LEADGATE

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.

Site of Leadgate Station 1945

Site of Leadgate station in 1945 from Google Earth. Not the best image but the embankments and bridge that took the line over Watling Street can be seen.

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.

Leadgate Railway Station (1907)

Leadgate Station in 1907 with Pontop Pike in the background. Photo courtesy of The Pont Valley Network

Leadgate station

Leadgate station in 1920. Authors collection, unknown photographer

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Consett and, as with the other stations, the good traffic lasted longer than passenger traffic, the goods service being withdrawn on 10 August 1964.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

site of leadgate sta. 28-2-77 37100

37100 on a steel train passes the site of Leadgate station on 28 February 1977. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

With the masts of Pontop Pike in the background, 37127 passes the outskirts of Leadgate with empty coal hoppers from Consett on 31st May 1977.

With the masts of Pontop Pike in the background, 37127 passes between Leadgate and Annfield Plain with coal hoppers from Consett on 31st May 1977.  Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Leadgate 001

A rather odd train, on a Sunday morning, probably early in 1980, taken from the A693 just before its junction with the A692 east of Leadgate. Two Class 37s on a train of HBA’s loaded with coal. This was during the 1979/1980 winter of discontent and the road transport drivers were on strike. Very unusual sight on the branch. I slammed the brakes on, jumped out of the car and just hoped it would come out. Pity it was such an awful day – The quality of photos taken when there’s melting snow is always poor. Photo Author’s Collection, description by original photographer.

37089 passes East Castle on 28 June 1976. In the background can be seen part of the works at Consett. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37089 passes East Castle just outside Leadgate on 28 June 1976. In the background can be seen part of the works at Consett. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

Track lifting at Leadgate

37093 at Leadgate 27 on September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37093 at Leadgate on 27 September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37093 at Leadgate 27 on September 1984. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37093 at Leadgate 27 September 1984. Houses have now been built on the trackbed and the overbridge in the cente of the photo no longer exists.  Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37078 Teeside Steelmaster stands close to Leadgate, just outside of Consett, on a rail removal train in 1984 with the drivers, Tommy & Matt, posing for the camera.

37078 Teesside Steelmaster stands close to Leadgate, just outside of Consett, on a rail removal train in 1984 with the drivers, Tommy & Matt, posing for the camera. Photo copyright Keith Brown

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

 

Leadgate Today…

Site of Leadgate Station

Site of Leadgate Station from Google Earth

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:

Remains of trackbed at Leadgate (27 February 2014)

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

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.

Jolly Drovers pub at Leadgate - compare to image of 37058 (27 February 2014)

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Compare the image above to the one here: http://www.derbysulzers.com/37058leadgate84.jpg to see what a huge change this location has undergone (the chimneys of the pub are just visible in the background).

The remains of the embankment that took the line over the road (this is to the left of the Jolly Drovers in the picture above):

Remains of embankment that lead to a brdige that took the line over the A692 at Leadgate (27 February 2014)

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

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:

Leadgate Bridge on 31 May 2016.

Leadgate Bridge on 31 May 2016.

Leadgate Bridge on 31 May 2016.

Leadgate Bridge on 31 May 2016.

Leadgate Bridge on 31 May 2016.

Leadgate Bridge on 31 May 2016.

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.

Bridge at Leadgate 1

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Bridge at Leadgate 2

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Bridge at Leadgate 3

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Bridge at Leadgate 5

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Bridge at Leadgate

Photo copyright John Donnelly

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:

Bridge at Leadgate 4

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Carr House Junction

Site of Carr House Junction. Photo copyright John Donnelly

One more indication of what used to be there, a couple of concrete sleepers lying in the grass next to the bridge:

Concrete Sleepers at Leadgate

Photo Copyright John Donnelly

Lamp post at Leadgate

Lamp post at the side of the trackbed at Leadgate just prior to Carr House Junction. Photo copyright John Donnelly

Building at Leadgate

This building, to the left of the A692 bridge was the Leadgate NCB Locomotive Shed (built in 1950) served by lines running from the line that went through the single span of the bridge. The building is still in use today. Photo copyright John Donnelly

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.

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

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

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

A little further up the line towards Leadgate are 2 piles of concrete sleepers.

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

Photo copyright John Donnelly

5 thoughts on “LEADGATE

  1. Neil Gander

    Head down the hill from the bridge at the Transformers and you can visit the old ventilation shaft for the Eden Colliery at Stony Heap.

      1. David Tyson

        If you walk past the Transformers towards Leadgate on the left, at the first pylon is a brick bridge parapet which I think must be for the tramway from the Brass Thill drift which was between the railway and the Stanley road.

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