Another location where there is very little trace of the railway (particularly the station), the trackbed of which has now been partially built over with new housing. There was a station at Leadgate on the north side of St Ives Road (the main road through the village) which opened on 17 August 1896 built on an embankment that also took the line over the Roman Road of Watling Street, known as Durham Road by the locals.
As shown in the two period photographs, the main station buildings were on the Newcastle bound platform with Consett bound passengers getting a simple shelter all constructed, as was the North Eastern Railway standard on the line, from timber.
Tne NCB and Consett Iron Company had running rights over the NER lines through Leadgate between Eden colliery just outside Leadgate and the steelworks. At the west end of the village the line branched north at Carr House Junction to South Medomsley colliery which closed in 1962 after it was merged underground with Eden colliery. Next to Carr House Junction and right alongside the cricket ground were the NCB Bradley Workshops.
The station issued 56,673 tickets in 1898, 71,975 in 1903 and 67,733 in 1913 becoming the only station on the line to issue fewer tickets in 1913 than in 1903. The introduction of the local bus services in the early 1920s run by the Venture bus company proved to be the death knell for passenger services on the line.
The station closed to passengers on 22 May 1955 and closed completely on 10 August 1964. Like most of the stations on the line, Leadgate station had a small goods yard consisting of three sidings on the side of the line leading away from Consett and, as with the other stations, the good traffic lasted longer than passenger traffic, the goods service being withdrawn on 10 August 1964.
After demolition, some of the larger timbers from the station were left behind and have been incorporated in to newer buildings in the village or became furniture.
Leadgate in the 1970s
Track lifting at Leadgate
The photo below shows what is left of the trackbed, the new houses are a little further up the line round the corner in the distance:
Next, the Jolly Drovers pub. The line used to pass in front of the pub through what is now the carpark on an embankment and a bridge that took the line over the road in the foreground albeit that has also changed since the line ran over it.
Further up the line towards Consett at the end of Leadgate Front Street is a fairly substantial plate girder bridge carrying the A692 road. It is my understanding that as of March 2014, the bridge is scheduled for demolition and the site around it has been cleared of trees which would allow access to heavy machinery.
Update: Demolition of the bridge was due to start in September 2014 but has been delayed as bats have been found nesting in it and, I understand, the contractor brought in to oversee the work has gone in to liquidation.
Update 2: The bridge is due to be demolished w/c 25 May 2015
Update 3: A full year after the bridge was due to be demolished, it is finally coming down:
Here is the bridge as of 11th March 2014. The right hand span covered a single track that lead to a rail served building and the left hand span covered the tracks to Consett. As you can from the photographs, the bridge has undergone a lot of additional support work since the tracks were removed.
Just prior to the bridge was Carr House Junction to South Medomsley colliery, the old track bed of which can be seen heading off on the right hand side of the photograph below:
One more indication of what used to be there, a couple of concrete sleepers lying in the grass next to the bridge:
In between Annfield Plain and Leadgate, opposite Pontop Pike, is another of the art installations on the line, this time a pair of sculptures called ‘The Old Transformers’ by David Kemp. The pictures below were taken on 12 October 2014.
The Transformers are next to the bridge below which carried the line over the road from Pontop to Stoney Heap. The same bridge can be seen in this photo of the last passenger train: http://southpelawjunction.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Last-train-at-Pontop-2.jpg
A little further up the line towards Leadgate are 2 piles of concrete sleepers.