Tanfield Railway: Wikis

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Tanfield Railway
Tanfield Railway
Tanfield railway pic 1.jpg
An overview of the railway from Furnace Sidings
Locale North East England
Coordinates 54°54′29″N 1°40′30″W / 54.908°N 1.675°W / 54.908; -1.675Coordinates: 54°54′29″N 1°40′30″W / 54.908°N 1.675°W / 54.908; -1.675
Commercial operations
Name Tanfield Railway
Original gauge Wooden Waggonway / Metal 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations
Stations 4
Length 3 miles (4.8 km)
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Preservation history
  Tanfield Railway
Legend
Unknown route-map component "exCONTg"
Station on track
Sunniside
Track turning from left Junction to right
Unknown route-map component "KDSe" Straight track
Marley Hill sheds
Straight track
Station on track
Andrews House
Straight track
Station on track
Causey Arch
Straight track
Station on track
East Tanfield
Unknown route-map component "exCONTf"

The Tanfield Railway is a standard gauge heritage railway in Gateshead and County Durham, England. Running on part of a former colliery wooden wagonway, later a steam railway, it operates preserved steam and diesel industrial tank locomotives. The railway operates a passenger service on Sundays all year round, as well as demonstration freight trains. The line runs 3 miles (4.8 km) between a southern terminus at East Tanfield, Durham, to a northern terminus at Sunniside, Gateshead, with the main station, Andrews House situated near to the Marley Hill engine shed. A halt also serves the historic site of the Causey Arch. The railway claims to be the oldest working railway in the world.

Contents

Colliery Railway

The Tanfield Railway was originally built to transport coal from the collieries of County Durham, to the staithes on the River Tyne, for onward transport in colliers (bulk coal carrying ships).[1] The oldest part of the original Tanfield Railway, located to the north east of the present heritage line, in the Lobley Hill area, dated from 1647, and was in continuous use until final closure in 1964.[1]

The route and structures of the oldest section of the now preserved part of the line, between Sunniside and Causey, dates from 1725, and is thus claimed to be the World's oldest working railway.[1][2] The Middleton Railway claims to be the oldest working railway, on the basis that it was the first railway granted powers under the first railway Act of Parliament in 1758.[2] The Causey to East Tanfield section was built in 1839.[1]

The Marley Hill engine shed was built in 1854, and in use until 1970.[1] The shed first housed a winding engine before the arrival of locomotives.[3] The shed is thought to be the oldest engine shed in the world still used for its original function.[4] Although the line to the shed closed in 1962, it remained in use servicing other colliery railway's locomotives in the area.[4]

Originally a wooden railed horse drawn wagonway, conversion to a conventional steel railed railway began in 1837, and by 1840 was complete as far as Tanfield Moor Colliery.[3] In 1881 the railway was converted to steam locomotive operation, becoming part of the North Eastern Railway.[3] Although still primarily a freight railway, it did carry some passengers.[3] The East Tanfield Colliery closed in 1964, and the railway, by this time owned by the National Coal Board, was closed and the track lifted.[3]

Preservation

Andrews House Station
Freight train at East Tanfield

The early years of the railway as a preservation project concentrated on Marley Hill, preparing locos for steaming, working on the shed structure and acquiring basic needs such as water and electricity. Locomotives No.21 and Malleable No.5. were steamed in public in 1973. The first passenger train ran for a week August 1975, using locomotives No.21, No.32 and Sir Cecil A Cochrane, and a small carriage acquired from British Steel on Teesside.[3]

The preserved line was first built from Marley Hill to the current northern terminus, Sunniside Station, with passenger trains beginning on 2 July 1981[3], and an official opening ceremony on 14 July 1982. Andrews House station just south of Marley Hill sheds was completed between 1987 and 1989[3] and was equipped with platforms, a water tower, a station building and a footbridge. The first train south to Causey was on 27 July 1991, with the official opening ceremony being held on August 15, 1991. The first train further south to the current end of the line at East Tanfield occurred on 18 October 1992[3]. East Tanfield Station itself was opened in 1997. The Causey to Tanfield section is through a wood lined gorge.[4]

