1960 – 1969

In it’s heyday…

Type 2 (later Class 25) D5179 at South Pelaw Junction in September 1966. The working is unusual for a couple of reasons, firstly the locomotive is a Class 25 rather than the normal Class 24s and there is just the one locomotive (which isn’t fitted with the high level air pipes to operate the wagon doors), usually the trains would be double headed.  However, it does appear that the wagons may be empty so this may have just been an empty stock movement which would explain the use of a single locomotive.

Type 2 (later Class 25) D5179 at South Pelaw Junction in September 1966. The working is unusual for a couple of reasons, firstly the locomotive is a Class 25 rather than the normal Class 24s and there is just the one locomotive, usually the locomotives would be double headed. Photo Author's Collection

Photo Author’s Collection

From Colin Brewes, we have a couple of photos.  The first shows 92095 and 92068 passing at South Pelaw with full and empty iron ore trains.  Note the hopper wagons on the right in the snowplough sidings, South Pelaw Colliery on the left and Stella Gill Flatts signal box in the background.

92065 and 92098 pass at South Pelaw Junction

Photo copyright Colin Brewes.

Next up is a picture of Q6 63499 about to leave the junction to head up the hill to Consett with a coal train – although undated, I believe that it was take some time in the 1950s.

Photo copyright Colin Brewes.

Photo copyright Colin Brewes.

From Rail-Online we have a couple of atmospheric shots of an iron ore train starting the climb to Consett from South Pelaw Junction.

Taken in the early to mid 1960s, there’s lots of interest in these two photographs which show Stella Gill Coke works in the background along with Stella Gill Flatts signal box and the NCB building and footbridge which exist to this day.  Note also, to the right of the signal, the buffer stops for the, by now gone, snowplough sidings.  The buffers stops, minus the cross beams (albeit they were still there in 2007) are still there today in the undergrowth if you know where to look.

By this time, banking was carried out using Type 4 (later Class 40) diesels based at Gateshead shed, in this case, D242 is doing the honours.

92xxx_1960s_South_Pelaw_Junction_up_to_Medomsley_-_on_Consett_hoppers-ROneg-1403-097-(ZF-3364-56016-1-001)

Photo copyright Rail-Online

D242_1960s_South_Pelaw_Junction_banking_9F_on_Consett_hoppers_up_to_Medomsley-ROneg-031-(ZF-3364-56016-1-002)

Photo copyright Rail-Online

Courtesy of Patrick O’Brien, here are a number of shots all taken on 8 September 1966.

Tyne Dock 9F is about to tackle the steep incline at Pelaw Junction on Thursday September 8, 1966.

An unidentified 9F begins the climb to Consett with a train of 21T hopper wagons.  Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

Tyne Dock 9F 92065 heads a rake of coal wagons on 8 September 1966. 92065 was the only Tyne Dock 9F to escape, being reallocated to Wakefield

Tyne Dock 9F 92065 heads a rake of coal wagons on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

Tyne Dock 9F 92060 heads up the incline at Pelaw Junction on 8 September 1966

Tyne Dock 9F 92060 heads up the incline at Pelaw Junction on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

Tyne Dock 9F 92063 has the easy task of drifting down the bank with the iron ore empties on 8 September 1966.

Tyne Dock 9F 92063 has the easy task of drifting down the bank with the iron ore empties on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

Tyne Dock 9F 92060 avoids the incline at Pelaw Junction on Thursday September 8, 1966.

Tyne Dock 9F 92060 heading in to Stella Gill sidings on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien.

The steep gradient of 1 in 36 can be seen clearly in this photo of 92097 as it hauls its heavy train up the bank, blackening the sky in the process.

