John Speller's Web Pages Ponteland Railway

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The Ponteland Railway was a 7 mile line which ran from South Gosforth on the Blyth & Tyne division of the North Eastern Railway (which provided through service to Newcastle) and the town of Ponteland in Northumberland. There were intermediate stations at West Gosforth, Coxlodge, Kenton Bank and Callerton. The line was authorized by a Light Railway Order in 1899 and opened to goods traffic on 1 March 1905 and to passengers on 1 June 1905. The line was viewed primarily as a suburban line and it was hoped that traffic would warrant electrification of the line, but traffic was a big disappointment and the electrification plan was shelved. An extension to the "garden city" of Darras Hall was authorized by an Act under the title of "Little Callerton Railway" in 1909. Curiously, unlike the parent Ponteland Railway the Little Callerton Railway was not a light railway. It opened to goods traffic on 27 September 1913 with passenger service following on 1 October 1913. Trains ran to Ponteland and then reversed to Darras Hall.

A further extension under the title of the Wallridge Mineral Railway ran from Darras Hall to Belsay Colliery between 1923 and 1930. The colliery company possessed an ex-Glasgow & South Western 0-6-0, two coaches, six trucks and a guard's van.

The Ponteland and Darras Hall branches closed to passengers on 17 June 1929 and to goods on 14 August 1967. This was not, however, the end of the story, since most of it was rebuilt as part of the Tyne & Wear Light Rail system. Passenger service was reinstated in 1981, and after three-quarters of a century the original dream of electrification finally came to fruition. A short extension of the line enables it to serve Newcastle Airport.
Map of the Ponteland Railway and connections
First passenger train at Ponteland station, 1 June 1905, behind a Fletcher "Bogie Tank Passenger" Class 0-4-4T (LNER Class "G-4")
Auto-train at Ponteland station shortly after opening behind a BTP 0-4-4 tank
Kenton Bank station shortly after opening showing an auto-train behind a BTP 0-4-4 tank. The building at the far end of the platform was built to be an electric sub-station before the original electrification plan was shelved
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