Part of the reason the line was preserved was the fact Marley Hill shed remained open until 1970.[4] The vintage machinery in the workshop is still capable of full locomotive overhauls.[4] The oldest locomotive on the railway was built in Gateshead in 1873, and all of the railway's carriage stock dates from the 19th Century.[4]

Causey Arch

The current preserved line passes near to Causey Arch, the oldest surviving railway bridge in the world.[4] It was built to carry a new branch from the route of the now preserved line, to a site known as Dawson's Drift.[3] Built between 1725 and 1727, at 150 ft long 80 ft high, it was the largest single span bridge in Britain, and remained so for 30 years.[3][4]

Locations

Sunniside station

Locomotives

Marley Hill yard
Locomotive Stagshaw
Diesel works train passed Marley Signal box on the running line. A headshunt from Marley Yard crosses the line for here a few yards.

As of 2009 the Railway has become the home to a large collection of industrial steam engines, with 28 in all, though only 3 are operational, 1 is undergoing repairs and only 3 more are under overhaul for future operation, with the other 21 in sheds on the Marley Hill site.

Operational Steam Locomotives

Number & Name Description History & Current Status Livery Owner(s) Date Photograph
0-6-0ST Renishaw Ironworks No.6 Renishaw Ironworks No.6 was built by Hudswell Clarke in Leeds in 1919. It is currently in regular service on passenger trains and sees occasional use on demonstration Coal Trains, usually when 49 is unavailable. Boiler certificate is due to expire in 2014. Operational Green with Lining 1919 Tanfield railway pic 1.jpg
0-6-0ST 49 49 was built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in 1943 and is used in regular service on passenger trains and is usually the locomotive of choice for demonstration coal trains. 49 was built to the standard Austerity design. Boiler Certificate is due to expire in 2013. Operational National Coal Board green with Lettering 1943 Tanfield Railway pic 9.jpg
0-4-0ST Sir Cecil A Cochrane Sir Cecil A Cochrane was built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in 1948 and worked a few miles from its current home. It is currently in regular use on passenger services and may occasionally be seen hauling a shortened coal train. Boiler Certificate is due to expire in 2018 (5 year inspection due to welded boiler due 2013) Operational Green with lining 1948

Steam Locomotives Undergoing repairs

Number & Name Description History & Current Status Livery Owner(s) Date Photograph
0-6-0T Twizell Twizell was built by Robert Stephenson and Company in 1891 and is currently being repaired ready for service and should be running again around March 2010, with its regulator casting now being machined. Undergoing Repairs Black, Lined in Red 1891

Steam Locomotives under overhaul/being restored

Number & Name Description History & Current Status Livery Owner(s) Date Photograph
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST, No.32 This engine was built by Andrew Barclay in Kilmarnock and is currently undergoing restoration, however this has been temporarily halted. The boiler is ready, the main steam pipe requires fitting, the rolling chassis is almost complete and there are other areas of the locomotive to address. Undergoing Overhaul Green with National Coal Board Lettering
Hawthorn Leslie and Company 0-4-0ST, No.2. Undergoing Fast Track Overhaul. Tank and Cab bolts removed prior to lifting, Rods all off, brake gear dismantled, Boiler fittings removed, tubes already out. Undergoing Overhaul A few different shades of green with lining Tanfield Railway pic 12.jpg

