John Speller's Web Pages Blyth & Tyne Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - North Eastern Railway
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The earliest section of what was to become the Blyth & Tyne Railway was built as a colliery line by Messrs. Carr & Co. of Seghill colliery to connect Seghill with Percy Main in Northumberland. As Messrs. Carr owned all the land involved, no Act was necessary and the line opened for goods traffic on 1 June 1840, and for passengers on 28 August 1841. The line was extended from Seghill to Hartley in 1846, and opened to Blyth on 3 March 1847, at which time the company was known as the Blyth, Seghill & Percy Main Railway. The line was incorporated in 1852 under the name of the Blyth & Tyne Railway. On 4 August 1853 an Act was obtained for a branch to Morpeth, and this opened to goods in October 1857 and for passengers on 1 April 1858. A further Act in 1859 authorized an extension to Warkworth, which opened in 1860, and similarly an Act of 1860 authorized a further extension from Dairy House Junction to Tynemouth, which opened later the same year. The last line to be built was a branch to North Blyth, authorized by an Act of 15 August 1867, and opened in 1872. At this point the Blyth & Tyne was operating an extremely profitable system of coal lines amounting to a total of 42 miles. So attractive, indeed, was the company that the North Eastern Railway couldn't resist taking it over -- which it did by an Act of 7 August 1874 in which it paid 250 shillings for every 100 shillings worth of stock.

Various changes were made to the system under the North Eastern Railway, and a couple are of particular interest. In 1904 The North Eastern Railway electrified the New Bridge Street -- Backworth -- Monkseaton -- Wallsend section of the former Blyth & tyne. Furthermore, a new line to Colywell Bay opened in 1912. The latter line, however, was closed by the London & North Eastern Railway in 1932. Under the Beeching Axe in 1964 passenger service was withdrawn from much of the system, and in 1967 the North Tyneside loop was de-electrified in 1967, though most of it has subsequently been re-electrified and become part of the Tyne & Wear Metro. Most of the rest of the system is still open for the occasional goods working, but little used.

Railway Clearing House map showing the Blyth & Tyne Railway shortly after it was taken over by the North Eastern Railway
Blyth & Tyne Railway 0-6-0 locomotive No. 10, built in 1872, shown here as rebuilt with a North Eastern stovepipe chimney and running as North Eastern Railway No. 1316
Postcard view of Blyth station in around 1910
A postcard view of Backworth (Holy Well) station in around 1905. Note the third rail electrification of 1904
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