Deerness Valley Railway
|Deerness Valley Railway|
The Deerness Valley Railway was an 8-mile long single track branch railway line that ran along the valley of the River Deerness in County Durham, England. Built by the North Eastern Railway, it ran from Deerness Valley Junction, on the Durham to Bishop Auckland line, to the coal mines along the valley via two intermediate stations, Waterhouses, and Ushaw Moor.
The line was primarily built to serve the collieries at Ushaw Moor, Waterhouses, Hamsteels, Esh, Cornsay, New Brancepeth and East Hedley Hope, and was opened to passengers only as an afterthought.
Authorised in 1855, the line opened to goods on New Year's Day 1858, but it was not until 1 November 1877 that the first passenger station, Waterhouses near Esh Winning, was opened. A second station was opened on 1 September 1884 at Ushaw Moor.
Beyond the East Hedley Hope junction, the line was known as Stockton and Darlington Railway Deerness Valley Branch, with the rope worked Stanley Inclines giving access to Stanley Drifts and Wooley Colliery. It then accessed Bank Foot Coke Works and Chemical Plant at Crook, where it junctioned with both the Weardale Extension Railway and the Stanhope and Tyne Railway. This section was built for Joseph Pease and Partners, the owners of Waterhouses Colliery who also owned the industrial complex at Bank Foot.
The entire line closed to passengers on 29 October 1951, and to freight on 28 December 1964.
The site today
The trackbed became part of the Durham Railway Paths network in 1975.