On Saturday 16th November, several Bookfest events take place in the villages along the Water of Leith valley some relating to the Balerno Branch line which is now part of the Water of Leith Walkway. For a week or so beforehand, maps and period pictures will be on display in Currie Library that will end at the Colinton Tunnel where Chris Rutterford is creating dramatic artwork based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem From a Railway Carriage.On the same day, Alistair Dickson will be at Colinton Library (for one day only 10am - 5pm) with his spectacular working model railway showing how trains operated at Colinton.The layout replicates an actual location, that being Colinton on the Caledonian Railway’s Balerno branch to the south west of Edinburgh, now all part of Edinburgh district.The location was chosen because there was freight traffic generated by paper and grain mill operations along the length of the branch as well as at the station itself. The track layout and lack of a run round loop in the station provides for restricted shunting movements that adds interest to the layout’s operation. With the removal of signalling in the early 1900s’, one engine in steam is the norm thus simplifying operations. Passenger traffic was discontinued in 1943 becoming a freight only operation although Rail tour specials are known to visit.The large industrial building replicates the original “Scott’s Porage Oats” Mill, only recently demolished and replaced with a similar building of private apartments. Much information on this particular railway can be found in the book by Donald Shaw, The Balerno Branch, published by Oakwood. Reference copies of the book will be available at the exhibition in Currie Library.
Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfE-UdwBa3I