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On his travels buying and selling wool, Edward Pease came to the conclusion that there was a great need for a railroad with waggons drawn by horses to carry coal from the collieries of West Durham to the port of Stockton. In 1821 Pease and a group of businessmen formed the Stockton & Darlington Railway company. Over three-quarters of the original £120,000 invested came from the Darlington area. The largest investor was Joseph Gurney, the Quaker banker from Norwich, who purchased £14,000 worth of shares.
On 19th April 1821 an Act of Parliament was passed that authorized the company to build a horse railway that would link the collieries in West Durham, Darlington and the River Tees at Stockton. Nicholas Wood, the manager of Killingworth Colliery, and his enginewright, George Stephenson, met Pease and suggested that he should consider building a locomotive railway. Stephenson told Pease that "a horse on an iron road would draw ten tons for one ton on a common road". Stephenson added that the Blutcher locomotive that he had built at Killingworth was "worth fifty horses".
That summer Edward Pease took up Stephenson's invitation to visit Killingworth Colliery. When Pease saw the Blutcher at work he realised George Stephenson was right and offered him the post as the chief engineer of the Stockton & Darlington company. It was now now necessary for Pease to apply for a further Act of Parliament. This time a clause was added that stated that Parliament gave permission for the company "to make and erect locomotive or moveable engines".
In 1823 Edward Pease joined with Michael Longdridge, George Stephenson and his son Robert Stephenson, to form a company to make the locomotives. The Robert Stephenson & Company, at Forth Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, became the world's first locomotive builder. Stephenson recruited Timothy Hackworth, one of the engineers who had helped William Hedley to produce Puffing Billy, to work for the company. The first railway locomotive, Locomotion, was finished in September 1825. The locomotive was similar to those that Stephenson had produced at the collieries at Killingworth and Heaton. The boiler of the Locomotion had a single fire tube and two vertical cylinders let into the barrel and the four wheels were coupled by rods rather than a chain.
Work on the track began in 1822. Stephenson used malleable iron rails carried on cast iron chairs. These rails were laid on wooden blocks for 12 miles between Stockton and Darlington. The 15 mile track from the collieries and Darlington were laid on stone blocks.
The Stockton & Darlington Railroad was opened on 27th September, 1825. Large crowds saw George Stephenson at the controls of the Locomotion as it pulled 36 wagons. Twelve wagons of coal and flour, six of guests and fourteen wagons full of workmen. The initial journey of just under 9 miles took two hours. However, during the final descent into the Stockton terminus, speeds of 15 mph (24 kph) were reached. These increased speed surprised one man and he fell from one of the wagons and was badly injured.
The train also included a purpose built railway passenger coach called the Experiment. The carriage seated 18 passengers and as it had no springs it must have provided an uncomfortable ride but for the first time in history, a steam locomotive had hauled passengers on a public railway.
The Darlington & Stockton Railroad began running trains every day except Sundays. The company received 1d per ton of coal for every mile carried. The following year this was reduced to half-penny a mile. Local colliery owners reported that locomotive transport was a third cheaper than horse transport.
For the first few years, only the freight wagons were pulled by locomotives. The passenger coach, Experiment, was housedrawn. It was built like an ordinary road coach except that it was double-ended so that the vehicle did not have to be turned for return journeys. The Darlington & Stockton trains were equipped with dandy carts in which the horses were placed when it was going downhill.
The hour of ten arrived before all was ready to start. About this time the locomotive engine, or steam horse, as it was more generally termed, gave note of preparation. The scene, on the moving of the engine, sets description at defiance. Astonishment was not confined to the human species, for the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air seemed to view with wonder and awe the machine, which now moved onward at a rate of 10 or 12 mph with a weight of not less than 80 tons attached to it.
The distance from Brussleton to Stockton is twenty and a half miles, the entire length from Witton Park Colliery, nearly 25 miles, being, we believe, the largest railway in the Kingdom. The whole population of the towns and villages within a few miles of the railway seem to have turned out, and we believe we speak within the limits of truth, when we say that not less than 40 or 50,000 persons were assembled to witness the proceedings of the day.
The passengers by the locomotive engine had the pleasure of accompanying and cheering their brother passengers by the stage coach which passed alongside and observing the striking contrast exhibited by the power of the engine and the horse - the engine with her 600 passengers and load and the coach with four horse and only 16 passengers.
The novelty of the scene, and the fineness of the day, had attracted an immense concourse of spectators, the fields on each side of the railway being literally covered with ladies and gentlemen on horseback, and pedestrians of all kinds. The train of carriages was then attached to a locomotive engine, built by George Stephenson, in the following order: (1) Locomotive engine, with the engineer (Mr. George Stephenson) and assistants. (2) Tender, with coals and water; next, six wagons, laden with coals and flour; then an elegant covered coach, with the committee and other proprietors of the railway; then 21 wagons, fitted up for passengers; and last of all, six wagons laden with coal, making altogether, a train of 38 carriages. By the time the cavalcade arrived at Stockton, where it was received with great joy, there were not less than 600 persons within, and hanging by the carriages.
In addition to the social advantages which accrued from increased communication was the development of commerce, and the increased importance of the various places through which it passed. The Stockton and Darlington railway turned the shopkeeper into a merchant, gave bread to hundreds; and conferred happiness on thousands.
Left home in company with John Dixon to attend the internment of George Stephenson at Chesterfield. I fear he died an unbeliever. When I reflect on my first acquaintance with him and the resulting consequences my mind seems lost in doubt as to the beneficial results - that humanity has been benefited in the diminished use of horses and by the lessened cruelty to them, that much ease, safety, speed, and lessened expense in travelling is obtained, but as to the results and effects of all that railways had led my dear family into, being in any sense beneficial is uncertain.
Celebrating history, preserving heritage
We’re rightfully very proud of our history and our association with the railways.
