Tyne and Wear HER(16173): Gateshead, Hawks Road, waggonway - Details
Gateshead, Hawks Road, waggonway
Excavation in advance of a new hotel at Hawks Road, Gateshead identified a short section of timber waggonway and an ancillary structure relating to the late 18th century and early 19th century operations of William Hawk's Gateshead Iron Works. No evidence for the waggonway has been identified on any early maps. It has been interpreted as an internal branch line delievering coal or coke to a foundry building. The waggonway consisted of a single track, which would not be unusual for the short distance it covered, with an approimate gauge of 4ft 3 inches. The sleepers were closely spaced which suggests it was required to take heavy loads, as would be expected of single track route to a foundry. The track had been constructed on a man-made terrace of sand and gravel to provide a level, free-draining surface. The timbers had rotted, leaving impressions of their former positions in the sand and gravel surface. The slightly irregular profile of the sleepers suggest untrimmed branches had been used as had been found to be the case at Lambton D Pit near Sunderland, Rainton Bridge and Houghton-le-Spring. This may represent the only excavated example of a purpose built waggonway for delievering fuel directly to a foundry in the north-east.
Industrial Archaeology News, 2013, No 165 p7