TRACK LIFTING AFTER CLOSURE

Even before the last passenger train ran on 17 March 1984 track lifting had already commenced.  The line from South Pelaw Junction to Washington had gone and the junction itself was little more than the two lines to Ouston Junction and the two sidings alongside.

I understand that a number of the lifted track panels were later installed on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Track Lifting at Consett

37270 heads the final train to leave the site of Consett station on 25 September 1984 with the track literally being lifted being the train. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

As an aside to the photo above, here’s what 37270 looked like in 2013, almost 30 years after the photo above was taken:

37270 from the previous photo as she was in 2013, 37409 Lord Hinton in revenue service with Direct Rail Services at York Station. Photo copyright Robert Patterson

 

Track lifting at Consett on 25 September 1984. Note the bridge at Leadgate in the background which was finally demolished in 2015. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

The same train as in the photo above from Stephen McGahon but this time from Allen Marrs from the other side of the line. In fact, the photo shows Stephen stood next to his motorbike…

Track lifting near Consett, the old Northern bus depot on the left with Carr House farm in the background, taken on the 25th Sept. 1984 Photo copyright Allen Marrs.

Consett is finally disconnected from the rest of the rail network on 25 September 1984. Photo copyright Stephan McGahon

37078 'Teeside Steelmaster' heads a track lifting train at Consett on 26 September 1984 - I believe that this was the very last train to leave Consett. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37078 ‘Teesside Steelmaster’ heads a track lifting train between Consett and Leadgate on 26 September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Another shot of 37078 Teesside Steelmaster with a track lifting train at Villa Real, Leadgate. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Another shot of 37078 Teesside Steelmaster with a track lifting train at Villa Real, Leadgate just outside Consett. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Track Lifting at Leadgate

A Class 46 at St Ives Road, Leadgate, with a track lifting train. Photo copyright Allen Marrs

Taken during a break in the track lifting operations beside the Jolly Drovers bridge, looking towards Annfield Plain (Pontop Pike in the background) on 19th September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Taken during a break in the track lifting operations beside the Jolly Drovers bridge, looking towards Leadgate on 19th September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Track Lifting at Beamish

37 054 Beamish 28-3-84

37054 on a track lifting train near Beamish on 28 March 1984. The locomotive is on the up line towards South Pelaw. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon.

Track Lifting between Pelton and South Pelaw

Towards the end of the track lifting process, the down line from Ouston became double track in a simple Y arrangement where South Pelaw Box once stood. It was left like that to facilitate track lifting when two trains/locos were in use. When it was necessary to operate a facing movement over the points, one of the PW staff would use a crowbar to move the blades and then wedge a block of wood between the blades to prevent them from moving while the train was passing over!

27 October 1985

The following photographs were taken on 27 October 1985 during the track lifting between the site of Pelton Station and South Pelaw Junction.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 022

Heading off in to the sunset, a track lifting train on it’s way to Tyne Yard via Ouston Junction. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 021

A track lifting train on it’s way to Tyne Yard via Ouston Junction. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 023

37101 heads a loaded track lifting train away from South Pelaw down the hill towards Ouston Junction. Note the, then new, road bridge carrying the A693 over the line in the background. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 003

37101 sits under the road bridge at the east end of South Pelaw Junction. To the left is the site of Stella Gill Sidings with the footbridge that stood next the Stella Gill Flatts Signal Box just visible in the background. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 002

37101 at South Pelaw Junction on the ‘up’ line towards Ouston Junction. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 001

37194 sits at the opposite end of the train in the above photograph. The footbridge at the west end of the junction and the road bridge taking the A693 over the line are just visible in the background. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 007

37101 between the site of Pelton Station and South Pelaw Junction with Tyne Yard Guard Keith Brown hanging out of the cab. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 017

A view of 37194 from the cab of 37101 looking towards South Pelaw with the site of Stella Gill sidings to the right. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 025

A view from the track lifting train looking towards Pelton. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 024

A view from the track lifting train looking towards Pelton. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 020

37101 at the head of a track lifting train between Pelton and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 019

37101 on a track lifting train at South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 005

37101 passing the site of Stella Gill sidings with South Pelaw Junction in the background. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 006

37194 and 37101 between the site of Pelton Station and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 009

37194 sits at the end of the truncated ‘up’ line between Pelton and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 011

37101 and 37194 sit at rest opposite the site of Stella Gill sidings. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 010

