At Ouston Junction, the line to South Pelaw diverged from the route of the East Coast Mainline via the ‘slow’ tracks that ran all the way to Tyne Yard.
From around 1970 to 1974, iron ore trains from Tyne Dock used Ouston Junction to join the line to Consett after the line via Washington was closed although prior to that, iron ore trains would often be routed via Ouston Junction over the weekends.
The photograph to the right shows an HST passing the junction shows the line to South Pelaw curving away to the right with the line to Washington passing along the embankment and over the bridge in the background. At this time, prior to the closure of the steelworks at Consett, the full junction trackwork was still in place.
The Junction after the closure of the steelworks.
The following photo shows the junction after the closure of Consett Steelworks. Note that, compared to the photo of the HST above, the junction has already been rationalised with the removal of two crossovers, a remnant of which can be see on the left hand rail of the right hand track.
Despite Ouston Junction being a very popular location for photographers, the image below is the only one I’ve seen, so far, of a train coming off the Consett Branch.
The photo below shows the junction just a few months before the track on the Consett Branch was finally lifted. Note the truncated remains of the line from Consett to Tyne Yard.
The Junction after the closure of the Consett branch…
Showing a slightly unusual view of the junction, taken in July 1984, this photo was taken from the bridge that crossed the ECML at the junction after the tracks to Washington were lifted.
The photo below shows the site of the junction after closure and removal of the tracks. Note the bridge in the background of the earlier photographs has been removed and replaced with the footbridge which remains to this day.
The photo predates the removal of the ‘slow’ lines to Tyne Yard and the electrification of the East Coast Mainline.
The Site Today…
The junction was removed when the line to Consett was removed in 1985 and the ‘slow lines’ to Tyne Yard were removed later. The following two photographs show the, now unrecognisable, site of the junction in 2014, today you would never know the junction had ever existed…
The bridge that carried the Washington line has been replaced by a footbridge. In the photo below, the line to South Pelaw originally curved away from the main line towards the building in the centre of the photograph.