York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway
The York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway (YN&BR) was a railway company that operated from 1847 to 1854 in the north-east of England. Most of early railways in the area were built to take coal from mines to navigable water; horses or steam locomotives were used to haul wagons or stationary steam engines pulled trains using ropes. The Great North of England Railway was formed to build a railway from York to Newcastle but by 1841, when it opened to Darlington, it had run out of money. The Newcastle & Darlington Junction Railway (N&DJR), formed by the railway financier George Hudson, completed the line in 1844 by running over the existing Brandling Junction, Pontop and South Shields and Durham Junction railways for part of the route. The N&DJR bought these railways, arranged to lease and buy the Great North of England Railway, and in 1846 was renamed the York & Newcastle Railway.
The York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway was formed on 9 August 1847 when this company merged with the Newcastle & Berwick Railway, taking over much of what is now the East Coast Main Line between York and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Hudson resigned as chairman of the YN&BR in 1849 after accounting irregularities were discovered. The YN&BR completed the plans of its predecessors, including building Newcastle Central railway station, the High Level Bridge across the River Tyne and the Royal Border Bridge across the River Tweed. The results of a price war in the early 1850s lead to further amalgamation, and on 31 July 1854 the Leeds Northern Railway, York & North Midland Railway and YN&BR merged to form the North Eastern Railway.
- 1 Early railways
- 2 East Coast Main Line
- 3 Amalgamations
- 4 Operations
- 5 North Eastern Railway
- 6 Legacy
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
Brandling Junction Railway
The Tanfield Wagonway was developed in 1726 from an wagonway at Ravensworth, which had been operating since the 1630s, to take coal from mines to ships on the River Tyne. Horse-drawn wagons with flanged cast-iron wheels, each carrying about 2 1⁄2 long tons (2.5 t) of coal, ran on two 6 by 7 inches (150 mm × 180 mm) timber rails set 4 feet (1.2 m) apart on timber sleepers. The Causey Arch, built 1725–26 to cross a deep valley, was crossed in 1732 by an average of 400 wagons a day.
The Brandling Junction Railway (BJR) was built by coal mining brothers John and Robert William Brandling from Gateshead to Monkwearmouth, with a branch from Brockley Whins to South Shields. After negotiations with the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway (N&CR), which had acquired the unfinished Blaydon, Gateshead & Heburn Railway,[a] they undertook to form a junction with the N&CR at Gateshead, to build a branch to Jarrow and to upgrade the Tanfield Wagonway. A company was incorporated on 7 June 1836 and instead of buying land, wayleaves were negotiated with landowners.
A 1 1⁄4-mile (2.0 km) rope-worked incline opened from the N&CR at Redheugh Quay to the site of the BJR's new terminus at Greenesfield in Gateshead on 25 January 1839. A 8 1⁄2 miles (13.7 km) line between Monkwearmouth and South Shields opened on 19 June, the 5 1⁄4 miles (8.4 km) line from Brockley Whins to Gateshead opening on 5 September 1839. The Tanfield Waggonway was converted into a horse and rope-worked inclined plane railway using three stationary engines. Stations were opened initially at Monkwearmouth,[b] South Shields and Gateshead; stations later opened at Felling, Pelaw and Brockley Whins on the main line and at Fugar Bar, Bowes Bridge and Tanfield Lea on the Tanfield Branch.
The railway used six-wheeled steam locomotives, which burnt coke, with four-wheeled tenders. Passenger carriages had three compartments, those for first class carried 24, whereas the second class carriages seated 30 passengers and were painted a bright yellow picked out with black. Seven services ran a day at an average speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h); the fare from Gateshead to Monkwearmouth was 1s 6d for first class and 1s[c] for second class. Over 186,000 passengers were carried in the four months to the end of January 1840.
The railway crossed the Pontop & South Shields Railway on the level at Brockley Whins and the two lines were connected on 9 March 1840, allowing a series of connecting services to run between Darlington and Newcastle. In June 1844 the Newcastle & Darlington Junction Railway (N&DJR) began running over the railway from the junction at Brockley Whins to Gateshead, and a month later the N&DJR gave notice that it intended to buy the BJR, but the owners, seeing increased income from the new through traffic, set a high price. The N&DJR announced plans for a line that bypassed the BJR, the owners lowered their price, and on 1 September 1844 the company was absorbed by the N&DJR. In 1846 the N&DJR changed its name to the York & Newcastle Railway, which became part of the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway the following year.
Pontop and South Shields Railway
The Stanhope and Tyne Railroad Company (S&TR) formed on 20 April 1832 as a partnership to build a railway between the lime kilns at Lanehead Farmhouse and the coal mines at Consett, near Medomsley. The partners had decided to build a railway instead of upgrading the existing Pontop Waggonway, and with Robert Stephenson acting as surveyor and consulting engineer and Thomas Elliot Harrison as acting engineer, construction started at Stanhope in July 1832.
The first section from Stanhope to Annfield opened on 15 May 1834, and the 33 3⁄4-mile (54.3 km) line reached South Shields on 10 September 1834. Steam locomotives worked the 9 1⁄4-mile (14.9 km) section east of Annfield, stationary engines worked inclines over 11 miles (18 km), a further three inclines were worked by gravity and horses were used over the remaining 10 1⁄2 miles (16.9 km). Except for one locomotive with four uncoupled wheels, the S&TR had 0-4-2 locomotives, of which eight were built by Robert Stephenson and Company.