A length of rail is lifted at South Pelaw. 37194 is at the head of the train with 37101 in the foreground. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 016

37101 sits next to a track carrying train at South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 015

37101 drags a length of rail on the ‘down’ line between Pelton and South Pelaw. In the background, 37194 sits at the end of the old ‘up’ line. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 014

37101 on the old ‘down’ between Pelton (visible in the background) and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 012

37101 sits between Pelton and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 018

37101 at South Pelaw Junction fitted with an adaptor to allow it to drag lengths of track with the draw hook. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 015

37101 drags a length of track towards South Pelaw Junction. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

South Pelaw 27 October 1985 008

37101 drags a length of track towards South Pelaw Junction. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

37194 on a track lifting train at Stella Gill (4 November 1985)

37194 at South Pelaw during the track lifting operation. Can you imagine the public getting this close to the process these days!! (October1985) Photo Copyright Bill Watson

20 October 1985

The following photographs were taken on 20 October 1985 during the track lifting between the site of Pelton Station and South Pelaw Junction.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 006

37109 at South Pelaw Junction with a brake van. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 005

37109 approaching South Pelaw Junction from Ouston Junction. The photograph was taken from the bridge carrying the A693 road over the line. The trackbed of the line to Washington can been seen to the right. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 001

Track lifting at the site of Pelton Station looking in the direction of South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 004

37109 at the rear of a train of track panels heading down to Tyne Yard via Ouston Junction. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 007

37195 heads a train of lifted track panels heads towards Ouston Junction with South Pelaw Junction in the background behind the A693 road bridge. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 006

37195 on a track lifting train passes the site of Stella Gill sidings on the bank down from Pelton with 37134 visible in the background. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 001

A track lifting train at work between Pelton and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 002

37195 with a track lifting train at work between Pelton and South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 008

Track lifting the site of Pelton Station. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 009

Track lifting trains at the site of South Pelaw Junction looking towards Stella Gill with 37134 on the left and 37195 on the right. The signal box used to stand to the left of the photograph. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 008

Track lifting trains at South Pelaw Junction with 37195 on the left and 37134 on the right. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 007

37134 with a part loaded train of track panels sits on the bank to Pelton next to the site of Stella Gill sidings. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 002

37195 with a train of track panels approaches South Pelaw Junction from Pelton. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 009

37195 with a train of track panels approaches South Pelaw Junction from Pelton. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 003

Track lifting between South Pelaw Junction and Pelton. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 012

37195 heads a train of track panels heads towards Ouston Junction from South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 004

37134 heads a train of track panels approaching South Pelaw Junction from Pelton. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 010

37195 sits at South Pelaw Junction with 37134 behind. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 2 011

37109 on a track panel train at South Pelaw. Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 23 October 1985 005

37195 on the left with 37134 on the right.  Photo Author’s Collection, used with permission.

13 October 1985

The following photographs were taken on 13 October 1985 during the track lifting at Pelton Station.  Note the use of road rather than rail based cranes for the lifting as Pelton Station provided easy access to the line from the road.

Pelton to Ouston 13 OCTOBER 1985 001

37194 on a track lifting train looking from the bridge taking Station Lane over the line towards Pelton with the site of Pelton Station immediately behind the photographer on 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 OCTOBER 1985 002

37194 on a track lifting train looking from the bridge taking Station Lane over the line towards Pelton with the site of Pelton Station immediately behind the photographer on 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 003

37194 on a track lifting train looking from the bridge taking Station Lane over the line towards Pelton with the site of Pelton Station immediately behind the photographer on 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 004

37194 on a track lifting train at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 005

37194 on a track lifting train at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 006

37194 on a track lifting train at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 007

37194 on a track lifting train at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 008

Track lifting at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Ouston 13 October 1985 009

Track lifting at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to Outston 13 October 1985 001

Track lifting at the site of Pelton Station 13 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

6 October 1985

The following photographs were taken on 6 October 1985 during the track lifting at Pelton:

Looking down the track bed towards Pelton on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection

Looking down the track bed towards Pelton on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 06 October 1985 004

Looking down the track bed towards South Pelaw from Pelton on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Looking towards the site of Pelton Station (out of site round the corner) on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection

Looking towards the site of Pelton Station (out of site round the corner) on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 06 October 1985 003

Looking from the bridge taking Station Lane over the line towards Pelton with the site of Pelton Station immediately behind the photographer on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Looking from the site of Stella Gill sidings towards South Pelaw Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection

Looking from the site of Stella Gill sidings towards South Pelaw Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

37067 at the rear of a track lifting train at the site of South Pelaw Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection

37067 at the rear of a track lifting train at the site of South Pelaw Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

37067 at the rear of a track lifting train at the site of South Pelaw Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection

37067 at the rear of a track lifting train at the site of South Pelaw Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

Pelton to South Pelaw 06 October 1985 009

37080 leading a track lifting train at the site of South Pelaw Junction about to head to Tyne Yard via Ouston Junction on 6 October 1985. Photo Authors Collection, used with permission.

