Disposing of Edinburgh's refuse

Like several other cities in the UK, Edinburgh’s domestic refuse is transported by rail from a waste processing centre to a landfill site for burial.  The original landfill site was at Kaimes Quarry, near Midcalder, used from around 1988 to 1997 when trains started running to Oxwellmains to use the landfill site next to the cement works.  Waste is compacted at the Powderhall Refuse Transfer Station and loaded into containers for the journey to Oxwellmains.  Rather conveniently the refuse transfer station happened to be next to the former freight only branch running from Abbeyhill Junction to Granton gasworks.  The final traffic to the gasworks, naptha, ceased operation in January 1986 and the branch was truncated at Powderhall.  The original triangle at Abbeyhill became a long single line connection from the former Easter Road Junction to the former Lochend Junction with a junction to the ECML being made just west of Craigentinny carriage sidings.  At the time of writing (August 2005) the Edinburgh ‘binliner’ runs Monday to Saturday departing Powderhall at around 0800 and returning just before midday.  Motive power has varied over the years with Class 37s, 47s, 56s and 60s appearing; by August 2005 Class 66s were the nominal booked power but they shared the duties with the few remaining EWS Class 37s in Scotland.


Click here for the full image (111kb) On 16 August 2005 37401 approaches Powderhall with 6B44 binliner from Oxwellmains.  As can be seen the route is rather overgrown!  This was originally a double track formation.


Click here for the full image (147kb) On 16 August 2005 37401 is about to cross the points marking the eastern end of the run round loop at Powderhall.


Click here for the full image (106kb) Taken from the footbridge between Dryden Terrace and Dryden Street on 16 August 2005 37401 takes the binliner from Oxwellmains through the run round loop towards the Powderhall refuse transfer station.  There are flats to the right of this photograph which is a contrast to the previous industrial land use.


Click here for the full image (147kb) 37401 run rounds the binliner from Oxwellmains on 16 August 2005.


Click here for the full image (147kb) 37401 at the points for the run round loop prior to propelling the empty binliner containers at Powderhall on 16 August 2005.


Click here for the full image (147kb) 37401 about to propel the empty binliner containers through the run round loop at Powderhall on 16 August 2005.


Click here for the full image (147kb) 37401 propelling the empty binliner containers through the run round loop at Powderhall to the beyond transfer siding alongside the refuse processing plant on 16 August 2005.


Click here for the full image (147kb) On 24 May 2001 66134 on the section of line between the former Lochend and Easter Road Junctions with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains.  Contrast this with the image of the same location taken almost 17 years earlier - the extra trees made a similar photograph impossible!


Click here for the full image (147kb) 66134 is about to pass the site of the former Easter Road station with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains on 24 May 2001.  There is another comparison from 1984 with a Class 26 locomotive heading an eastbound ECS train.


Click here for the full image (147kb) After depositing the empty containers for loading for the next service to Oxwellmains 66134 is about to pass under Leith Walk on 24 May 2001 on its way back to Millerhill Depot light engine.


Click here for the full image (147kb) On 11 September 2001 66089 approaches the site of the former Lochend Junction with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains.  Visible on the right hand side is the platform of Meadowbank Stadium station constructed for the Commonwealth Games in 1986.


Click here for the full image (147kb) 66003 passes Craigentinny carriage sidings on 21 May 2002 with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains, on the approach to Powderhall Branch Junction and the divergence from the ECML.


Click here for the full image (137kb) 37893 passes Prestonpans on 13 August 1998 with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains.


Click here for the full image (137kb) 66247 approaches Longniddry station on 21 June 2001 with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains.


Click here for the full image (137kb) On 1 September 2004 37427 is seen at Ballencrieff between Drem and Longniddry with the empty binliner from Oxwellmains.