The railway began a passenger service on 16 April 1835 between South Shields and Durham Road, near the corner of Lambton Park. Originally an open carriage was attached to a coal train, then a locomotive hauled a coach every fortnight. This service failed to return a profit, and a land owner had his claim upheld in court that conveying passengers over his land was not permitted under the wayleave. With the lime kilns and the section from Stanhope to Carrhouse having closed in 1840, and the Stanhope to Annfield section losing money, the insolvent railway company was dissolved on 5 February 1841. A new Derwent Iron Company at Consett bought the southern section from Stanhope to Carrhouse, and on 23 May 1842 the northern section became part of the newly created Pontop and South Shields Railway.
After 1840 passenger traffic increased due to a junction with the Brandling Junction Railway at Brockley Whins opening, and the N&DJR also used this junction when its Gateshead and Darlington service started in 1844. The N&DJR arranged the buy the Pontop and South Shields and on 1 January 1847 it was absorbed by its successor, the York & Newcastle Railway, becoming part of the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway later that year.
Hartlepool Dock & Railway
The Hartlepool Dock & Railway (HD&R) was built to take coal from central County Durham mines to the docks at Hartlepool. A private bill was presented to Parliament seeking permission to build the railway and Royal Assent was given on 1 June 1832. The line was 14 miles (23 km) long with 9 1⁄4 miles (14.9 km) of branch line, and 65 acres (26 ha) of land for docks; a later Act gave authority for a branch to the City of Durham and the use of stationary engines. The line was not built beyond Haswell after no assurances could be obtained from the owners of Moorsley and Littletown collieries that they would use the line to send coal to Hartlepool. Services ran between Thornley pit and Castle Eden after January 1835; on 23 November that year the first train ran the 12 1⁄4 miles (19.7 km) between Haswell and Hartlepool. By the end of that year there was 14 1⁄2 miles (23.3 km) of line operational.
The Great North of England, Clarence & Hartlepool Junction Railway (GNEC&HJR) was a 8 1⁄2-mile (13.7 km) extension of the HD&R from Wingate to the Great North of England Railway at Ferryhill and the Clarence Railway at Byers Green. An Act was obtained on 3 July 1937 and the line opened to Kelloe Bank in 1839. The GNEC&HJR had neglected to obtain powers to cross the Clarence Railway's Sherburn branch and returned to Parliament after failing to come to agreement with the Clarence. Royal Assent was given in 1843 for a bridge over the line, but the Clarence Railway still refused to cooperate building it, so it was 1846 before the railway was completed The York & Newcastle Railway leased the HD&R and GNEC&HJR from 12 August 1846, and both were amalgamated with the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway on 22 July 1848.
Durham Junction Railway
On 16 June 1834 the Durham Junction Railway (DJR) received permission to build a railway to transport coal from Moorsley in the Houghton-le-Spring area and the Hartlepool Dock & Railway to the River Tyne at Gateshead. Leaving the Stanhope and Tyne line at Washington, the River Wear was crossed by Victoria Viaduct, 811 feet (247 m) long and 135 feet (41 m) above high-water mark, which was designed by Harrison and built in two years. The bridge was officially opened and named in honour of Queen Victoria's on her coronation on 28 June 1838, and the railway opened to mineral traffic on 24 August 1838. The 4-mile-70-chain (7.8 km) long line was only laid as far as Rainton Meadows, 2 miles (3.2 km) short of Moorsley, and the Houghton-le-Spring branch was not built.
Passengers were carried over the railway for the first time in March 1840 as one of the series of connecting services between Newcastle and Darlington. On 14 September 1843 the company was bought by N&DJR, as its planned route between Newcastle and Darlington involved running over the railway and the DJR was operating at a loss and unable to upgrade the track.
Durham & Sunderland Railway
The Durham & Sunderland Railway (D&SR) received permission on 13 August 1834 for a 13 1⁄4-mile (21.3 km) line from the South Dock in Sunderland to Murton, with branches to Durham and the Hartlepool Dock & Railway at Haswell, although there was initially no connection between the lines as they were at different levels and at right angles to each other.
The line was worked by eight stationary engines at Sunderland, Seaton, Merton, Appleton, Hetton, Moorsley, Piddington and Sherburn. Rated at between 42 and 85 horsepower (31 and 63 kW), these pulled trains using ropes up to 2,450 fathoms (14,700 ft; 4,480 m) long and between 4 and 7 1⁄4 inches (100 and 180 mm) in circumference. Services started on 5 July 1836, the line was formally opened on 30 August and after October passengers travelled in carriages with three compartments attached to coal trains; compartments for first class were enclosed whereas those for second class passengers were open on the sides. In 1838 The railway carried over 77,000 people on trains that travelled at an average speed of 8 1⁄2 miles per hour (13.7 km/h); Whishaw (1842) reports the passenger service was unpunctual and the carriages subject to jolts whenever the trains started.
Permission was granted on 30 June 1837 to divert the line in Durham south to Shincliffe, and this opened on 28 June 1839. The D&SR was taken over by the York & Newcastle Railway on 1 January 1847, and became part of the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway that year.
