Border Counties Railway John Speller's Web Pages Border Counties Railway

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Border Counties Railway
The Border Counties Railway was authorized by an Act of 21 July 1854 to build a 42-mile-long railway from Hexham on the North Eastern Railway's Newcastle & Carlisle line northwest to Riccarton Junction on the North British Railway's Waverley Route. The line was single-tracked throughout. There was an authorized capital of 250,000 in 10 shares with the option to borrow an additional 80,000. The Engineer was John Furness Tone (1822-1881) of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Chairman, William Henry Charlton, cut the first sod near Hexham on 18 December 1855. Except for the Border Counties Bridge, where the line left the Newcastle to Carlisle main line, enough land was purchased for a double line and all the engineering works were built to accommodate two tracks, though only a single track was ever laid. There was a two-road engine shed, together with a turntable, at Reedsmouth Junction. The line between Hexham and Chollerford opened on 5 April 1858. The line was operated by the North British Railway, which absorbed it on 13 August 1860. The line from Chollerton to Riccarton Junction opened for goods traffic on 24 June 1862 and on 1 July 1862 for passengers. There was later also a junction at Reedsmouth with the Wansbeck Railway. Notwithstanding that it provided a useful through route from Edinburgh to Newcastle, the line closed to passengers on 15 October 1956 and to goods on 1 September 1958, although the Bellingham to Reedsmouth section was retained for one goods train per week, accessed via the Wansbeck line, until 11 November 1963. Video of the last passenger train here and here.
Map of the Border Counties Railway Railway
Riccarton Junction on opening day, 1 July 1862
John F. Tone's magnificent crenelated Kielder skew viaduct, which carried the Border Counties Railway over the Deadwater Burn. Image copyright Stephen Richards and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
Falstone station in a postcard view of around 1914
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