Tyne Dock 9F 92097 heading up the gradient to Consett with a loaded ore train on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

The 9F's allocated to Tyne Dock (92060-66, 92097-99) spent all their working lives at the shed, with the exception of 92065 which was transferred to Wakefield when the shed closed

Tyne Dock 9F 92097 heading up the gradient to Consett with a loaded ore train on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

9F 92097 Thursday September 8, 1966

Tyne Dock 9F 92097 heading up the gradient to Consett with a loaded ore train on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

Q6 63436 drifts down the incline at South Pelaw Junction tender first with a rake of coal wagons on Thursday September 8, 1966

Q6 63436 drifts down the incline at South Pelaw Junction tender first with a rake of coal wagons on 8 September 1966. Photo copyright Patrick O’Brien

The following set of superbly atmospheric photographs were all taken by Bill Watson at South Pelaw in the 1960s.  Bill tells me he had a line-side permit issued by the Public Realations & Publicity Department at York hence the reason why he was able to get so close to some of the subjects in the photographs.

See more of Bill’s superb photographs here.

A 9F hauled coal train at sunset against the light on the Tyne Dock line. However, in the background work had just commenced on the C.W.S. warehouse on Drum Lane and piles are being driven. Further in the distance is the spoil heap from the Ouston E Pit (I think) and down at Ouston Junction the brick hut that was next to the signal box is still intact.  This was taken from the old spoil heap to the South of the line. Photo copyright Bill Watson

Taken just after the previous image, the same 9F is now being used to push a failed Type 2 clear of the junction so the Type 4 banker can get behind the train. Photo copyright Bill Watson

On a date unknown, a shot of a K1 on empty hoppers just north of Ouston Junction reflected in the ‘Springs Pond’. This was formed when
the slag tip from the Birtley Iron Works blocked up the spring and stream it is named after. In later years it was stocked and
fished by Carp Anglers. Photo Copyright Bill Watson

24andclaytons @southpelaw1

One of Tyne Docks’ Sulzer Type 2s approaching South Pelaw from the main line via Ouston Junction on an ore train for Consett and being banked, unusually, by two Type 2 Clayton Class 17s, a practice which proved unworkable with the result that two Class 24s were, ultimately, used to double head the trains. Photo copyright Bill Watson

Taken a few seconds after the previous photo, we now see the iron ore train and it’s Clayton bankers at South Pelaw Junction. We also have a Type 2 on a coal train on the Washington line, a Type 3 shunting coal wagons in the sidings and a Type 2 heading bac from Consett with a rake of empty iron ore wagons. Photo copyright Bill Watson

63366@southpelaw

NER Q6 63366 nears South Pelaw on an oil train for Consett. In the background is the spoil heap of the Ouston E Pit and the piling for the construction of the Co-op warehouse at Ouston Junction. Copyright Bill Watson

63455@southpelaw

NER Q6 63455 basks in the sun at South Pelaw box. Photo copyright Bill Watson

62060@southpelaw

LNER K1 62060 arrives at South Pelaw and is splitting it’s load for Consett. A K1 or Q6 would only manage 7 or 8 hoppers and a guards van on the 1 in 35 to Consett! Photo copyright Bill Watson

62050@southpelaw2

LNER K1 62060 sets of from South Pelaw up the 1 in 35 gradient to Consett. Photo copyright Bill Watson

63387@southpelaw

NER Q6 63387 sets of from South Pelaw on a coal Train for Consett. Photo copyright Bill Wright

d6820@southpelaw

Late in the day, English Electric Type 3 D6820 nears South Pelaw on oil tanks from Consett. Photo Copyright Bill Watson

class3spelaw

An unidentified English Electric Type 3 (later Class 37) leaves South Pelaw for Consett on coal hoppers. Photo copyright Bill Watson

k1@stellagill

A LNER K1 sets off for Consett at Stella Gill, South Pelaw. Photo copyright Bill Watson