Newcastle and North Shields Railway
A railway between Newcastle and North Shields was proposed in 1830, but was opposed in Newcastle by people who feared that the city docks would lose trade to the docks at North Shields, and in North Shields by people who feared local shops would lose trade when customers could travel to Newcastle and that no-one would holiday in North Shields if they could stay in Newcastle. The route was chosen in 1835, but changed the following year so Tynemouth was on the main line rather than served by a branch. To compensate landowners for the lost income from wayleaves on coal carried on the existing wagonways, a toll of 3⁄4d[d] a mile was agreed. The Newcastle and North Shields Railway (N&NSR) received Royal Assent on 21 June 1836.
After leaving the temporary terminus at Newcastle the railway passed through a short tunnel before crossing two viaducts built using laminated timber arches supported by masonry piers, similar to the Wiebeking system used on the Seine at Pont d'Ivry in Paris.[e] The railway opened to South Shields on 18 June 1839 when two trains carried a total of 700 passengers on a return trip, followed by a celebration, which was interrupted by a violent thunderstorm that flooded the marquee. Public services started the next day, intermediate stations opening at Walker (renamed Walker gate in 1889), Wallsend, Howdon and Percy Main. At either end of the line both tracks led to a 13-foot-8-inch (4.17 m) turntable.
In the first six months, the railway carried over 337,000 passengers. Twenty services a day were provided, taking an average of 21 minutes for the journey and in 1841 the average speed of express trains was 31–34 miles per hour (50–55 km/h). First class carriages were painted crimson, maroon, and in one case a rich light scarlet claret edged with yellow, and second-class carriages were open to the sides and painted light brown and vermilion. Third-class carriages were painted light green; the first one built was 20 feet 8 inches (6.30 m) long and 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 m) wide, did not have doors and carried 60 passengers.[f] The railway was absorbed by the Newcastle & Berwick Railway in November 1844, extended to Tynemouth on 29 March 1847, and independent operation continued until the line north to Morpeth opened from a junction from Heaton on 1 July 1847.
East Coast Main Line
Great North of England Railway
On 13 October 1835 the York & North Midland Railway (Y&NMR) was formed to connect York to London by building a line from York to a junction on the planned North Midland Railway at Normanton. Two weeks later the Great North of England Railway (GNER) was formed during a meeting of representatives of the York & North Midland and Stockton & Darlington Railway (S&DR). Joseph Pease of the S&DR had a plan for a line north from York to Newcastle that ran over 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) of the S&DR between Darlington and Croft-on-Tees. To allow both sections to open at around the same time, permission for the more difficult line through the hills from Darlington to Newcastle was to be sought in 1836 and a bill for the easier line south of Darlington to York presented the following year. Pease had specified a formation wide enough for four tracks, so that that freight could be carried at 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) and passengers at 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), and George Stephenson had detailed plans by November.
The Act for the 34 1⁄2 miles (55.5 km) section from Newcastle to Darlington was given Royal Assent on 4 July 1836, but little work had been done by the time that the 43 miles (69 km) from Croft to York received permission on 12 July following year. In August a general meeting decided to start work on the southern section, but construction was delayed by poor labour relations with masons building the bridge over the River Tees at Croft, and after several bridges collapsed the engineer Thomas Storey was replaced by Robert Stephenson. At York a joint GNER and Y&NMR terminus was built in the city, trains entering through a pointed arch in the city wall. On 4 January 1841 the railway opened for coal traffic using S&DR locomotives, but by the time the railway opened to passengers on 30 March its own locomotives had arrived from R & W Hawthorn. From York, trains called at stations at
- Shipton, renamed Beningbrough in 1898
- Croft, renamed Croft Spa in 1896
In 1845 the Royal Commission's speed trials ran speed trials between York and Darlington as part of its comparison between lines built with Great Western Railway's 7 feet (2.1 m) gauge track and the 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches (1.435 m) gauge track used by other British railways. A locomotive reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), and reached 43 1⁄4 miles per hour (69.6 km/h) hauling 80 long tons (81 t). Trials with locomotives built for the wider gauge showed them to have better performance, but the Commission recommended that new lines should be built using the more common 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in gauge track.
Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway
In 1841 it was possible to travel between Newcastle and Darlington by taking a train to Stockton, transferring by omnibus to the other railway station in the town and catching another train to Hartlepool. After changing trains at Hartlepool and at Haswell, at Sunderland an omnibus was taken across the Wear to Monkswearmouth to a Brandling Junction train to Redheugh, where the Tyne was crossed by omnibus to Newcastle. There were three services a day and the journey took about six hours, about the same time as a horse and coach, but cheaper and more comfortable. From November 1841 a Stockton & Darlington service was introduced between Darlington and Coxhoe, where an onmibus took passengers the 3 1⁄2 miles (5.6 km) to the Durham & Sunderland Railway at Shincliffe. This service was withdrawn in February 1842; from May 1842 Newcastle could be reached in 3 1⁄4 hours via South Church station, south of Bishop Auckland, from where a four-house omnibus connected with Rainton on the Durham Junction Railway.