It’s one of the reasons why our sheltered housing schemes are named after people synonymous with the railways. Patrick Stirling, Tempest Anderson, Timothy Hackworth, and Robert Stephenson are just some of the railway ‘legends’ that are honoured when you visit our schemes in Doncaster, Darlington, Stockton, and Hull.
Those towns and cities, along with others where we have housing stock like Newcastle, York, and Leeds, are all inextricably linked with the railways.
We’re also very keen on heritage. It’s the reason why we sympathetically converted a rundown railway engine shed built in 1844 into lovely mews homes in Darlington and it’s also why we’re about to undertake the restoration of a Grade II listed former school building in Bishop Auckland, where comedy legend Stan Laurel once attended.
“Patrick Stirling, Tempest Anderson, Timothy Hackworth, and Robert Stephenson – just some of the railway legends that are honoured when you visit our schemes”
A couple of years back, we celebrated our 100 th anniversary and marked it with a signature event on-board railway carriages pulled by the Tornado, a steam locomotive restored to its former glory.
It was therefore very pleasing to see the Tornado used recently as part of the 195 th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
And I thought we were old!
- Railway Housing Association’s 100th anniversary celebration outing on the Wensleydale Railway. Credit: Stuart Boulton
Ironically, even though it has always been known as the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Locomotion No.1 actually made its inaugural journey on 27 September 1825, transporting both coal and passengers between Shildon and Stockton.
Poor Shildon, struck out of the history books for Darlington, but at least they now have the amazing Locomotion museum in the town, which certainly has helped to put it back on the back – and rightfully so.
As the head of a housing association that started life to build homes for railwaymen and their families, it’s nice to be part of this history and to be able to play our own small part in recording and preserving such a legacy for future generations.
Main image: Anne Rowlands, chief executive, Railway Housing Association
On this day, in 1825, the Stockton and Darlington Railway…
Well, I had planned on writing about John Adams and his peace-talk efforts that started on this day, in 1779, which would eventually lead to the Treaty of Paris, but the History Channel–in their infinite wisdom–stole my “On this day” as their lead story. So you will have to settle with some British history, haha just kidding! (Kidding about settling, not about getting British history.) On this day (Sept 27th), in 1825, the Stockton and Darlington Railway ran for the time. This railway was the first publicly subscribed passenger railway. The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a north-eastern England railway built for both transportation of passengers and shipping of goods. The first trip took six-hundred passengers, twelve miles, in two hours. The majority of the passengers rode in open coal wagons. There was one passenger coach called “The Experiment,” which was basically a large wooden shed on wheels. (Pictured below is the updated 1826 model.)
The driving force pulling this first passenger train? The Locomotion No. 1. This steam-engine locomotive was special not only because it ran the first passenger trip, but also because of its design. The Locomotion No. 1 was unique because it was the first to use coupling rods instead of gears. It was labeled the “The World’s First Most Successful Locomotive” by The New Zealand Railways Magazine.  Over the next thirty-eight years, S&DR would expand this line across England until it was absorbed by North Eastern Railway in 1863.
The younger generations can’t grasp the importance of trains. When it comes to traveling, they either take a car, an airplane, or if they are really desperate…a Greyhound bus. Not many people use trains for transportation anymore. Trains are merely a traffic delay, an inconvenience however, trains changed everything. They made long distance traveling safer and seem instantaneous to impatient persons. Trains, like planes or the internet, gave businesses new options, cheaper and quicker options. As passenger airplanes did not appear until 1913, the train was top dog for several decades.
How much of the railway still exists?
About 20 miles (32km) of the railway is still in use, forming the basis for the Northern Rail services between Shildon and Stockton.
Original features include the Skerne Bridge in Darlington, said to be the world's oldest purpose-built railway bridge still in use and which featured on the £5 note in the 1990s, as well as paintings celebrating the railway's inaugural journey.
Five pubs built as "proto-stations", places for passengers to wait for their trains, also still exist, according to Mr Hammond.
These include the Masons Arms in Shildon, which is now an African themed restaurant, Kings Arms in Heighington (now closed) and the Railway Tavern in Darlington.
Cleveland Bay, which marked the terminus of branch line to Yarm, is said to be the world's oldest railway pub still in use, while the buildings which once housed a ticket office and tavern on Bridge Road Stockton are now a hostel for the homeless.
Several S&DR-linked buildings can be found around the Locomotion Museum in Shildon, including the house where the railway's engineer Timothy Hackworth lived and worked, while there is also a goods shed next to North Road Station and Head of Steam Museum in Darlington that dates back to the railway's early days.
For Mr Coulls of the National Railway Museum, the most interesting remains can be found in the railway's first 5 miles (8km), between Witton Park and Shildon, which quickly fell out of use as the railway expanded and technology rapidly improved.
Through this section, horses pulled the trains along the flats while stationary engines were used to haul the wagons up the two inclines of Etherley and Brusselton.
At the latter, the remains of a large earthy bank lead to railway cottages and a reservoir used by the stationary steam engine.
The stone footings of a bridge across the River Gaunless near West Auckland can still be easily found while the ironwork is at the National Rail Museum in York, although plans are afoot to move it to Shildon.
Further north there is a tree-lined public footpath along the Etherley incline, a large embankment striding high across the countryside towards the terrace of Phoenix Row and village of Witton Park.
Along the route, the large stones which supported the original iron rails can still be found scattered in the undergrowth.
Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone
The Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) has been established to help rejuvenate and restore the 26 mile stretch of historic railway, and to help realise its potential to become a major heritage attraction and visitor destination in the build up to its 2025 bicentenary.
The Heritage Action Zone, which will run over a 5 year period, covers the 26 miles of railway from Witton Park in County Durham, through Shildon, Darlington and Stockton. The Railway operated along this route from 1825, and was the birthplace of the modern railway system, using innovative technology to become a valuable passenger and freight network.
The Heritage Action Zone sets out an ambitious programme of research and designations, which will include aerial surveys, archaeology and building assessments. It will tackle heritage at risk and urgent repairs to historic structures, while ensuring better long term conservation and management. Through developing the line as a visitor attraction, it is hoped that this Heritage Action Zone will help to bring about long term change for this important piece of our history.
