The Weardale Railway is a single track branch line which originally extended from Bishop Auckland to Wearhead in County Durham, a distance of about 25 miles. It was built in the nineteenth century to carry passenger and freight traffic. As late as 1992 the line remained in use as part of the national network, serving a large cement works at Eastgate (latterly owned by the Lafarge group) and providing a summer Sundays-only passenger service between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope.
As of 2008, the track remains in place on the 18 mile section of the line between Bishop Auckland and Eastgate. The 6 mile section between Wolsingham and Stanhope is in regular use, providing a local passenger service for tourists and visitors. In late 2008, volunteers cleared vegetation from the track between Wolsingham and Bishop Auckland in preparation for a promised imminent re-opening of that section of the line.
In 2010 the line was reconnected and reopened by RMS Locotec.
See below for a map of the route.
2010 is going to see a considerable growth in activity on the line due to the large capital injection into the railway by new owners British American Rail Services and also by the efforts of the over 100 Railway Trust volunteers who assist in operating the trains.
Together the company and the trust are hoping to show that the Railway can make a positive contribution to the economy of Weardale by increasing tourist income and by providing an environmentally efficient means of travelling to and from the Dale."
Exciting horizons, don't miss out
Weardale Railways CIC
DL13 2YS – Tel 01388 526203