Although the Great North of England Railway had authority for a railway from York to Newcastle, by 1841 it had spent all of the £1,330,000 of capital that had been authorised to build the line to Darlington and could not start work on the extension to Newcastle. At the time Parliament was considering the route of a railway between England and Scotland and favouring a railway via the west coast. Railway financier George Hudson chaired a meeting of representatives of north-eastern railways who wished such a railway to be built via the east coast, and Robert Stephenson was engaged to select a route between Darlington and Newcastle using the existing railways as much as possible. Stephenson's proposed route differed from the GNER route slightly in the southern section before joining the Durham Junction at Rainton and using the Pontop & South Shields from Washington to Brockley Whins, where a new curve onto the Brandling Junction would allow direct access to Gateshead. This required the construction of 25 1⁄2 miles (41.0 km) of new line, 9 miles (14 km) shorter than the GNER route, but trains would need to travel 7 1⁄2 miles (12.1 km) further. However, this bypassed the S&DR, even though the railway ran parallel to the S&DR for 5 miles (8.0 km). Joseph Pease argued that it should run over its lines as this would add only 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) to the route. The bill was presented to Parliament in 1842, it was opposed by the S&DR and the Dean and Chapter of Durham, who were asking for £12,000 for land with the N&DJR offering only £2,400; eventually a jury valued this land at £3,500. The Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway Act received Royal Assent on 18 June 1842, but a second Act the following year was necessary to secure the deviations from the GNER route in the south recommended by Stephenson.
The section from Rainton to Belmont and the 2 1⁄2-mile (4.0 km) long City of Durham branch opened on 15 April 1844. The line was carried on three timber viaducts, including one 660 feet (200 m) long over the Sherburn Valley, and terminated at a new Ionic order station at Greensfield in Gateshead. The directors travelled over the route on 24 May 1844 in advance of the official opening date of 18 June 1844, when a train with nine passengers left London Euston at 5:03 am, and travelling via Rugby, Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield and Normanton, reached Gateshead at 2:24 pm. Three trains ran from Gateshead to Darlington to meet Hudson travelling on a train from York, before three locomotives hauling 39 first class carriages made a return journey over the line. Public services started the next day with rolling stock leased from the GNER; a journey from London took 12 1⁄2 hours, of which 2 3⁄4 hours was spent at stops on the way. Intermediate stations opened on the newly built line at Aycliffe, Bradbury, Ferryhill, Shincliffe, Sherburn, Belmont and Leamside. Stations also opened on the Durham Junction Railway at Fencehouses and Penshaw, and at Boldon on the Pontop and South Shields. For three months, until the new curve opened in August, trains would reverse at Brockley Whins; this was done by detaching the locomotive from a moving train about 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km) from the junction, steaming ahead past it and reversing to take the loop line to allow the still moving carriages to pass.
Newcastle and Berwick Railway
The North British Railway from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed had been promoted in 1843, the Y&NMR investing £50,000, and a railway was planned to Newcastle so as to connect with the N&DJR and provide a route to London. As this would run over the tracks of the Newcastle and North Shields as far a Heaton, Hudson arranged that the new company would absorb the older railway. The Newcastle and Berwick Railway Act received Royal Assent on 31 July 1845. The Blyth, Wansbeck, Coquet and Aln rivers were crossed by viaduct, initially timber structures that were later replaced by ones built in masonry. The 14 1⁄2 miles (23.3 km) from the junction of the N&NSR to Morpeth opened on 1 March 1847, a few weeks later the 19 3⁄4-mile (31.8 km) long section south from Tweedmouth to Chathill opened on 29 March and the railway was complete on 1 July 1847. Intermediate stations opened at Heaton, Killingworth, Netherton, Morpeth, Longhirst, Acklington, Warkworth, Lesbury, Longhoughton, Little Mill, Chirston Bank, Chathill, Lucker, Belford, Beal and Scremorston.
The line from London had reached Gateshead in 1844 but the Tyne still had to be crossed to reach Newcastle. Several bridges had been proposed since the 1830s, such as a low level bridge at Redheugh with an inclined plane up to Newcastle, and a high level bridge, which was favoured by Stephenson. The Newcastle & Darlington Junction's second Act in 1843 give the company permission to built a high level bridge, but this was superseded in 1845 by a Newcastle & Berwick Act for a double-decked bridge for rail and road traffic, this Act also giving the necessary permission to build a joint station with the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway.
During the railway mania of the mid-1840s many people invested in railway companies, believing it a means of quickly getting rich. In the three years between 1844 and 1846 Parliament passed 438 Acts giving permission for over 8,000 miles (13,000 km) of line, many in direct competition with existing railways. Hudson was brought up in a farming community and started life as a draper's assistant in York until in 1827, when he was 27 years old, he inherited £30,000. He had no former interest in railways, but seeing them as a profitable investment he formed the York & North Midland Railway in 1835; by the mid-1840s he was also chairman of the Midland Railway,[g] Newcastle & Berwick and Newcastle & Darlington Junction Railways. Called the "railway king" by the preacher Sydney Smith, he was said to have the favour of Albert, the Prince Consort. So as to better promote the bills submitted by the railway companies he controlled, Hudson successfully stood as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Sunderland in 1845.