The Heritage Action Zone programme will be delivered in partnership with:-
- Darlington Borough Council
- Durham County Council
- Stockton Borough Council
- Tees Valley Combined Authority
- Friends of Stockton and Darlington Railway
- Science Museum Group (Locomotion)
- A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
- Network Rail
- Northern Rail
- Virgin Trains
- Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership
The partnership will work with local people to encourage long term economic growth by developing heritage skills, heritage schools resources, training and tourism, as well as providing opportunities for health and recreation, and community events.
Stockton and Darlington Railway - History
English Language and History
Selected and prepared for people
Piano Concerto No. 2 In A-flat Major:
3: Moderato innocente
John Field (1782-1837)
Note: The recording at Amazon and the recording on YouTube may not be the same.
‘LOCOMOTION’ took three hours to lumber eight and a half miles from Shildon to Darlington, where ten thousand people greeted it, and another three for the five miles to Stockton, now hauling thirty-one vehicles with five hundred and fifty passengers.
The opening day was declared a triumphant success.
Within three years, Durham pits were sending over 50,000 tons of coal by rail to staithes at Stockton on the River Tees, bound for London.* In Stockton itself, the price of coal had halved.
Soon, ever-larger collier ships required the deeper waters of the Tees estuary at Middlesbrough. Twelve months after the railway reached it, the tiny village had swollen to a busy town of two thousand.
As the railway spawned more branches, the 4ft 8in gauge Stephenson had brought over from Killingworth and Hetton became (with an extra half inch) the standard for the region.
Today, nearly sixty percent of the world’s railways, and most high-speed lines, use the Stockton and Darlington’s gauge.
Stockton and Darlington Railway Edit
No. 179 was built as a four wheeled, four compartment coach, by the Stockton and Darlington Railway in their Hopetown Carriage Works in Darlington. It was one of a rake of basic but robust coaches, built for use on market day trains only, as the condition of existing stock was suffering due to passengers carrying livestock and produce in the coach compartments. It has the horizontal planked body with exterior frames that was common at the time. The exterior is made of teak, with an oak grained interior. As was their practice, it was finished by the S&DR in scumbled teak livery with green ironwork.
At the time it was built, the S&DR was already part of the North East Railway, having been bought by them in 1863, however it continued to run independently for another ten years.
Forcett Limestone Company Edit
After the NER took direct control however, they began to dispose of unwanted S&DR stock. In 1884, No.179 was sold to the Forcett Limestone Company, whose Quarry in Forcett, South Durham, was connected to the Forcett Railway, a branch line of the Darlington to Barnard Castle line. In Forcett ownership it was modified, adding a guards compartment and associated hand-brake and end window, then put to use by quarrymen.
Latterly stored at Forcett Goods Station, it was claimed for preservation under the the British Transport Commission listing system. It initially went on display at the York railway museum (the predecessor to the National Railway Museum). It later deteriorated while in storage in Clay Cross, Derbyshire.
Beamish railway & Shildon restoration Edit
In 1970 it was saved from being broken up after being taken on by the Beamish Museum, entering their collection (no. 1970-343). As part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the S&DR held in Shildon, No. 179 was restored over a four month period by volunteers at British Rail Engineering's Shildon Wagon Works. Out-shopped in March 1975 it then went on display. Later that year it returned to Beamish, where it was operated on their Rowley Station line as part of their steam hauled passenger train formation.
Timothy Hackworth Museum / Locomotion Edit
Having again deteriorated due to the elements, in 1984 it again returned to BREL Shildon for further attention. This was interrupted by the closure of the works, whereupon No. 179 was passed to the nearby Timothy Hackworth Museum across town. When that museum was incorporated into the National Railway Museum's new out-station, the Locomotion museum, in 2004, it entered the NRM collection (no. 1978-7053). It remained on the site, moving to the new collection hall built for Locomotion.
Return to Beamish Edit
On 4 July 2011 the coach was bought by Beamish, who passed it to Stanegate Restorations and Replicas in Haltwhistle for restoration. Beamish intend to use it on their Waggonway, freeing up vehicles for other uses. It was to be restored to its original S&DR appearance, but without removing the modifications made at Forcett - it will infact be fitted with twin line air brakes, in a reversible manner, to fully utilise those Forcett changes. Once restored, No.170 will be the oldest complete coach in operational condition.
Stockton and Darlington Railway - History
English Language and History
Selected and prepared for people
Piano Concerto No. 2 In A-flat Major:
2: Molto espressivo
John Field (1782-1837)
Note: The recording at Amazon and the recording on YouTube may not be the same.
THE Stockton and Darlington Railway is celebrated as the first public railway for fare-paying passengers, and over 30,000 travelled the line in twelve months from July 1826. But their single, horse-drawn carriages on rails (fare one-and-six)* were not the line’s real business.
That was to trundle long train-loads of coal from the coalfields of County Durham to the Tees at Stockton, for which George Stephenson and his son Robert convinced Edward Pease, the line’s chief investor, to use steam power, establishing a new locomotive works at Forth Street in Newcastle.
On 27th September 1825, Forth Street’s ‘Locomotion No. 1’ led the grand opening of the Stockton and Darlington, the world’s first commercial railway serving the general public.
Behind it was a carriage named ‘Experiment’ and twenty-one coal wagons temporarily fitted out with seats intended for three hundred passengers, though almost twice as many piled into the train.
In 1822, George Stephenson was engaged to build a new railway, powered by steam locomotives, from Shildon to Stockton via Darlington in County Durham. Chiefly intended for transporting coal, it was also the first line to offer passenger services to the fare-paying general public, and opened on September 27, 1825.
Beamish Waggonway ran from Beamish Mary Pit NZ2053 to the Great North Road. The 1890s Ordnance Survey map shows the waggonway making an S-bend to join the Stanhope and Tyne route at Beamish Junction. Beamish Waggonway survived until the 1960s as part of the National Coal Board.