63431@southpelaw

NER Q6 63431 waits for the road at South Pelaw on coal for Consett. Photo copyright Bill Watson

q6s@southpelaw

NER Q6 63431 sets off from South Pelaw passing another of the class on the way. Photo copyright Bill Watson

q6silhouettespelaw

Late in the day a NER Q6 nears South Pelaw on empty bogie bolsters from Consett. Photo copyright Bill Watson

spelawbox

South Pelaw Signal Box. Photo copyright Bill Watson

Q6@ South Pelaw Summer 1966

An eerie, spectral night shot of a NER Q6 at South Pelaw as it is about to split the coal hoppers for tripping to Consett. Photo copyright Bill Watson

92061@southpelaw1

B.R. Standard 9F 92061 at South Pelaw Box. Photo copyright Bill Watson

92061@southpelaw2

B.R. Standard 9F 92061 at South Pelaw. Photo copyright Bill Watson

9fstare

A cold stare from the driver of a Standard 9F waiting for a banker at South Pelaw. Photo copyright Bill Watson

9f@southpelawnight

Very late on a Summers evening, a B.R. Standard 9F – the firebox glow lighting the cab – waits for the signal at South Pelaw on an empty ore train. The signal box just visible in the distance (bottom right) is at Stella Gill Flatts with the lights of Burnhope mast, visible in the night sky. Photo copyright Bill Watson

signal

A derelict NCB signal at a long abandoned siding at South Pelaw. Photo copyright Bill Watson

All change on the ore trains…

The mid 60’s saw the withdrawal of the 9F steam locomotives from the ore trains to be replaced with Type 2 (later Class 24) diesels although other types, most interestingly Class 17 Claytons, were tried.  The Class 24s would double head the trains from Tyne Dock to Consett until their subsequent replacement in 1974 by Class 37s.

D5181 1968 South Pelaw

Class 24 D1581 coasts down the hill from Consett in to South Pelaw Junction with a train of empty iron ore hoppers for Tyne Dock (1968) Photo Copyright Roy Lambeth

The mighty 9Fs…

Prior to the Class 24s, the ore trains were pulled by the iconic 9F 2-10-0 steam locomotives 10 of which were specially adapted with Westinghouse pumps to enable to automatic opening of the hopper doors on the iron ore wagons for unloading at Consett.

roy-lambeth-017-92065-08-07-66-south-pelaw

On 8th July 1966, Class 9F 92065 at South Pelaw Junction with a train of loaded iron ore hoppers for Consett. Photo Copyright Roy Lambeth

92060 Sth Pelaw Feb 66 2

Class 9F 92060 approaches South Pelaw Junction from Washington. Note the Type 4 (later Class 40) diesel in the siding on the right ready to assist in banking the train up the steep gradients to Consett. Also note the steeply graded colliery connection leading behind the signal box. (February 1966) Photo Copyright Roy Lambeth

The modified 9Fs were not just restricted to the iron ore trains, note the Westinghouse pumps on the right hand side of the locomotive half way down the footplate.

20064_4

9F 92065 is starting the climb to Consett with what appears to be a coal train. (1963) Photo Copyright Arthur Kimber

20064_2

Photo Copyright Arthur Kimber

92065 (Class 9F) on coal train at South Pelaw Junction 4 (1963)

The same train having passed under the bridge starting the ascent to Consett with the Stella Gill sidings to the left. Photo copyright Arthur Kimber

3 thoughts on “1960 – 1969

  1. Phil Dovaston

    John
    more unusual than you think – look at the route it is on and the signals it has passed – not the norm.
    Although looking at load heights in the 56t iron ore hoppers can be deceptive – due to varying densities of ore markedly affecting height visible (or not as the case may be) they seem to be empty on this occasion?
    Hope things are picking up for you – always look forward to seeing your updates – you’ve done a superb job on this site.
    I have been collecting shots of this location for more than 35 years after growing up at S Pelaw.

  2. Alan Featonby

    Class 24 D1581 is D5181 later designated Class 25/1. Note the lack of water tank – no steam heat boiler on this loco.

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