Stored Steam Locomotives

Number & Name Description History & Current Status Livery Owner(s) Date Photograph
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns No.38 0-6-0ST 38 was built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in 1954, it is currently stored, in a partially dismantled state, and is in line to receive a cosmetic overhaul Stored Black, lined in red 1954 Tanfield Railway pic 10.jpg
Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0ST Stagshaw Stagshaw was built by Hawthorn Leslie as an example of a Cristiani compressed steam system locomotive, however when this was unsuccessful, Stagshaw was converted to a conventional steam locomotive and is currently stored at Tanfield Railway Stored Black Tanfield Railway pic 8.jpg
Borrows of St Helens No.3 0-4-0WT This engine is stored on site at Marley Hill Stored
Hawthorn Leslie "Cyclops" 0-4-0ST This engine is now stored at the Marley Hill Site Stored
Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST, Irwell This engine is stored in large pieces around the Marley Hill site and is a possible candidate for overhaul Stored Green with Lining
Black, Hawthorn & Co 0-4-0ST, Wellington This engine is stored minus fitting and saddle tank on the Marley Hill site. Stored Green with Lining
Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T, No.38 This engine has recently been reassembled and is stored in the Marley Hill Yard Stored Originally Quite dark green
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 0-4-0ST, No.21 This engine is stored undercover and a possible candidate for overhaul. Formerly owned by the CEGB for shunting coal at the Stella power stations Stored Green with red and black lining
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 0-6-0ST, Progress This engine is stored undercover and is strong candidate for overhaul Stored Crimson Red
Sentinel 0-4-0T No.4 This engine is stored outside on the Marley Hill site and is a possible candidate for overhaul. It is a sentinel shunter and therefore resembles a diesel shunter, yet is a steam engine Stored Red
W.G. Bagnall 0-6-0ST, Gamma This engine is stored undercover Stored Originally War Department Black, later NCB Blue with Wasp Striped Buffer Beams.
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns Hendon 0-4-0CT This engine is currently stored. Stored Dark Blue
Andrew Barclay No.17 0-6-0T This engine is currently stored Stored
Hawthorn Leslie No.13 0-4-0ST This engine is currently stored Stored
Andrew Barclay "Horden" 0-6-0ST This engine is currently Stored Stored
Andrew Barclay No.6 0-4-2ST This engine is currently stored Stored
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns No.62 0-6-0ST This engine is currently stored Stored
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns No.44 0-6-0ST This Engine is currently stored Stored Blue
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns No.47 0-6-0ST This engine is currently stored Stored
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns No.16 0-6-0ST This engine is currently stored Stored Dark Blue
Hawthorn Leslie No.3 0-6-0ST This engine is currently stored Stored
Hawthorn Leslie Huncoat No.3 0-6-0F This fireless locomotive is currently stored Stored

Coaching Stock

All of the railways coaches are wooden bodied, Victorian coaches.

  • TR No.1 Open Balcony Coach
  • TR No.2 Open Balcony Coach
  • TR No.3 Open Coach with Guards Van
  • TR No.4 Open Coach with Guards Van
  • TR No.5 Compartment Coach. Originally a GNR Coach
  • TR No.6 Open Buffet Coach. Originally a GNR Compartment Coach
  • TR No.7 Open Poppleton Coach with Guards Van. Originally an NER Director's Saloon
  • TR No.8 Compartment Coach with Guards Van. Originally an MS&L Brake Van
  • NER No.256 Compartment Coach
  • NER No.818 Compartment Coach

The Railway also has other unrestored coaching stock.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Tanfield Railway". Wear > Places > Places features > Tanfield Railway. BBC. 21 May 2008. http://www.bbc.co.uk/wear/content/articles/2008/05/20/tanfield_main_feature.shtml. Retrieved 4 July 2009.  
  2. ^ a b "Alternative Attractions in NE England". Heritage Railway Association. 4 August 2000. http://ukhrail.uel.ac.uk/rail200b.html. Retrieved 4 July 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The Tanfield Railway". Railways of Britain. 13 December 2008. http://railways-of-britain.com/tanfield.html. Retrieved 4 July 2009.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Best of Britain's Steam Railways. AA Publishing. 2006. ISBN 0749542128.  

Further reading

External links

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