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Report - Bowes railway line.

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by danman, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. danman

    danman 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    The Bowes railway line was built by George Stephenson in 1826 and closed in 1974 and is the only preserved standard gauge cable railway in the world. It was built to transport coal from pits in Durham to boats in Jarrow.

    The railway was built between Mount Moor and Jarrow via Springwell. The first section to open was between Springwell and Jarrow which opened on 17 January 1826, Mount Moor followed in April 1826. When the line opened it comprised four inclined planes: one steep incline from Mount Moor to Blackham's Hill, and one from Blackham's Hill to Springwell. At Blackham's Hill, the summit of both inclines, was the "hauler house", housing stationary engines to wind the ropes. A long self-acting incline ran from Springwell. Nearly 5 miles (8.0 km) of locomotive-worked line extended to Jarrow where a final incline served the coal staiths. The line was extended across the Team valley to Kibbelsworth Colliery in May 1842. The railway was completed in 1854 when a link from Marley Hill to Kibblesworth was connected enabling collieries in Dipton to be accessed.

    From 1 January 1947 the railway was owned and operated by the National coal board. After 1974 no inclines remained working and the line was only worked north east of Wardley. The last day the inclines were used was Friday 4 October 1974.

    When the Bowes Railway was in full operation the line employed 8 inclined rope worked incline planes. Two of these were operated on the self-acting principle, on these (the Springwell & Birkheads inclines) the weight of descending full waggons hauled up the empty waggons via a rope running around a return wheel at the top of the hill. The remaining six inclines are operated using a stationary engine (as at Kibblesworth, Black Fell, Blackhams Hill East and West, Starrs and Allerdene Inclines) which used ropes hauled by a stationary steam or later electric haulage engine.

    This is a map of the 11/2 miles of preserved railway.
    Looking up the line to Springwell level crossing.
    Looking towards Blackham's hill. IMG_2207.JPG IMG_2206.JPG IMG_2213.JPG
    Blackham's hill rope hauler and incline. IMG_2214.JPG IMG_2215.JPG IMG_2216.JPG IMG_2203.JPG
    View from a platform on Pelaw main curve. IMG_2201.JPG
    Platform on Pelaw main curve. IMG_2198.JPG
    Pelaw main curve. IMG_2197.JPG
    Pelaw main curve. IMG_2195.JPG
    Pelaw main curve.
    Line along to Wrekenton. IMG_2191.JPG IMG_2171.JPG
    Line splitting at Wrekenton.
    IMG_2175.JPG IMG_2181.JPG
    End of the line at Wrekenton. IMG_2218.JPG

    IMG_2221.JPG IMG_2226.JPG IMG_2229.JPG IMG_2236.JPG IMG_2235.JPG IMG_2225.JPG IMG_2224.JPG IMG_2222.JPG IMG_2219.JPG

    oldiesDJ, AltCoyne, WildBoyz and 3 others like this.

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  2. Bent Nails

    Bent Nails 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Mar 12, 2014
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    Home Page:
    I like that - looks an interesting trail.
  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
    Regular User

    Mar 16, 2014
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    A little repetitive in the end, but an interesting report overall. I found it to be a little different which is nice to see.
  4. stranton

    stranton the subterranean explorer
    Regular User

    Jun 3, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I believe they have received funding to return the rope haulage part (Bowes incline) to its former glory,
    along with refurbishing the buildings.
    oldiesDJ and WildBoyz like this.
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