Hudson bought the railway companies over which the N&DJR ran to Newcastle; the Durham Junction was purchased in 1843 and the Brandling Junction the following year and he arranged to buy the Pontop and South Shields and Durham & Sunderland railways, although these were not absorbed until 1847. Hudson was concerned with the progress of the Great Northern Railway that was building a railway north from London; if it succeeded in linking up with the Great North of England Railway at York, traffic between England and Scotland would be diverted from the Y&NMR. In 1845 Hudson made a generous offer to lease the GNER and buy it within five years, and that year GNER shares increased in value by 44 per cent as the N&DJR took over operations on 1 July 1845. On 27 July 1846 the N&DJR changed its name to the York & Newcastle Railway and on 9 August 1847, less than a year later, became the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway after merging with the Newcastle & Berwick Railway.
In 1848 the GNR had a line to Askern and the Y&NMR had authority for a branch from Burton Salmon to Knottingley, about 9 miles (14 km) to the north. Hudson met Edmund Denison, the chairman of the GNR, at the end of 1848 and agreed terms for the GNR to access York via Knottingley, the GNR dropping plans for its own line to York via Selby. As this plan diverted traffic between York and London away from the London and North Western and Midland railways, these two railways formed an alliance, attempting to divert whatever traffic they could via Leeds and handing it over to the YN&BR at Thirsk. In response the YN&BR and Y&NMR co-operated to lower prices to keep the traffic flowing via York.
At the end of 1848 the dividend paid by the YN&BR dropped from nine per cent to six per cent and at the subsequent half-yearly shareholders meeting the very high cost of certain GNER shares bought during the merger was questioned. The company had purchased them from Hudson; an investigating committee was set up and Hudson resigned as chairman in May 1849. The committee reported on a number of irregularities in the account, such as inflating traffic figures and charging capital items to the revenue account, thus paying dividends out of capital. No dividend was paid for the for first half year of 1849, and Hudson was to pay £212,000 settling claims over share transactions. The company was unable to complete the purchase of the GNER when this became due in July 1850, and agreement was reached to pay in three installments over six years.
Early railway steam locomotives had no brakes, although some tenders were fitted with them, and there were no weatherboards, the driver and firemen wearing moleskin suits for protection. The YN&BR absorbed the locomotives of the earlier companies and established a locomotive works at Gateshead; those of the Brandling Junction, Newcastle and North Shields and Great North of England railways had six wheels, with two, four or six driven. Purpose built railway carriages began to be used from 1834, replacing the stage coaches that had been converted for railway use. Luggage and sometimes the guard travelled on the carriage roof; a passenger travelling third class suffered serious injuries after falling from the roof on the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1840. Carriages were lit by oil lamps, smoking was banned by all the early railways[h] and third class and many second class compartments had no upholstery. Mixed trains, passenger carriages coupled together with mineral and goods wagons, were common; coal was carried in chaldron wagons[i] and goods on low sided trucks.
When the Great North of England Railway opened in 1841, the fastest train between York and Darlington was the London Mail. Connecting at York with a service that had travelled overnight from London, this travelled the 44 miles (71 km) to Darlington in 2 hours 5 minutes, an average speed of 21 miles per hour (34 km/h). By 1854, when the North Eastern Railway was formed, express trains were travelling between York and Berwick at about 40 miles per hour (64 km/h).
A system of red and white flags on poles was used to signal to engine drivers where the Brandling and Stanhope & Tyne railwayss crossed at Brockley Whins; a white flag meant a Brandling Junction train could proceed and a red was hoisted for a Stanhope and Tyne train. Lamps with coloured light were used at night. Discs were connected to the points at the ends of the Newcastle and North Shields Railway line to show drivers their position. Originally paper tickets were written out by the clerk in a time consuming process, so some railways, such as the Brandling Junction Railway, closed the station doors five minutes before trains were due to depart. With such as system it was difficult to keep accurate records, and Thomas Edmondson, a Newcastle and Carlisle Railway station master printed numbered card tickets, which were dated by a press first used in 1837. The GNER issued such tickets from 1841. The electric telegraph was installed in 1846–47 on the York & Newcastle and Newcastle & Berwick railways.
A railway between Leeds and Thirsk was proposed in 1844, and on 21 July 1845 the Leeds & Thirsk Railway obtained permission for a railway that connected Leeds directly with the GNER at Thirsk. The company wished to reach the Stockton & Hartlepool Railway at Billingham via a line that crossed under the GNER's line at Northallerton. Hudson argued for a route using the lines of the Great North of England, Newcastle & Darlington Junction and the Hartlepool Dock & Railway, but in the second Leeds & Thirsk Act, given Royal Assent on 1846, the L&TR was given permission to build a line from Northallerton and only required to run over the GNER between Thirsk and Northallerton. Freight trains started running between Ripon and Thirsk on 5 January 1848 before the line was formally opened on 31 May 1848, public traffic starting the next day. Trains started running through to a temporary terminus in Leeds in July 1849. The Leeds & Thirsk Railway received permission to change its name to the Leeds Northern Railway on 3 July 1851,[j] and on 22 July 1848 a direct route to Stockton passing under was now the YN&BR at Northallerton was authorised, this opening on 2 June 1852.