Lambton Railway - Newbottle Colliery NZ3351 was a group of pits owned by John Neasham (or Nesham). In about 1812 a rope-hauled waggonway was built from Dorothea Pit via West Herrington and Grindon Hill NZ3654 to Sunderland. This was called the Newbottle or Philadelphia waggonway. In 1819 Newbottle Colliery was purchased by John Lambton.
A new Lambton Railway was built via Hasting Hill to Sunderland. The route was from Dorothea Pit to Herrington Engine, Fox Cover Engine and Grindon Engine, joining the Philadelphia route near Grindon Hall.
Arch Engine NZ3755 is now covered by the A183 Broadway which replaced the old wandering Chester Road, now Melbourne Place.
Glebe Engine NZ3856 is now covered by the Hospital on Chester Road.
In 1865 the Lambton Railway got running rights over the NER main line from Cox Green to Sunderland, so the waggonway over Hasting Hill was no longer needed. Little trace of it remains on the 1890s Ordnance Survey map.
Rope haulage and locomotives were used on branches from pits at Sherburn House NZ3241, Littletown NZ3343, Houghton-le-Spring NZ3350, Frankland NZ2945 and Lumley NZ2948. Locomotives were overhauled at Philadelphia Lambton Engine Works NZ3352.
Pits at Cater House NZ2645 and Framwellgate Moor sent their coal to the Frankland Branch of the Lambton Railway.
After amalgamations in 1911 and 1924 the Lambton Railway became the Lambton, Hetton and Joicey Railway. It was nationalised in 1947 and closed in 1967.
The Londonderry Railway - Inclined planes reached from Alexandrina Pit NZ3346, Adventure Pit NZ3147 and Pittington NZ3344 to Penshaw (or Painshaw) Staiths.
The Londonderry Railway by George Hardy. Published by Goose & Son 1973, ISBN 0900404159 - Introduced by Charles E Lee, with an account presented in 1902 to the Society of Antiquaries by William Weaver Tomlinson entitled "The Duke of Wellington on a North Country waggonway". This journey took place in 1827 on the rope-hauled Londonderry Railway from Pittington Hallgarth via Benridge Bank Top and the Plain Pit to Colliery Row (then called Vienna). Near there he examined a locomotive engine or steam elephant. The journey continued via Dubmires to the engine house at Penshaw. A special carriage was used.
Chopwell Waggonway - In the 1890s a new waggonway ran from Chopwell Colliery NZ1158 to the Garesfield Waggonway NZ1359 at High Spen. There was a narrow gauge tramway from Whittonstall Drift Mine NZ0857 to Chopwell Colliery.
Greenside Colliery Waggonway ran from Greenside Colliery NZ1361 to Stargate Pit NZ1663 and Addison Colliery NZ1664 on the Newcastle and Carlisle line. Part of the route was previously a wooden waggonway near Stephens Hall NZ1562.
Towneley Main Waggonway ran from Emma Pit NZ1463 to Stargate Pit and Stella. Part of the route was previously a wooden waggonway and is now used by the modern A695 road at Stargate.
The Tanfield Railway - In 1839 the Brandling Junction Railway laid iron rails on the route of the wooden waggonway from Redheugh NZ2462 to Sunnyside and Marley Hill NZ2057. It bypassed Causey Arch by going along the eastern bank of Causey Burn before crossing to East Tanfield Colliery and Tanfield Lea Colliery. The line was extended up a steep incline to Tanfield Moor Colliery NZ1654, taking away revenue from the Stanhope and Tyne Railway branch to Annfield Plain. In 1843 the BJR relaid track on this S&TR route.
The Tanfield Railway became part of the NER and LNER, which was nationalised as British Railways in 1948. At Gibraltar NZ2057 it made a level crossing with the Bowes Railway which became part of the National Coal Board in 1947.
www.tanfield-railway.co.uk - The Tanfield Railway - steam trains run between Sunniside and East Tanfield.
www.sunnisidelocalhistorysociety.co.uk/wagonways.html - Sunniside Local History Society have a page about the Tanfield Railway
Ouston and Pelaw Waggonway - also known as the Pelaw Main Railway, this waggonway is thought to have started in 1809 or 1810. Rope haulage was used from the pits at Urpeth, passing the Three Tuns on the Great North Road in Birtley. The 1862 Ordnance Survey map shows an Old Engine near the Lamb Pit above Birtley. An 1812 map show the coal going down from there via Oxclose to the River Wear at Washington. By 1815 a new route from Urpeth NZ2554 and Ouston passed the William IV in Birtley. Hauling engines were at Blackfell and Eighton Banks. It is thought that rope haulage was used on the level section to White Hill NZ2760.
A branch from pits in the Team Valley joined at White Hill. There was a hauling engine at Team Colliery where the waggonway passed under the A167 New Durham Road NZ2658. Another hauling engine was near the Seven Stars NZ2759 in Wrekenton where Gateshead Electric Tramways crossed the waggonway until 1951. Locomotives were later used to haul coal up the steep inclines from Team Valley. The locomotive shed was at Team Colliery, on the opposite side of the A167 New Durham Road to where the Angel of the North now stands.
From White Hill a self-acting incline ran down to Heworth. The waggonway then crossed Sunderland Road on the way to Pelaw Main Staiths NZ3063. Level crossing gates caused traffic congestion on this once main road, now the B1426. The A184 Felling bypass was built in 1959 with a bridge over the waggonway. The self-acting incline closed soon after. Coal from the Team Valley then reversed at White Hill and went on a curve to the Bowes Railway NZ2858. This curve is still used for passenger trains by the Bowes Railway Museum. The lines were nationalised in 1947 and became part of the National Coal Board.
