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Heart of Hadrian's Wall

...a day is never long enough

Railways

The Newcastle to Carlisle railway, now known as the Tyne Valley route, was the first cross-country railway when it opened in 1838 and provides access to the Heart of Hadrian's Wall.

Although considerably updated to cope with current rail traffic and providing a frequent passenger service linking Newcastle and Carlisle as well as Hexham and Sunderland / Middlesborough it still contains a tremendous amount of historic infrastructure along the line.

There are many locations where this railway history can be seen but some of the main ones include Haltwhistle for the signal box, water tower, station buildings and Alston Arches, Greenhead for the oldest extant engine shed (not now used as an engine shed), Hexham for station and signal box and Wylam signal box.

Helping to keep the north's railway heritage alive there are a number of preserved and historic railway sites across the North East, mainly volunteer led helping to keep alive our railway heritage, and Northern Cumbria, which can also boast two of the most scenic rail routes in England. More details can be found below.

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The Cumbrian Coast Line, as its name suggests, hugs the scenic coastline between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. For much of the route, the line runs very close to the coast and links the waters of the Solway with those of Morecambe Bay; both sites of special scientific interest (SSSI). Not...
This historic and scenic route was one of the last main line railways built in Britain. It was built by the Midland Railway to allow it to have its own route into Scotland, rather than having to depend on its rival, the LNWR. The line was opened...

Location

The South Tynedale Railway is a new narrow gauge railway, built to British two feet gauge or 610 mm metric equivalent, which runs from Alston in Cumbria, into Northumberland, in Northern England. It has been constructed by volunteers on part of the formation of a former standard gauge branch...

Location

With an unparalleled history dating back to 1725, spectacular scenery and a truly unique atmosphere, it is no wonder that the Tanfield Railway is the North East's biggest and most popular steam railway.. Less than half an hour from Newcastle and within easy reach of Tyneside, Wearside...

Location

The Weardale Railway, situated in County Durham, was a mothballed branch line from Bishop Auckland following the River Wear westwards to Eastgate-in- Weardale, a distance of approximately 18.7 miles. The line was originally built by the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1847 to transport limestone to the...

Location

This is the most recent of the heritage railways in the area and only opened in 2012. The Aln Valley Railway project is an ambitious plan to reopen the branch line from Alnmouth to Alnwick, the old county town of Northumberland and the ancestral home of the...
A 15” gauge steam railway running from Heatherslaw, 6.4km to Etal Village - a return journey of 50 minutes. When operating trains leave Heatherslaw every hour on the hour from 11am-3pm inclusive and return from Etal on the half hour from 11.30am-3.30pm inclusive. All tickets are for...

Location

The Eden Valley Railway is based at Warcop in Cumbria (or Westmorland, in old money), just off the A66 between Appleby and Brough. It has a selection of rolling stock, Diesel Multiple Units and Locomotives and a short running line . It is open every Sunday during...

Location

On the Cumbrian Coast line you could consider alighting at Ravensglass and enjoy a return trip on the “Au’d Ratty” as the narrow gauge Ravensglass and Eskdale Railway is known. The trip will take you from Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park,...
The Stainmore Railway is based at the Kirkby Stephen East Heritage Centre and is open every Saturday and Sunday with passenger trains running on selected dates. The aim is the full restoration of Kirkby Stephen East railway station and the development of a full working railway as...

Location

This historic railway is sited south of Gateshead in Springwell village just east of the main A1 road near the Angel of the North Designed by George Stephenson and opened in 1826 the Bowes Railway is the only operational preserved standard gauge rope-hauled railway in the world....

Location

The Museum is located on the 1825 route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the world's first steam-worked public railway. The site encompasses three significant Stockton & Darlington Railway buildings of the 1830s/50s: North Road Passenger Station, the Goods Shed and Hopetown Carriage Works. The museum...

Location

The Shildon branch of the National Railway Museum is well worth a visit. It is based on the site of the former Shildon Wagon Works and contains over 100 locomotives and about 200 items of rolling stock, as well as a vast collection of other railway related items and...
Re-live the glorious days of the steam railway at Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields. The Museum is home to George Stephenson's 'Billy', a forerunner of the world- famous Rocket. 'Billy' is joined by many other engines from the great age of steam including 'Jackie Milburn', named...
The routes of several closed lines can still be easily followed with bridges and stations still extant in numerous locations. Lines worthy of exploration include; - The Border Counties Railway linked the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, near Hexham, with the Border Union Railway at Riccarton Junction in...
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