The GNER had applied for a branch line to Richmond in 1844, but it was the York & Newcastle that opened the 9 3⁄4-mile (15.7 km) branch with three intermediate stations on 10 September 1846. The GNER had also been given permission for three more branches in 1846; a branch from Pilmoor to Boroughbridge opened on 17 June 1847 and one from Northallerton to Bedale in 1848. Permission for a line to Malton was given in 1846 to the GNER, altered in 1847 by the York & Newcastle, and again in 1848 by the York, Newcastle & Berwick before this single track branch opened on 19 May 1853. The East & West Yorkshire Junction Railway had been authorised on 16 July 1846 for a line from the former GNER main line just outside York to Knaresborough. The line was initially worked by the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway when it opened to a temporary station at Hay Park Lane on 30 October 1848, the line was then worked by E.B. Wilson & Company, before the railway was absorbed by the York & North Midland on 1 July 1851.
On the main line a direct line from Washington to Pelaw avoiding Brockley Whins was authorised in 1845 and opened 1 September 1849. From 15 August 1849 trains crossed the high level bridge in Newcastle, which was formally opened by Queen Victoria on 28 September. On 8 August 1850 the first through GNR train from London arrived at York, having started at a temporary station at Maiden Lane.[k] Work started in 1847 on the Royal Border Bridge, a 28 arch 2,160 feet (660 m) long viaduct engineered by Robert Stevenson, to cross the Tweed Valley that stood between the N&BR at Tweedmouth and the North British Railway at Berwick. Freight trains crossed the bridge from 28 July 1850 and the structure was opened formally by Queen Victoria on 29 August 1850, the day she opened the station at Newcastle Central.
A line from Chevington to Amble opened in 1849.[l] The Alnwick branch was from built from Bilton, on the main line north of Newcastle, this opening to freight on 5 August 1850 and carrying passengers two weeks later. A line opened from Tweedmouth to Sprouston on 27 July 1849, and reached the North British Railway at Kelso on 1 June 1851. The N&DJR had been given permission in 1846 for a line from Penshaw, on the main line just south of Washington, to a station in Fawcett Street in Sunderland. The line opened to freight on 20 February 1852 and passengers were carried after 1 June 1853. Authority for line through the Team Valley to Bishop Auckland was given to the YN&BR in 1848, but work did not start following Hudson's departure the following year.
North Eastern Railway
In 1852 the Leeds Northern Railway reached Stockton, made an alliance with the YN&BR's competitors and a price war broke out, the fare for the 238 miles (383 km) between Leeds and Newcastle dropping to two shillings.[m] Harrison, who had become General Manager and Engineer of the YN&BR, favoured merger with LNR and Y&NMR as the route to peace, and he was able to show his own board the increased profit that amalgamation had brought the YN&BR. The agreement of the boards of the three railway companies was reached in November 1852 that the shares of the three companies remain separate but replaced by Berwick Capital Stock, York Capital Stock and Leeds Capital Stock, with dividends paid from pooled revenue. However, the deal was rejected by the shareholders of the Leeds Northern, who felt their seven per cent share of revenue too low and joint operation was agreed instead of merger with Harrison appointed General Manager. The benefits of this joint working allowed Harrison to raise the offer to the Leeds Northern shareholders, and by Royal Assent on 31 July 1854 the three companies merged to form the North Eastern Railway; with 703 (1,131 km) route miles of line, becoming the largest railway company in the country.
The line through the Team Valley that had been planned in 1846 was built to link from the main line south of Leamside station to Bishop Auckland.[n] A 80-foot (24 m) deep cutting was dug at Neville's Cross and two timber and three stone viaducts were built, one with eleven arches through west of the City of Durham; passenger trains ran over the line from 1857. North of Durham, a line from Gateshead through Chester-le-Street to a junction at Newton Mill opened in 1868. From 1872 this became the new main line after a line opened from Tursdale Junction the N&DJR to this branch at Relly Mill, south of the Durham Viaduct. In 1877 a new station opened at Haswell, connecting the former Durham & Sunderland and Hartlepool Docks & Railway lines, and at York a through station outside the city walls replaced the old terminus that had required trains to reverse before continuing. In 1879 a bridge opened over the Wear, allowing access from the former Brandling Junction Railway to a new central station in Sunderland.
The former Newcastle & North Shields Railway line, together with later extensions through Tynemouth and the Riverside branch, was electrified in 1903, and passengers carried on the new trains from 1904. The Londonderry, Seaham & Sunderland Railway, which had opened along the coast in 1854, was taken over by the NER in 1900 and extended to Hart, 3 1⁄4 miles (5.2 km) from Hartlepool on the former Hartlepool Docks & Railway line; the new coast line opened in 1905. The King Edward VII Bridge opened in 1906 allowing east coast main line trains access to the station from the west, so they no longer needed to reverse at Newcastle station.
As a result of the Railways Act 1921, on 1 January 1923 the North Eastern Railway became part of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). Britain's railways were nationalised on 1 January 1948 and the former York, Newcastle & Berwick lines were placed under the control of British Railways.