Hetton Colliery Railway opened in 1822 from Hetton Colliery NZ3647 via Byer Engine, Flat Engine, Warden Law Engine NZ3650 and North Moor Engine to Hetton Drops NZ3957 on the River Wear at Sunderland. It used rope haulage, self-acting inclines and Stephenson locomotives. Coal also came from Eppleton Colliery and Elemore Colliery. In later years a branch was made to Silksworth Colliery. The Hetton Railway was taken over by the Lambton Railway in 1911 and closed in 1959.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway had a grand opening in 1825 with George Stephenson on Locomotion No 1 at the head of a long train.
The route was rope-hauled from Witton Park to Etherley Inclines, West Auckland (then called St.Helen's Auckland), Gaunless Bridge, Brusselton Inclines and Shildon. Locomotives operated from Shildon to Heighington, Darlington North Road, Fighting Cocks, Goosepool and Stockton. Fighting Cocks and Goosepool were watering places on the old road from Darlington to Stockton. There was a branch from Hopetown Junction to a coal depot in Darlington. Another branch ran to Egglescliffe, opposite Yarm on the Tees. In 1853 between Eaglescliffe and Bowesfield the tracks were moved next to the Leeds Northern Railway.
1827 Shildon to Black Boy Colliery on the Black Boy Branch.
1829 Albert Hill Junction to Croft Depot via Darlington Bank Top.
1830 Haggerleases Branch. West Auckland to Butterknowle. The branch crossed the River Gaunless on a stone Skew Bridge NZ1125, sometimes called a Swin Bridge or Swing Bridge.
1830 Bowesfield Junction to Middlesbrough. This crossed the River Tees on a suspension bridge NZ4417 which was limited to horse-drawn coal waggons.
1842 Bishop Auckland and Weardale Railway. Shildon Tunnel to Crook via South Church, Bishop Auckland, Etherley, Howden-le-Wear and Beechburn. A station at Witton Park only appears on the first edition Ordnance Survey map.
1845 Weardale Extension Railway. Crook to Waskerley via Tow Law, High Stoop and Saltersgate. Rope-hauled passenger services operated on Sunnyside Incline. High Stoop Station NZ1040 is shown as High Souk on the first edition Ordnance Survey map.
1846 Middlesbrough and Redcar Railway.
1847 Wear Valley Railway. Wear Valley Junction NZ1631 to Wolsingham, Frosterley and Bishopley Quarry. There was a station at Wear Valley Junction which is not shown on Ordnance Survey maps.
1853 Middlesbrough and Guisborough Railway.
1856 Shildon Tunnel to West Auckland, avoiding Brusselton Inclines.
1856 Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway, operated by the S&DR. From Hopetown Junction in Darlington via Piercebridge, Gainford, Winston and Broomielaw to Barnard Castle. The railway crossed the River Tees twice within a few hundred metres at Gainford Bridge and West Tees Bridge NZ1517. There was a branch to Westholme Colliery NZ1317. Broomielaw Station was built for the Bowes-Lyon family of Streatlam Castle. This station was private until 1942. There were military camps nearby at Stainton Camp, Streatlam Camp, Barford Camp, Humbleton Camp and Westwick Camp.
1858 Hownsgill Viaduct was built to bypass the steep rope-hauled inclines in Howns Gill.
1858 Crook to Waterhouses via Stanley Inclines.
1859 Burnhill Junction NZ0644 to Whitehall Junction NZ0747, bypassing Nanny Mayors Incline on the Stanhope and Carrhouse Branch.
1861 Redcar and Saltburn Railway. The line terminated inside the Zetland Hotel at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The town was built by the S&DR as a holiday resort. Original S&DR stone block sleepers are used as paving on the promenade.
1861 South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway, operated by the S&DR. It was built to take coke to the West Coast blast furnaces and iron ore back to Cleveland. From a junction with the Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway, this required a new station at Barnard Castle. The original station became a goods depot. The line ran via the Tees Viaduct, Lartington Station, Deepdale Viaduct, Bowes Station and on to Stainmore Summit, Belah Viaduct and Kirkby Stephen.
www.evr.org.uk - Eden Valley Railway at Appleby and Warcop.
www.kirkbystepheneast.co.uk - Stainmore Railway Company Ltd (SRC) at Kirkby Stephen East (KSE).
1862 Frosterley to Stanhope, Newlandside Quarry and Parson Byers Quarry.
1863 Bishop Auckland to Fieldon Junction on the 1856 line to West Auckland.
1863 South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway, operated by the S&DR. From Spring Gardens Junction on the 1830 Haggerleases Branch to Barnard Castle. The S&DR then had a route from Shildon and Bishop Auckland to the iron works on the West Coast of England.
1863 The S&DR joins the NER but is effectively independent for years after.
1867 Crook to Tow Law on a deviation around Sunnyside Incline.
1895 Wear Valley Extension Railway. Stanhope to Wearhead was opened by the NER.
The Bowes Railway was also known as the Pontop and Jarrow Railway. When complete in 1855 it ran from Dipton to Jarrow.
1826 - the first section opened from Jarrow NZ3265 to Springwell Colliery NZ2858. There was a self-acting incline from Springwell Colliery down to Lingey Lane NZ2960. This incline was still working in the 1960s. Locomotives were used from Lingey Lane to Jarrow. The original line near Jarrow was abandoned when new staiths were built at Hebburn.
Blackham's Hill NZ2858, or Blackim Hill stationary steam engine worked inclines down to both Springwell Colliery and Mount Moor NZ2857.
1842 - with a hauling engine at Mount Moor, the line was extended down the east side of Team Valley and then up the west side to Kibblesworth Colliery NZ2456. This is now a cycle route under the ECML.
1845 - using a former wooden waggonway route, coal from Burnopfield Hobson Pit NZ1756 ran to Marley Hill NZ2057 and then down the Tanfield Railway to Redheugh.
1854 - the line from Marley Hill to Kibblesworth was opened. A level crossing was made with the Tanfield Railway at Gibraltar Crossing.
1855 - the final section opened from Burnopfield via Pickering Nook NZ1755 to Dipton Delight Colliery NZ1553.
1947 - the line became part of the National Coal Board.
www.bowesrailway.co.uk - Bowes Railway Museum is at Springwell Colliery.
