Midlothian’s 100 Objects - A Midlothian map of local railways

A map with part of Midlothian and East Lothian showing proposed railways, 1818. Photo: National Library of Scotland/Scran
A map with part of Midlothian and East Lothian showing proposed railways, 1818. Photo: National Library of Scotland/Scran

This 1818 map of Midlothian, Edinburgh and East Lothian shows proposed railway lines.

The title on this map reads, ‘Reduced plan of part of the Shires of Edinburgh & Haddington shewing the lines of the Proposed Railways from the City of Edinburgh & Port of Leith to the Coal Fields of Mid & East Lothian’. Surveyed by J. Steedman and engraved by J & G Menzies, it was published in 1818.

Drawn at a scale of approximately 1inch to every mile, it includes ‘sections of the several lines which have been surveyed by Robert Stevenson’.

At the bottom right of the map, a scale has been provided in miles and furlongs.

There is also a list of references detailing the different railway lines, all of which have been colour-coded for easy reference.

The geographical detail on this map is mainly restricted to the area within the vicinity of the railway lines.

The development of the rail network in the early 1800s allowed for faster and more efficient travel. Increasing industrialisation resulted in the creation of engineering plans, which recorded the bridges, viaducts and locks. These transport plans were further supplemented by the landownership and general maps required before the Act of Parliament could be passed. As a result a detailed body of transport information has accumulated over the years.

Photo: National Library of Scotland/Scran

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