Today's East Coast Main Line is an electric high-speed railway that between York and Berwick follows, for the most part, the original route of the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway. Between York and Northallerton there are a pair of fast lines with a speed limit of 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) and a pair of slow lines that are limited to 70–90 miles per hour (110–140 km/h). Passenger services over the former Leeds Northern Railway line through Harrogate to Northallerton were withdrawn in 1967, but the line north to Stockton remains. The branch to Boroughbridge, extended to Knaresborough in 1875, closed to passengers in 1950 and completely in 1964 when the goods service was withdrawn. Services to Malton terminated at Gilling from 1931, and services were withdrawn completely in 1953. The Bedale branch, extended to Leyburn in 1856 and to Hawes in 1878, closed to passengers in 1954 and completely in 1964. Only Northallerton and Thirsk stations remain open between York and Darlington, Eryholme having closed in 1911 and the rest in 1958, except for Croft Spa that was served by Richmond branch trains until this closed in 1969.
North of Darlington line speeds are between 75 and 115 miles per hour (121 and 185 km/h) on a two track railway that follows the N&DJR route until Tursdale Junction, where trains now take the Team Valley line to Newcastle. The old main line, the Leamside Line to Pelaw, has been closed since the line was electrified in 1991, but Network Rail are considering reopening the line as a diversionary route for freight. Regular passenger services on the line built by the D&SR terminated at Pittington from 1931 and were withdrawn between Sunderland and Pittington in 1953, passenger trains over the line between Hartlepool and Haswell having been withdrawn the previous year. The Penshaw branch to Sunderland closed to passengers in 1964. The former BJR line to Sunderland remains open, with services running through Sunderland on to Hartlepool via the coast line. The passenger service over the former Pontop & South Shields Railway line was withdrawn in 1955 and the heritage Tanfield Railway runs over the Tanfield branch, this having closed in 1964.
Diesel multiple units replaced the electric trains on the former Newcastle & North Shields Railway line between 1967 and 1982, when Tyne & Wear Metro opened with electric units between Walkergate and Tynemouth. North of Newcastle the line follows the formation built by the Newcastle & Berwick Railway; speeds over this two track line are limited to 110 to 125 miles per hour (177 to 201 km/h). The line to Kelso closed in 1965, the Alnwick branch in 1968 and the Amble branch in 1969.
In 1888 it took 8 1⁄2 hours to travel from London to Edinburgh; this schedule was reduced by fifteen minutes after trains included restaurant carriages and the stop to allow passengers to eat en route was no longer necessary. When the Coronation Express started in 1937 it took 6 hours to travel from London to Edinburgh. Today, trains cover the distance in under 4 1⁄2 hours.
- York, Newcastle & Berwick, York & North Midland, Leeds Northern map Map of the system in 1854
Notes and references
- The Blaydon, Gateshead & Heburn Railway had been authorised in 1834 to build a 16 1⁄2 miles (26.6 km) line but had only opened 1 3⁄4 miles (2.8 km).
- Cobb (2006, pp. 476–478) names the first station as Wearmouth, this being replaced by Monkwearmouth in 1848.
- One shilling in 1842 was worth about the same as £3.99 today. There were 12d (pre-decimal penny) in a shilling, so the first class fare was fifty per cent more than that for second class.
- A pre-decimal penny in 1836 was worth about the same as 33p today.
- See Emmery, H. C. (1832). Pont d'Ivry en bois sur piles en pierre, traversant la Seine près du confluent de la Marne (in French). Carilian-Goeury. for more details on the bridge in Paris.
- Whishaw (1842, pp. 357–358) comments that the best carriages were painted lake, picked out in black and that the second class class carriages "present as dirty an appearance as those on the Greenwich Railway, shewing the description of persons who are glad to avail themselves of railway-conveyance."
- The Midland Railway had been formed in 1844 by the amalgamation of the North Midland, Midland Counties Railway and Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway.
- Smoking was universally permitted in designated compartments after the Regulation of Railway Act, 1868 required such accommodation to be provided.
- These wagons were designed to carry a Newcastle chaldron (pronounced chalder in Newcastle) of coal, about 53 long cwt (5,900 lb; 2,700 kg). This differed from the London chaldron, which was 36 bushels or 25 1⁄2 long cwt (2,860 lb; 1,300 kg).
- Sources differ on the date of this name change: Awdry (1990, p. 143) states 3 July 1851 and Tomlinson (1915, p. 511) states 8 August 1851, whereas Allen (1974, p. 100) says this happened in 1849.
- London Kings Cross opened two years later on 14 October 1852.
- Cobb (2006, p. 502) indicates the station did not open until 1879, but Butt (1995, p. 16) lists the date as 5 September 1849.
- Two shillings in 1852 was worth about the same as £9.20 today.
- Allen (1974, p. 108) mention this was designed as an extension of the former Durham & Sunderland Railway line. Hoole (1974, p. 167) states that according to Tomlinson (1915) the line was such an extension, but the archives at York show the line to be have been planned separate from the D&SR, leaving the old main line at Sherburn.
- Awdry 1990, p. 165.
- Allen 1974, pp. 10–11.
- Awdry 1990, p. 118.
- Allen 1974, p. 49.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 194–195.
- Awdry 1990, p. 120.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 327.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 330.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 44.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 46.
- Cobb 2006, pp. 476–478.
- UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2013), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 50.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 332–333.
- Allen 1974, pp. 71, 76.
- Allen 1974, p. 78.
- Allen 1974, p. 90.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 188–189.
- Allen 1974, pp. 42–43.
- Hoole 1974, p. 188.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 188–190.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 392–393.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 366–367.
- Allen 1974, p. 75.