Springwell Colliery - The aerial photo shows the pit for the return wheel at the top of the self-acting incline on the Bowes Railway. Loaded waggon sets descending the incline hauled empty waggons up to Springwell. Only three rails were needed, with the centre rail used by both up and down trains. At the halfway point the centre rail divided so that trains could pass each other. A brakesman controlled the speed of the return wheel from the signal box. With a mile of steel rope running on cast-iron rollers, the noise could be heard from a distance.
At night a burning coal brazier was the "headlight" when the train crossed Leam Lane.
Microsoft Virtual Earth - Birds Eye View of Springwell Colliery
Bowes Line on YouTube
www.amber-online.com - order a DVD of the Bowes Line from Amber Online.
The Rainton and Seaham Railway opened in 1831 to take coal from the Londonderry pits to the new Seaham Harbour, which was built out from the Durham coast. This railway used rope haulage via Rainton Bridge NZ3448, Rainton Engine and Copt Hill NZ3549, where it burrowed under the Hetton Railway. The R&SR then climbed to Warden Law NZ3649 and descended to Seaton Bank Top NZ3949 on the Long Run. There were further inclined planes at Seaton Bank, Londonderry Bank, Carrhouse Plane and Seaham Bank to Seaham Harbour NZ4349. The line closed in 1896.
RAF aerial photo 1944 - Seaton Bank Top, with the Rainton and Seaham Railway crossing the Durham and Sunderland Railway.
South Hetton Railway opened in 1833 and was also known as Braddyll's Railway. It used rope haulage from South Hetton Colliery NZ3845 up to Cold Hesleden Engine NZ4147 and then down to Seaham Harbour NZ4349. There were branches to Haswell Colliery (1835) NZ3742 and Murton Colliery. In the 1960s coal from Eppleton, Elemore and Murton was sent underground to the new Hawthorn Combined Mine NZ3945 on the South Hetton Railway.
RAF aerial photo 1940s - South Hetton Colliery (www2.getmapping.com - zoom out to view 1940s photo).
The Clarence Railway opened in 1833 from Port Clarence NZ5021 to Simpasture Junction NZ2624 on the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
A branch ran from Norton NZ4222 to Stockton on Tees NZ4519.
In 1834 a branch opened from Stillington Junction NZ3524 to Sedgefield NZ3328, Ferryhill NZ3031 and Coxhoe NZ3136, with plans to extend the line to Sherburn.
In 1837 a branch opened to Spennymoor NZ2533 and Byers Green NZ2233.
In 1844 the Clarence Railway was leased to the Stockton and Hartlepool Railway, eventually becoming part of the NER in 1865.
In 1915 the NER electrified the line from Shildon NZ2325 via Simpasture and Stillington to Newport Yard NZ4618 on Teesside. The electric locomotives drew power from overhead wires to haul trains of coal waggons. The line reverted to steam locomotives in the 1930s.
During WWII, 1939 to 1945, a Royal Ordnance Factory was built near Aycliffe and two stations were opened on branches from the old Clarence Railway. They were Simpasture Station NZ2724 and Demons Bridge Station NZ2823. This industrial area was the beginning of Newton Aycliffe.
The Aycliffe Angels website describes the factory, with a map showing the new stations (archived on "Wayback Machine").
RAF aerial photo 1944 - Demons Bridge Station.
The Stanhope and Tyne Railway opened in 1834 from Stanhope to Waskerley, Rowley, Consett, Stanley, Vigo, Washington, Boldon and South Shields. After financial problems, the S&TR east of Carrhouse became the Pontop and South Shields Railway. The western part from Stanhope to Consett became the Stanhope and Carrhouse Branch, operated by the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
Stanhope to Rowley - The western end of the Stanhope and Tyne Railway began at quarries NY9940 near Stanhope. Waggons were hauled up the steep inclines by Crawley Engine and Weatherhill Engine NY9942. Passengers also used this rope-hauled railway in its early years. Rope haulage was used to Parkhead Wheel NZ0044, Meetingslack Engine NZ0345 and Waskerley NZ0545.
From Waskerley the line ran down via Nanny Mayor's Incline to Rowley NZ0847.
Rowley to Carrhouse - Steep inclined planes were needed to descend into Howns Gill NZ0949. Hownsgill Viaduct was built by the S&DR in 1858 to bypass the steep inclines. The line continued to Carrhouse Engine NZ1150.
Carrhouse to Annfield - At the eastern end of Carrhouse Incline was a branch to Derwent Colliery NZ1254. Horses were used on the level section to the western foot of Annfield Incline.
Annfield to Stanley - At the top of the hill Annfield Engine NZ1551 worked both inclines to the east and west. There was a branch to Tanfield Moor Colliery NZ1654 from the foot of the eastern incline. The line continued via Oxhill to West Stanley Colliery and Stanley Engine NZ2052. There was a terrible explosion at West Stanley Colliery in 1909.
Stanley to Pelaw Grange - From Stanley Engine NZ2052 was a series of inclined planes passing Twizell Colliery (Twizel, Twizle), Edenhill and West Pelton down to Pelton Fell NZ2551 and Stella. The line crossed the Great North Road at Pelaw Grange NZ2753.
Pelaw Grange to Washington - Vigo Engine NZ2854 worked inclines from Pelaw Grange to Fatfield where locomotives took over the route to Washington NZ3155. At Biddick Burn NZ3054 the first edition Ordnance Survey Map shows Fatfield Gears. Gears were wooden constructions to carry early waggonways over waterways and hollows.
Washington to South Shields - From Washington the line continued via Washington Lane, to the Boldon Turnpike and coal drops at South Shields. South Shields Metro Station is on the 1834 S&TR route.
In the early years passenger services were operated from Pelton and the Durham Turnpike via Vigo Engine to Washington, Boldon and South Shields.
