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Tanfield Railway

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See the beautiful Co Durham Scenery when travelling on Tanfield Railway

The Tanfield Railway line runs between Gateshead and Co. Durham.  The line runs for some 4.8 kilometers between the southern terminus based at East Tanfield, Co. Durham to the northern terminus which is situated at Sunniside in Gateshead.   The main station is  located near to the Marley Hill engine shed, at St Andrew’s house.  It is said that the railway is oldest working railway in the world. The railway was built to be a coal transporter from Co. Durham to the Tyne and then onto the docks for transportation.

Built in 1725, it was a real phenomena at the time, its engineering was unlike any other and was a triumph of engineering over nature.   It was a symptom of the new industrial when railways really came into their own, some 25 years later.  The tricentenary will be celebrated in 2025.   The railway was finally closed in 1964.

The preservation project began in 1973 and the first passenger train ran in August 1975 for just one week.  In 1977, passenger trains began to be run between Marley Hill and Bowes Bridge, this was extended to Sunniside by 1982.  In 1992, the track was opened between Andrews House and Causey, and by 1993, trains were ran to East Tanfield.   During this time, a multitude of restoration projects were initiated and completed, where waggons, locomotives and carriages were transformed and brought back into service.

In 2012 the new station building was begun in East Tanfield, with futher plans to extend.

A regular feature of the The Tanfield Railway is the North Pole Express journey offered at Christmas.  This involves a 4 mile return train journey through the wonderful County Durham winter countryside  culminating in visitng Santa in his grotto.  It’s advised to book early for this wonderful childrens adventure as places are limited and it is an extremely popular ride.

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