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British Industrial History

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Blyth and Tyne Railway

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The Blyth and Tyne Railway is a railway in Northumberland, England built chiefly to link the collieries in Ashington, Seghill and Blyth to the River Tyne at Percy Main.

It later expanded to link Tynemouth and Newcastle upon Tyne, providing a passenger service to Whitley Bay. The railway operated under three names, 1840–47 the Seghill Railway, 1847–53 the Blyth, Seghill and Percy Main Railway, and 1853–74 the Blyth and Tyne Railway, until it was absorbed by the North Eastern Railway in 1874.

The line started on 1 June 1840 as a coal-carrying railway from Seghill to Percy Main, and developed in a number of stages. The line opened to passengers in 1841.

It was extended from Seghill to Hartley in 1846, and from Hartley to Blyth in 1847.

The line bought the Newsham to Bedlington line from Bedlington Coal Company in 1855 and extended the line to Morpeth in 1858, and created a separate line to North Seaton the next year.

The Hartley to Tynemouth branch known as the Avenue Branch opened in 1860, and the line linking Backworth and Monkseaton opened in 1864.

In 1872 the company moved the line from Whitley to Tynemouth nearer the coast and extended the North Seaton line to Newbiggin.

In 1874 the line was absorbed by the North Eastern Railway (NER)

In 1904 the NER electrified the New Bridge Street — Backworth — Monkseaton — Wallsend sections of the B&T as part of the North Tyneside Loop of its Tyneside Electrics.

The NER became part of the London and North Eastern Railway LNER in the 1923 grouping.

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