Hartlepool Dock and Railway Company opened in 1835 from Hartlepool NZ5233 to Hart NZ4836, Hesleden NZ4437, Castle Eden NZ4237, Thornley NZ3939 and Haswell NZ3743. There were branches to Ludworth Colliery, Thornley Colliery, Shotton Colliery and Wheatley Hill Colliery. At Haswell the HD&R crossed the D&SR at a higher level. In 1877 the NER opened a curve joining the two. The planned link with the Durham Junction Railway at Moorsley NZ3346 was never completed, although shown on some old maps. The rope-hauled incline at Hesleden was bypassed in 1874, so that locomotives could climb without assistance.
Durham and Sunderland Railway opened in 1836 from Sunderland Town Moor NZ4057 to Ryhope NZ4152, Seaton Bank Top NZ3949, Murton NZ3847, Haswell NZ3743 and Pittington NZ3245. It reached Sherburn House NZ3041 in 1837 and Shincliffe NZ2840 in 1839.
Rope hauled passenger trains lasted for over 20 years before locomotives were used. At Murton Junction there were stationary hauling engines for the lines to Haswell and Hetton. A mineral railway ran from Shincliffe to Croxdale Pit NZ2639. In 1893 the NER opened the branch from Sherburn House Station to Durham Elvet Station NZ2842.
RAF aerial photo 1940s - Murton Junction (www2.getmapping.com - zoom out to view 1940s photo).
Chilton Branch Waggonway opened in 1836 from the Clarence Railway NZ3230 to Chilton Colliery NZ2730 and Leasingthorne Colliery NZ2530. The waggonway crossed the Great North Road where Chilton Branch Library now stands.
Durham Junction Railway opened in 1838 from a junction with the Stanhope and Tyne Railway at Washington NZ3155, via the Victoria Bridge, Penshaw and Fencehouses to Rainton Meadows NZ3247. It is also known as the Leamside Line. The planned link with the Hartlepool Dock and Railway Company line at Haswell NZ3743 was never completed, although shown on some old maps. The DJR built Victoria Bridge NZ3254 across the River Wear. The main arch has a span of 160 feet (about 48 metres) and is the largest masonry railway arch in England. It is also known as Victoria Viaduct. There is a larger span railway bridge in Scotland.
The bridge is a Listed Building No. 456/4/17.
Trains from London began crossing Victoria Bridge in 1844. They had to go via Brockley Whins to continue on to Gateshead along the former Brandling Junction Railway. The journey from London to Gateshead took over 12 hours. The track is still in place but has not been used for years. There are plans to reopen the line for freight to reduce congestion on the ECML through Durham.
In 2003 some miles of steel rail were stolen near Penshaw. Newspaper archives, 21 May 2003:-
The Sunderland Echo - Conman gets two years for rail theft
The Northern Echo - Jailed - man who lifted railway line
Newcastle Chronicle and Journal - The great rail robbery
"Birds Eye View" from Microsoft - Stolen track - this later view shows most of the sleepers have now been lifted near Penshaw.
Great North of England, Clarence and Hartlepool Junction Railway opened in 1839 from the Clarence Railway NZ3033 via West Cornforth, Coxhoe Bridge, Kelloe Bank Head, Trimdon Grange and Wingate NZ4036, joining the Hartlepool Dock and Railway Company NZ4137.
The western part was recently used as a mineral railway for Raisby Quarry NZ3435 and Thrislington Cement Works NZ3032.
Burnhope Waggonway ran from the Stanhope and Tyne Railway at Grange Villa NZ2352 to Holmside Colliery William Pit NZ2150 (opened 1839) and Burnhope Colliery NZ1948 (opened 1850). William Hedley moved his old locomotive Wylam Dilly from Wylam for use at Holmside Colliery.
Sacriston Colliery Waggonway opened in 1839 from the Stanhope and Tyne Railway at Pelton Fell NZ2551 via Waldridge, Sacriston Engine and Daisy Hill to Sacriston Colliery NZ2347. Part of the route from Pelton Fell to Waldridge used the course of a wooden waggonway. There were branches to Witton Colliery, Charlaw Colliery, Nettlesworth Colliery and West Edmondsley Colliery.
The Brandling Junction Railway opened in 1839 from Gateshead NZ2563 (425600_563600) to Brockley Whins NZ3462, with branches to Monkwearmouth and South Shields.
British History 1:2500 scale 1884 map and Microsoft Virtual Earth showing the site of the BJR Gateshead terminus. High on the south bank of the River Tyne, this became the site of Rooneys Scrap Merchants Ltd.
An inclined plane ran down from Gateshead to Redheugh to join the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway. The archway for the incline is still visible in the 1906 King Edward VII railway bridge.
British History 1:2500 scale 1895 map of the old BJR station near Felling Metro Station NZ2762.
The BJR crossed the Stanhope and Tyne Railway at Pontop Crossing NZ3562. In Monkwearmouth the terminus was at Broad Street NZ3958 (439850_558100) which is now Roker Avenue. A branch from Fulwell ran down to North Dock NZ4058 on the River Wear.
The South Shields branch followed the Stanhope and Tyne Railway before turning towards the River Tyne for the Brandling Drops (435700_566700). A station was later built closer to South Shields market place.
The BJR was purchased by the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway in 1845. Much of the route from Gateshead to Monkwearmouth is used by the Tyne and Wear Metro.
West Durham Railway opened in 1840, joining the Clarence Railway at Byers Green NZ2233. It ran to Todd Hill and then down an incline to the River Wear. It then climbed Sunnybrow Incline NZ1934 to Helmington, reaching Old White Lea Colliery NZ1537 in 1841. In 1867 the deviation line around Sunnyside Incline joined the West Durham Railway at West Durham Junction NZ1537. In 1885 the NER line from Bishop Auckland joined the Clarence Railway route at Burnhouse Junction NZ2333.
Westerton Railway - Also known as the Binchester Colliery Railway, this ran from the Clarence Railway NZ2633 to Westerton Colliery and Binchester Colliery NZ2331. There was a branch to Dean and Chapter Colliery NZ2833.
