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Tyne and Wear HER(2290): Stanhope & Tyne Railway (NER, Pontop and South Shields Bran) - Details

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S Tyneside and Sunderland

Stanhope & Tyne Railway (NER, Pontop and South Shields Bran)

South Shields



Railway Transport Site


Early Modern



An unnamed waggonway is shown on Gibson's map of 1788 labelled 'to the staith 6 3/4 mile'. Also shown on Hobson, 1839, Bell 1843 and the tithe map 1847. Originally the Stanhope and Tyne Railway, the line opened in 1834. The Stanhope and Tyne Railway Company quickly went bankrupt, and the railway had several subsequent owners. Built by an Act of Parliament. In the west, between Stanhope and Vigo, where it was steeper, there were stationary engines, self-acting inclines and horsepower. In the east locomotive engines were used. At South Shields the three drops (HER 2336) each had a vibrating frame and counterbalance weight, which allowed vessels to receive their cargoes even at low tide. The line was designed to carry coal from colleries to the kilns in the limestone quarries at Stanhope, and limestone back again. Construction utilised iron fish-bellied rails on stone blocks. The gauge of the line was 4ft 8 inches. Passenger services between South Shields and the Durham turnpike commenced in 1835 - this was the first public railway on Tyneside. From 1842-1846 the line was run by the Pontop and South Shields Railway Company, which included many of the original shareholders. George Stephson was Chairman. Coal freight was the main traffic. In 1844 part of the line was run by the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway Company as part of the east coast route from London to Gateshead. In 1847 the Pontop and South Shields Railway Company was absorbed by the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway Company, run by George Hudson. The company changed its name to the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company in 1848, and to the North Eastern Railway Company in 1854. Passenger services ceased east of Washington in 1853 and west of Washington in 1869. The National Coal Board used the line until it was closed to freight traffic in 1966. The line finally closed in 1981. The track was lifted and the section from Consett to Washington East became the Sustrans cycle route, which opened in 1990. Much of the dismantled railway line remains unused however.




<< HER 2290 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 3 N.T. Sinclair, & I.S. Carr, 1990, Railways of South Shields, p.4-8 Tyne and Wear Industrial Monuments Trust, 1978, Sites of Interest in the inner Shields plan area; W.W. Tomlinson, 1914, The North Eastern Railway - Its Rise and Development, pp 214-217; F. Atkinson, 1980, North East England - People at Work 1860-1950; John Gibson, 1788, Plan of the Collieries on the rivers Tyne and Wear; William Colling Hobson, 1839, Map of the county palatine of Durham; John Thomas William Bell, 1843, Plan of part of the Tyne and Wear coal districts in the County of Durham; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2013, Waggonways to the South Bank of the River Tyne and to the River Wear; TAP, 2016, Nexus Site, Mile End Road, South Shields - Assessment

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