Dunbar railway station

Dunbar railway station serves the town of Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland. It is located on the East Coast Main Line and is a two platform station. The main platform (One) is located on a loop adjacent to the main through lines. The second platform is on the main northbound line which has officially operated trains stopping there since 15 December 2019. It is 29 miles 5 chains (46.8 km) from Edinburgh Waverley and 364.092 miles (585.950 km) from London King's Cross.[5] Prior to December 2019, the line on which the main platform is located was bi-directional (meaning that trains travelling to/from London or Edinburgh Waverley had to take it in turns to use the station if they were scheduled to stop there). With all Northbound services now using the second platform and no longer using the main platform loop (with the exception of the 0700 Cross Country to Glasgow and all terminating Scotrail Services from Edinburgh), this now leaves Syston station in Leicester as the only rare example of a single platformed main line railway station used on a major route.

Dunbar National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Bàrr[1]
Dunbar railway station, East Lothian - view south.jpg
Dunbar in 2017 looking south
Local authorityEast Lothian
Coordinates55°59′55″N 2°30′52″W / 55.9985°N 2.5145°W / 55.9985; -2.5145Coordinates: 55°59′55″N 2°30′52″W / 55.9985°N 2.5145°W / 55.9985; -2.5145
Grid referenceNT680784
Station codeDUN
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 0.426 million
2015/16Increase 0.453 million
2016/17Decrease 0.449 million
2017/18Increase 0.460 million
2018/19Increase 0.478 million
Original companyNorth British Railway
Pre-groupingNorth British Railway
16 June 1846Opened[2][3]
Listed status
Listing gradeCategory B
Entry numberLB24857[4]
Added to list11 January 1988
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Dunbar from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.


The station, which was first opened by the North British Railway in June 1846, used to have two platforms and an overall roof.[3] Both features no longer exist - the northbound platform loop line was taken out of use and lifted in the early 1970s, whilst the platform itself and the station roof were both removed during the modernisation and electrification by British Rail of the northern end of the East Coast Main Line in 1987-88.

For approximately five months in 1979, this was the terminal station for a shuttle service to Edinburgh Waverley. The shuttle service was provided after the East Coast Main Line was blocked due to the collapse of Penmanshiel Tunnel. Buses linked Dunbar with Berwick-upon-Tweed, from where rail services to London King's Cross resumed.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 3 January 1898, an express passenger train collided with a freight train that was being shunted. One person was killed and 21 were injured.[6]


The station is fully staffed, with the ticket office open throughout the week (Monday - Friday 05:55 - 21:30, Saturday 06:25 - 20:40 and Sunday 11:15 - 21:30). Self-service ticket machines are also provided for use outside these times and for collecting pre-paid tickets. There are toilets, a payphone and vending machines on the concourse. Train running information is provided by manual announcements, digital CIS displays, a customer help point and timetable posters. Level access is available from the entrance and concourse to the platform.[7]

Infrastructure operator Network Rail and East Lothian council have engaged in discussions to reinstate a second platform here in the future (2020) This would be located on the main lines to the south of the present station and would need a new bridge constructing to link it to the existing station building and platform.[8] There are now posters in one of the station's waiting rooms publicising the new works (second platform). In December 2018, Network Rail announced (via press release) that Amco has been appointed the contractors in the construction of the second platform which is due to start in Summer 2019 and have the works completed by early 2020.[9]


The station is served by Abellio ScotRail, CrossCountry, London North Eastern Railway and TransPennine Express. It was managed by the InterCity East Coast franchise holder until June 2015 when responsibility was transferred from Virgin Trains East Coast to Abellio ScotRail.[10][11][12]

The station is served mainly by CrossCountry trains on the Plymouth to Edinburgh route with projections to/from Dundee (2 Services Monday-Saturday and 1 on Sundays), Aberdeen (1 service per day) or Glasgow Central (07:00 service weekdays) in the north and Penzance (1 service per day Monday-Saturday with an occasional Sunday) in the south. These trains serve Dunbar at roughly two-hourly intervals throughout the day. Some London North Eastern Railway services between London King's Cross/Leeds and Edinburgh Waverley call at Dunbar.[13]

Abellio ScotRail also provides some Monday to Saturday services to Edinburgh. The weekday ScotRail services were introduced in the May 2010 timetable (marking the first time in 20 years since Scottish local services used Dunbar). A year later in May 2011, all ScotRail services between Dunbar and Edinburgh introduced a one intermediate stop at Musselburgh to allow the connection of Dunbar students to Queen Margaret University. From the beginning of the December 2011 timetable, a late Saturday night service to Dunbar from Edinburgh was introduced. The Saturday daytime services were introduced in the December 2012 timetable. The Abellio ScotRail services enhance Dunbar every two hours during the day making the daytime services hourly on Mondays-Saturdays. Abellio ScotRail does not serve Dunbar on Sundays. Train services on Sundays are two hourly throughout the day except for the evenings where these services are hourly until mid/late evening.

From December 2019, one southbound TransPennine Express service began to call at Dunbar.[14]

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
or Alnmouth or
Cross Country Network
  Edinburgh Waverley
or Alnmouth
  London North Eastern Railway
  Edinburgh Waverley
Berwick-upon-Tweed   TransPennine Express
North TransPennine
  Edinburgh Waverley
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Edinburgh to Dunbar
  Historical railways  
Line open; station closed
  North British Railway
NBR Main Line
  East Linton
Line open; station closed


  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ Butt (1995)
  3. ^ a b RAILSCOT
  4. ^ "STATION ROAD, DUNBAR RAILWAY STATION AND STATION LODGE". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  5. ^ Yonge, John (December 2007) [1987]. Jacobs, Gerald (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (5th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 11B. ISBN 978-0-9549866-3-6.
  6. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 9. ISBN 0-906899-03-6.
  7. ^ Dunbar station facilities Archived 11 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine National Rail Enquiries
  8. ^ Dunbar Railway Station could get second platform in three years East Lothian Courier news article 8 April 2016; Retrieved 9 February 2017
  9. ^ "Amco awarded Dunbar railway station upgrade contract" (Press release). Network Rail. 12 December 2018. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  10. ^ Regional News Rail issue 788 25 November 2015 page 27
  11. ^ ScotRail Franchise Invitation to Tender Archived 13 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Transport Scotland 23 January 2014
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Table 26 & 51 National Rail timetable, December 2018
  14. ^ TransPennine Express services calling at Dunbar 17 December 2019 Real Train Times


External linksEdit