The Stockton and Hartlepool Railway opened in 1841 from the Clarence Railway at Billingham Junction NZ4623 to Greatham, Seaton Carew and West Hartlepool. It used the Norton branch of the Clarence Railway to reach Norton Road Station in Stockton NZ4419.
The Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway opened in 1844 from a junction with the DJR at Rainton Crossing NZ3248. There were stations at Leamside, Belmont, Sherburn, Shincliffe, Ferryhill, Bradbury and Aycliffe. It crossed the Stockton and Darlington Railway at the famous S&D crossing in Darlington, finally joining the GNER at Parkgate Junction NZ2915 on the old Croft Branch.
Belmont Station NZ3044 was the junction for the Durham Gilesgate branch, which is now the route of the A690 road. Gilesgate Station NZ2842 became a goods shed when Durham North Road Station opened in 1857. The goods shed was used by Archibald's builders merchants until it was demolished in recent years.
The N&DJR took over the D&SR, BJR, DJR, GNER and P&SSR. The N&DJR became part of the YN&BR in 1847.
Rookhope Railway opened in 1846 and ran from Rookhope NY9342 to Park Head Depot NZ0043, where it joined the Stanhope and Tyne Railway. The Rookhope Railway was built by the Weardale Iron Company. At 515 metres, Boltslaw Engine NY9444 was the highest point on a standard gauge line in Britain.
Rookhope and Middlehope Railway ran from Rookhope NY9342 to Middlehope Lead Mine NY9040 on Middlehope Burn, high in the Wear Valley. Cambokeels Incline NY9338 was built by German prisoners of war during WWI, 1914 to 1918, down to the NER line between Eastgate and Westgate.
Groove Rake (Groverake) - This mineral railway ran from Groove Rake Lead Mine NY8944 to Rookhope NY9342. Rookhope Smelting Mill had a chimney flue about 2500 metres long running up the hillside, ending at Rookhope Chimney NY9044. Fluorspar or Fluorite is still found in this area.
York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway - 1849 Pelaw Junction to Usworth Station and Washington Station. This cut-off avoided the longer route via Brockley Whins.
Aerial views from Wikimapia - Pelaw Junction - Pontop Crossing, Brockley Whins
The Leeds Northern Railway opened in 1852. After crossing the River Tees on a long viaduct at Yarm NZ4113 it ran from Eaglescliffe to Stockton, joining the Clarence Railway at North Shore Junction NZ4420.
York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway opened in 1852 from Penshaw Junction, Cox Green, South Hylton and Pallion to Sunderland. The route from South Hylton to Sunderland is used by the Tyne and Wear Metro.
The Londonderry, Seaham and Sunderland Railway opened in 1854 from Seaham Station NZ4249 via Ryhope NZ4152 to Hendon NZ4041, to make use of the bigger Sunderland docks. There was a private station at Hall Dene NZ4150 for the use of the occupants of Seaham Hall. Stations and track separate from the D&SR were required from Ryhope to Hendon.
The line was taken over by the NER in 1900. A new Seaham Station was built when the 1905 NER line via Dawdon opened. Ryhope Grange Junction to Seaham is still open to passengers on the Sunderland and Hartlepool route.
The Forcett Railway - This private railway opened in 1866. It ran from East Layton Quarry, Forcett Quarry and Forcett Goods Station NZ1610, south of the River Tees. Heading northwards, it crossed the Tees near Gainford, to make a junction with the Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway at Forcett Junction NZ1816.
The Tees Valley Railway - This independent railway opened in 1868 from Middleton in Teesdale Station NY9424 via Mickleton Station NY9623, Romaldkirk Station NY9922 and Cotherstone Station NZ0119 to Tees Valley Junction NZ0317 on the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway.
The Merrybent and Darlington Railway - This goods line opened in 1870 from the Barnard Castle and Darlington Railway at Merrybent Junction NZ2516 to Merrybent Quarry near Barton NZ2308. After financial difficulties it was acquired by the NER in 1890. The route now lies under the A1(M) motorway.
Leamside Line was the former Main Line through Ferryhill, Leamside, Fencehouses, Penshaw and Washington to Pelaw. The companies were the Durham Junction Railway and the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway. It was by-passed in 1872 with the opening of the ECML from Tursdale Junction NZ3035 via Croxdale, Relley Mill Junction, Durham, Newton Hall Junction and Chester-le-Street to Gateshead.
See the Durham Junction Railway for details of the stolen track near Penshaw.
History and heritage
We&rsquore rightfully very proud of our history and our association with the railways.
It&rsquos one of the reasons why our sheltered housing schemes are named after people synonymous with the railways.
Patrick Stirling, Tempest Anderson, Timothy Hackworth and Robert Stephenson are just some of the railway &lsquolegends&rsquo that are honoured when you visit our schemes in Doncaster, Darlington, Stockton and Hull.
Those towns and cities, along with others where we have housing stock like Newcastle, York, and Leeds, are all inextricably linked with the railways.
We&rsquore also very keen on heritage. It&rsquos the reason why we sympathetically converted a rundown railway engine shed built in 1844 into lovely mews homes in Darlington and we&rsquore about to undertake a project which will include the restoration of a Grade II listed former school building in Bishop Auckland, where comedy legend Stan Laurel once attended.
Last year we celebrated our 100th anniversary and marked it with a signature event on-board railway carriages pulled by the Tornado, a steam locomotive restored to its former glory.
It was therefore very pleasing to see the Tornado used recently as part of the 195th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
And I thought we were old!
Ironically, even though it has always been known as the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Locomotion No.1 actually made its inaugural journey on 27th September 1825, transporting both coal and passengers between Shildon and Stockton.
Poor Shildon, struck out of the history books for Darlington, but at least they now have the amazing Locomotion museum in the town which certainly has helped to put it back on the back, and rightfully so.
As the head of a housing association which started life to build homes for railwaymen and their families, it&rsquos nice to be part of this history and to be able to play our own small part in recording and preserving this for future generations.