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Report - Leamside line

danman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
The Leamside line was opened on the 24th of August 1938, and the line was used for freight and passenger services during the line's period of operation, passenger stations served were: Usworth; Washington; Penshaw; Fencehouses; Leamside; Sherburn; and Shincliffe.

The first section of the line was opened by the Durham junction railway on 24 August 1838 between Washington, on the Stanhope and Tyne railway and Rainton Medows. The Newcastle and Darlington junction railway bought the railway in 1843 and used it as part of its route between Darlington and Newcastle from 18 June 1844.

Passenger services between Leamside and Ferryhill were withdrawn in 1941 and Leamside station closed in 1953. Usworth and Washington closed on 9 September 1963. The last regular passenger service was withdrawn in May 1964. Coal and other freight continued to be carried until the gradual closure of the Durham coalfield in the 1970s and 1980s resulted in a severe drop in the line's traffic. It was mothballed in 1991.

After mothballing, the double track was reduced to a single line in some places, and the track was severed at some level crossings along the line. Initially, its engineering features remained intact but the embankment which carries the line over Moors Burn, 500 yards to the north of the site of Fencehouses station, had partially collapsed, leaving the former down track suspended.

Part of the Durham to Sunderland line that left the Leamside Line near the south-east end of the Victoria Victoria was brought back into use in 2002 for the Sunderland Extension of the Tyne and Wear metro, terminating at South Hylton, around 3 miles from the former junction with the Leamside line.

On 14 September 2006, Network rail announced plans to lift the track along the full length of the line. It was maintained that the track, after 15 years out of use, would need replacing anyway if the line was ever to re-open, and that this move would have no implications for any future use of the railway. The company also pledged that all bridges would be left in place, with no sales of land attached to the line. A former British Rail engineer, who oversaw a major upgrade of the line just two years before its closure, has countered Network Rail's claims, saying that the track is still in excellent condition and would need only minimal refurbishment to bring it back into use. In July 2010 the government said they have no plans to reopen the line, but the land the track runs on will not be sold. The track remained largely in place until the majority of it was removed in 2013.

The remaining track begins on the Durham coast line and stretches a few miles just to the south of the freight liner terminal in Wardley.

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The track was completely removed south of the level crossing at Follingsby lane.
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The freight yard.

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The site of the Wardley coal disposal point.
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At South Wardley farm it is overgrown so I can not get past.
 

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