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24 September 2014

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You are in: Wear > Places > Places features > Tanfield Railway

Tanfield vintage diesels

Vintage diesel train.

Tanfield Railway

Parts of it can claim to be the world's oldest working railway. The surviving working section dates back to 1725. The oldest part, now closed, built in the mid 1600s. And it's yours to play on - for a small fee.

If standing on the railway bridge next to Andrews House, surrounded by steam and ears ringing with "Whoo, Whoooo", doesn't bring out your inner Roberta, Peter or Phyllis, then nothing will.

But fear not, the Tanfield Railway, which runs between Derwentside and Gateshead, isn't just something for fans of The Railway Children.

From Sunniside to the north and Causey Arch and East Tanfield to the south, the historic railway has been lovingly rebuilt and tended over the past 40 years by a group of railway enthusiasts.

Vintage diesel train

Vintage diesel train at Marley Hill signal box.

They run regular trains on Sundays and Bank Holidays and there are also a number of special events and extra services throughout the year, according to season.

Marley Hill engine shed, built in 1854 and in use until 1970, is where the locomotive fleet is maintained. The shed, the home of the vintage workshop, forge and wheel lathe, is open to the public every day.

There's a station cafe and shop, open when trains are running, at Andrews House, a recreation of a traditional rural station.

The railway was originally used to move coal from nearby collieries to ships o­n the River Tyne.

Loco Renishaw at night

The end of a day's duty for loco Renishaw.

The Lobley Hill section was the oldest part, built around 1647, and so had being going for over 300 years when it was closed in 1964.

The surviving 1725 Sunniside to Causey section is now claimed to be the world's oldest working railway. The Causey to East Tanfield section dates from 1839.

The railway is maintained and operated by volunteers. Click on the links below to see pictures and find out whether this might just be the new hobby you've been looking for.

last updated: 21/05/2008 at 14:10
created: 20/05/2008

You are in: Wear > Places > Places features > Tanfield Railway

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