action Group East of Scotland), who want to reopen the line, but I'm not sure its economically viable with the terminus gone, the A1 obliterating the alignment and ECML congestion. As a bike ride though, its bloody lovely.
After a decent tour around the East Lothian countryside, I banged it back into town, but I had planned on using a bit of the Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway path that I hadnt been on yet. All tarmaced and a quick way from South Leith up to Abbeyhill.
Edinburgh has so many old railway lines that are really useful links, its incredible, but what is then equally incredible is that the cycling provision through the city centre is utter shite.
Next up, A bit of Pentcaitland and also some Penicuik, which has a tunnel!