OUSTON JUNCTION

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.

An HST passes Ouston Junction in the late 1970s. Photo copyright Colin Brewes

An HST passes Ouston Junction in the late 1970s. Photo copyright Colin Brewes

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.

47405 at Ouston junction with 1E63 0942 Poole to Newcastle 02/09/1982. Photo copyright Dave Jolly

47405 at Ouston junction with 1E63 0942 Poole to Newcastle on 2 September 1982. Photo copyright Dave Jolly

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.

31222 comes off the line to Consett at Ouston Junction with a train of track panels on 20 September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

31222 comes off the line to Consett at Ouston Junction with a train of track panels on 20 September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

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.

37110 at Ouston Junction with 6N64 Speedlink from Immingham to Tyne Yard 02071985. Photo Copyright Dave Jolly

37110 at Ouston Junction with 6N64 Speedlink from Immingham to Tyne Yard 2 July 1985. Photo Copyright Dave Jolly

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.

1984-07_028 Mainline under Washington Branch looking east

Photo copyright Mark Goadby

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.

37308 crossing Ouston Junction with 6S67 1452 Speedlink Coal from Healey Mills to Gartcosh 19/08/1988. Photo copyright Dave Jolly

37308 crossing Ouston Junction with 6S67 1452 Speedlink Coal from Healey Mills to Gartcosh 19 September 1988. Note that the bridge that carried the line to Washington in the background has been replaced by a footbridge.  Photo copyright Dave Jolly

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.

The site of Ouston Junction in 2014. Photo Author's Collection

The site of Ouston Junction in 2014. Photo Author’s Collection

The site of Ouston Junction in 2014. Photo Author's Collection

The site of Ouston Junction in 2014. Photo Author’s Collection

‘Ghosts of 9Fs past…’ – This is what the line from Ouston Junction to South Pelaw Junction looks like today. The photo is from the line from Washington, the line from the ECML is off to the right, not that there is anything to indicate that there was ever a line there anymore. Photo by the Author.

One thought on “OUSTON JUNCTION

  1. HELEN DAVIES

    My 4X great grandfather was working as a railway porter in Leadgate in 1851. He rose to be a passenger manager by the 1890s. His name was Richard Carr born 1823 in Rotherham Yorkshire. Have you any old records which could supply me with any information on him? I believe he at first lived in Railway Cottages and then Prospect House. Thank you Helen Davies

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