Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,469 pages of information and 245,911 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Newcastle and Carlisle Railway

From Graces Guide


December 1957.

The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, also known as the Tyne Valley Line, is a railway line in northern England. The 60 mile line was built in the 1830s, and links the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne with Carlisle in Cumbria. Formal opening took place on the 18th June 1838.

1824 Letter from Mr. Chapman to Sir J. Graham of Kirkstall promoting the railway. Mentions his estimate made with the late Mr. Jessop. [1]

1824 August. Meeting about the proposed railway. William Armstrong spoke in favour of a canal rather than a railway. M. W. Ridley and Col. Coulson spoke in favour. John Adamson and John Clayton were appointed secretaries. [2]

1828 The railway was sanctioned for the then unprecedented length of 61 miles.

1829 The railway was built by the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Company, gaining Royal Assent on 22 May 1829.

1834 The line was built in sections from 1834 onwards; the entire route between Carlisle London Road station and Redheugh in Gateshead was formally opened to passengers on 18 June 1838.

The first section was opened on March 10th, 1835; the last on June 18th, 1838, and the steamer that carried passengers from Redheugh into the city of Newcastle was replaced by rail communication, via Scotswood on May 21st 1839. The engineer was Francis Giles, who, it may be noted was the expert witness who said Chat Moss would not carry a railway. Mr Giles resigned his position on the Newcastle and Carlisle to become the engineer to the London and Southampton Railway, but he left behind some very fine work, especially the bridges at Wetheral and Corby. The use of locomotives was definitely forbidden by the original Act, but the clause was amended in 1835 with the proviso that coke was to be used.[3]

1839 A temporary Tyne bridge was built at Scotswood to allow trains to reach a terminus in Newcastle - this opened on 21 October 1839.

1845 The Caledonian line from Carlisle to Edinburgh and the north was in hand, and on October 10th 1845, Joseph Locke met Caledonian engineer J. E. Errington - destined later to be his partner in business - in Carlisle to consider plans for a joint station. This step led to the Carlisle Citadel Station being erected.

1846 The company's station was in London-road, and the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway made use of it when the from the south was opened on December 17th.

1847 The Carlisle Citadel Station was opened on September 1st 1847. The cost was £155,689 towards which the Caledonian Railway Co contributed one-third.

1851 N and CR trains first used Newcastle Central railway station on 1 January 1851.

1862 The N and CR was absorbed into the North Eastern Railway on 17 July 1862. From 1864, trains ran to Carlisle Citadel station, and the old London Road station was closed.

In 1870, the temporary bridge at Scotswood was removed - a new iron bridge, the Scotswood Bridge, was built to replace it.

A North Tyne route - the North Wylam loop - was constructed for colliery and passenger traffic in the mid-1870s. It diverged from the original N and CR at Scotswood, ran along the north bank of the Tyne, and crossed the river at Wylam (via Wylam Railway Bridge) where it joined the N and CR again. Stations were built at Newburn, Lemington, Heddon-on-the-Wall and North Wylam. The North Wylam loop fell under the Beeching Axe in the 1960s, and closed to passengers on 11 March 1968.

1906 A new bridge was constructed at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne by the North Eastern Railway, see images.

1982 On 4 October 1982, British Rail closed the Scotswood Bridge, which had become uneconomic to maintain. Tyne Valley trains from Newcastle were diverted to use the present route, crossing the King Edward Bridge south-west of Newcastle Central Station, and running via Dunston to Blaydon.

  • Former stations on the line include Scotswood, Elswick, Greenhead and Gilsland.

Bridge at Denton Holme

'OPENING OF THE RAILWAY TO THE CANAL. On Thursday last that portion of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, *out mile and half in length, from the London Road station to the Canal Basin, was opened, and the first regular shipment of coals made, amidst a large concourse of spectators. This portion of the line, though short, is extremely interesting. It passes by a short tunnel under Gallows Hill — a site celebrated as the scene of execution of the rebels in 1745 — and, taking a westerly direction, passes through the garden of the ancient hospital of St. Nicholas; thence, leaving the two cotton mills of Messrs. Cowen and Co. and Mr. Slater to the right, and passing close by the manufactory of Long Island, it crosses the Caldew by a neat and substantial stone bridge. It then passes by an embankment of considerable extent, across Denton Holm, and within a few yards of the new and handsome cotton factory of the Messrs. Dixon; crosses Shaddongate upon the level of the road, and proceeding along the edge of the burial ground of Trinity Church, crosses the Wigton road upon a handsome cast-iron arch, (from the foundry of Mr. T. Burgess) and thence across Caldcoats to the Canal warehouses upon arches which present a very handsome appearance. ....'[4]

1875 The cast iron bridge collapsed. See Report of Lt Col C. S. Hutchinson here[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Newcastle Courant etc (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England), Saturday, July 24, 1824
  2. The York Herald, and General Advertiser (York, England), Saturday, August 28, 1824
  3. The Engineer 1924/10/31
  4. Carlisle Journal - Saturday 11 March 1837
  5. [1] Accident Returns: Extract for the Accident at Carlisle, Wigton Road on 7th April 1875