As the text on the engraved window glass proudly informs you, Waverley is the only station in the world named after a novel. The designers involved in the renovation of Edinburgh’s main railway station have made the most of the connection with Sir Walter Scott, Queen Victoria’s favourite novelist and the man who helped to create the romantic image of Scotland that sustains the Scottish tourist industry to this day.
If you’re trying to catch a train here you probably won’t have much time to read the literary quotes on the new windows and bridge panels. Waverley must be one of the most confusing railway stations in Britain with terminus platforms facing both east and west and through platforms which have a different number either end. The platform numbering reflects changes over the years as provision was made then removed again for parcels sidings and the Motorail car-carrying service. That knowledge won’t help you find your train any quicker. This plan of the station might be more useful.
With entrances on three sides at two different levels, Waverley has no grand facade but plenty of interesting details, if you have time to look for them. I was passing the station on a windy day and stepped inside to shelter from a squall of rain. With no train to catch and a camera in my bag, I found a number of surprises.
(Click on any photo to view the gallery)