- "Stanhope and Tyne Railroad Company (RAIL 663)". The National Archives.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 332–333, 366–367.
- Allen 1974, p. 80.
- Allen 1974, p. 91.
- Allen 1974, pp. 47–48.
- Allen 1974, p. 67.
- Awdry 1990, p. 135.
- Allen 1974, pp. 101–102.
- Hoole 1974, p. 164.
- Allen 1974, p. 44.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 72.
- Allen 1974, pp. 71, 75.
- Hoole 1974, p. 161.
- Hoole 1974, p. 151.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 75.
- Whishaw 1842, pp. 76–77.
- Allen 1974, p. 45.
- Whishaw 1842, pp. 74, 77–78.
- Allen 1974, pp. 90–91.
- Allen 1974, p. 81.
- Allen 1974, p. 82.
- Butt 1995, p. 240.
- Butt 1995, p. 124.
- Butt 1995, p. 184.
- Cobb 2006, p. 477.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 357.
- Whishaw 1842, pp. 358–359.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 396.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 401, 403.
- Allen 1974, pp. 82–86.
- Allen 1974, p. 59.
- Allen 1974, p. 64.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 278.
- Allen 1974, pp. 64–65.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 93–94.
- Allen 1974, pp. 67–69.
- Hoole 1974, p. 95.
- Allen 1974, p. 70.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 430.
- Hoole 1974, p. 165.
- Allen 1974, p. 74.
- Allen 1974, pp. 67, 71.
- Allen 1974, pp. 71–72.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 439.
- Allen 1974, pp. 76–78.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 162–163.
- Cobb 2006, p. 448.
- Cobb 2006, p. 460.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 416.
- Allen 1974, pp. 79–80.
- Allen 1974, pp. 83–84.
- Butt 1995, p. 117.
- Cobb 2006, p. 488.
- Cobb 2006, p. 502.
- Cobb 2006, p. 514.
- Cobb 2006, p. 526.
- Allen 1974, pp. 85–86.
- Allen 1974, pp. 88, 98.
- Allen 1974, pp. 58–59.
- Awdry 1990, p. 93.
- Allen 1974, p. 89.
- Allen 1974, pp. 75, 78.
- Allen 1974, pp. 80, 91.
- Allen 1974, pp. 94–95.
- Allen 1974, p. 96.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 493–494, 498.
- Allen 1974, p. 97.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 501.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 398.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 423.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 394.
- Allen 1974, p. 187.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 399.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 400.
- Allen 1974, p. 207.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 425.
- Griffiths, Bill (2005). A Dictionary of North East Dialect. Northumbria University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-904794-16-5.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 120.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 404.
- Allen 1974, pp. 213–215.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 411.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 418, 421.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 421–422.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 532.
- Hoole 1974, p. 100.
- Allen 1974, pp. 91–92.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 100–101.
- The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. George Eyre and Andrew Strahan. 1851. p. 844. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- Allen 1974, p. 103.
- Hoole 1974, p. 101.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 109–111.
- Awdry 1990, p. 143.
- Allen 1974, p. 100.
- Butt 1995, p. 134.
- Allen 1974, p. 94.
- Hoole 1974, p. 204.
- Hoole 1974, p. 167.
- Allen 1974, pp. 105–107.
- Allen 1974, pp. 108–109.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 166–167.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 15, 166–167.
- Cobb 2006, p. 478.
- Allen 1974, p. 154.
- Hoole 1974, p. 154.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 212–214.
- Allen 1974, p. 182.
- Hoole 1974, p. 205.
- Hedges 1981, pp. 88, 113–114.
- Hoole 1974, p. 106.
- Network Rail 2012, pp. 39–41.
- Shannon, Paul (October 2013). "Fitting in freight". Modern Railways. pp. 60–63.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 109–112.
- "Timetable Map". National Rail. 2013.
- Hoole 1974, pp. 95, 108.
- Network Rail 2012, pp. 43–44.
- Table 44 National Rail timetable, May 2013
- Hoole 1974, pp. 102–103.
- Hoole 1974, p. 200.
- "Welcome to the World's Oldest Railway". Tanfield Railway. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- Hoole 1986, pp. 106–112.
- Network Rail 2012, pp. 47–48.
- Cobb 2006, pp. 502, 514, 524.
- Table 26 National Rail timetable, May 2013
- Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Patrick Stephens. ISBN 1-85260-049-7.
- Allen, Cecil J. (1974) . The North Eastern Railway. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0495-1.
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1.
- Cobb, Colonel M.H. (2006). The Railways of Great Britain: A Historical Atlas. Ian Allan. ISBN 978-07110-3236-1.
- Hedges, Martin, ed. (1981). 150 years of British Railways. Hamyln. ISBN 0-600-37655-9.
- Hoole, K. (1986). Rail Centres: Newcastle. Littlehampton Book Services. ISBN 0711015929.
- Hoole, K. (1974). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Volume IV The North East. David & Charles. ISBN 0715364391.
- Tomlinson, William Weaver (1915). The North Eastern Railway: Its rise and development. Andrew Reid and Company.
- Whishaw, Francis (1842). The Railways of Great Britain and Ireland Practically Described and Illustrated. J. Weale.
- Route Specifications – London North Eastern. Network Rail. 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
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