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Tyne and Wear HER(1019): Derwent Valley Railway - Details

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Derwent Valley Railway




Railway Transport Site


Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

The North Eastern Railway Company started work in 1864, on the 11 mile long Derwent Valley branch railway line, from Scotswood Junction to Blackhill, Consett. The railway was opened to freight traffic 3 years later on 18th June 1867, and to passengers on 2nd December 1867. The main engineering features were the excavation of a half mile long 60 feetdeep cutting at Lockhaugh, north east of Rowlands Gill, and 4 large viaducts over the River Derwent and its tributaries. The viaducts at Lockhaugh and Rowlands Gill are 80 feet above the river, at Lintz Green 90 feet and over the Pont Burn at Hamsterley 120 feet high and 600 feet long. The railway was heavily used, particularly by passengers, up until the First World War, but then the use declined because of competition from buses. This decline was aggravated by the siting of some stations away from the centre of villages. The railway closed to passengers on 2nd November 1953, and to freight traffic in 1962. The railway is commemorated in the Geordie folk song about an ill-fated train journey from Rowlands Gill, "Wor Nanny's a Mazer"




<< HER 1019 >> JD/JM 1985, The Industrial History of the Derwent Walk Country Park; D. Hutchinson, 1983, Rowlands Gill; D. Hutchinson, 1994, Rowlands Gill Past and Present; Tyne and Wear Archives D.NCP/4/118 and D.NCP/4/124

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