18 September 1984

1984-09-18_19 Sth Pelaw Jcn 37005

37005 at South Pelaw Junction with a train of track panels heading towards Ouston Junction. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

1984-09-18_18 Sth Pelaw Jcn 37005

37005 at South Pelaw Junction with a train of track panels heading towards Ouston Junction. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

1984-09-18_15 Sth Pelaw Jcn 37005

37005 at South Pelaw Junction with a train of track panels heading towards Ouston Junction. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

6 June 1984

1984-06_004 Sth Pelaw Jcn

Looking towards South Pelaw Junction from the site of Stella Gill sidings. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

1984-06_003 Sth Pelaw Jcn

Looking towards the site of Stella Gill sidings with the line to Consett curving away up the hill to the right. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

1984-06_002 Sth Pelaw Jcn

Looking towards Washington from South Pelaw Junction. Note the A693 road bridge just visible above the footbridge in the background. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

1984-06_001 Sth Pelaw Jcn

Looking towards Washington from South Pelaw Junction. Note the A693 road bridge just visible above the footbridge in the background. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

1984-06_000 37 Sth Pelaw Jcn

Looking towards Consett from the footbridge at the East End of South Pelaw Junction. Note that the track from Washington has been completely lifted. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

0_0_0_0_554_384_csupload_59936376_large

37109 stands in the mist at South Pelaw Junction at around time the track was being lifted. (1984) Photo Copyright Keith Brown

Track Lifting Between South Pelaw and Washington

The following photographs show track lifting between South Pelaw Junction and Washington.

1984-07_028 Mainline under Washington Branch looking east

The remains of the trackbed towards Washington taken from the bridge that took the line over the East Coast mainline in July 1984. Ouston Junction is visible in the background. Photo copyright Mark Goadby

Barley Mow 25-5-82 37006

About a mile down the line from South Pelaw Junction in the direction of Washington is Barley Mow. 37006 is seen on a works train on 25 May 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

South Pelaw 25-5-82 37 006

Having propelled its train up from Barley Mow, 37006 approaches South Pelaw Junction. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

The same train shown above has negotiated South Pelaw Junction and is now heading down towards Ouston Junction. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon.

The same train shown above has negotiated South Pelaw Junction and is now heading down towards Ouston Junction. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon.

31252 with a train of track panels from the line to Washington. Photo Copyright Craig Oliphant

31252 with a train of track panels from the line to Washington on 18 December 1983. Photo Copyright Craig Oliphant

4 thoughts on “TRACK LIFTING AFTER CLOSURE

  1. Dave Young

    A very interesting capture of history.
    Do you by any chance have any photographs from April 1984 when the prototype long welded rail train was used lifting rail from the Consett branch?
    Thanks,
    Dave Young

  2. Robert Patterson

    John,
    A great series of Images of tracklifting on the branch. These really were the last trains to work on the route.
    I am trying to work out exactly were the shot of 37054 was taken in the Beamish area in March 1984. You mention that the loco was stood on the Up line. For the curves in the Beamish area the only place where this could have stood was in between the two tunnels with the camera pointing East toward Pelton. My gut feeling is that the shot was taken from the first over bridge to the West of the most Westerly tunnel at Beamish, looking West toward the next over bridge. The trackbed curvature and embankment slopes can still be appreciated to this day to support what I suggest.
    I appreciate the only way to confirm this would be to get in touch with Mr McGahon who took the image.
    Regards,
    Robert.

  3. Jonathan Hubbard

    Great photos!
    Brings back lots of memories as a child visiting the area on my BMX, I remember going inside South Pelaw box after it had fallen into disuse in the early 80’s then a few years later watching them lift the track between Pelton Station and South Pelaw which would have been juring the miners strike. Such a shame it was the end of an era and that I was too young to have witnessed the line in full use like in the earlier photos.
    Regards
    Jonathan.

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