John Speller's Web Pages South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - North Eastern Railway
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The South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway was authorized by an Act of 13 July 1857 to build a line from Bishop Auckland via Barnard Castle to Tebay on the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway (L&NWR). The Engineer was Thomas Bouch, later to receive notoriety as the designer of the ill-fated Tay Bridge. The countryside traversed by the line was extremely sparsely populated the Midland Railway's Settle & Carlisle line was still quite a way in the future and it was expected that the railway's income would come primarily from mineral traffic, although there was a minimal passenger service. First to be opened was the 35-mile section between Tebay and Barnard Castle on 1 August 1863, and this was followed by the Barnard Castle to Bishop Auckland section on 1 August 1863. Meanwhile, the Eden Valley Railway was authorized by an Act of 21 May 1858 to build a line from Clifton on the Lancaster & Carlisle line to Kirkby Stephen on the South Durham & Lancaster Union Railway. This line opened 1 August 1863. Junctions were later effected with the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway at Penrith, and with the Settle & Carlisle Railway (MR) at Appleby. Both company's lines were worked by the Stockton & Darlington Railway, which absorbed them under an Act of 8 April 1862 which in turn became part of the North Eastern Railway under an Act of 1 August 1863. British Railways closed the lines on 20 January 1962, except for the Darlington to Barnard Castle line which remained open to supply service to Middleton-in-Teesdale. This last section closed to passengers on 30 November 1964 and to goods on 5 April 1965.
Map of the lines discussed on this page
Stainmore Summit, between Barras and Bowes, was 1,370 feet above sea level the highest point on a British Railway. In this official LNER photograph of 1927 two snow plows are shown clearing the line in this location. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway Corporate Seal
Gaunless Viaduct (161 yards) was the second longest of the twelve viaducts that Thomas Bouch built for the South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway
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