ANNFIELD PLAIN

The station at Annfield Plain opened on 1 February 1894. Like most of the rest of the stations on the line, it lost it’s passenger service on 23 May 1955 and it’s goods service was finally withdrawn on 10 August 1964. The station was demolished in May and June 1965.

Site of Leadgate Station 1945

Site of Anfield Plain Station in 1945 from Google Earth.

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Annfield Plain station in 1912. The water tank visible in the photo below can just be seen behind the footbridge. Photo Author’s Collection

A busy station which, in 1898 issued 60,042 ticked in 1898, 82,520 in 1903 and, in 1913 issued over 114,000 tickets compared with only 79,000 at Consett, it was a little larger than most on the line with a large goods yard and an engine shed which had it’s own allocation of J25, Q5, Q6 and N9 locomotives. The shed closed in 1940 but was still standing, albeit derelict, in 1949.

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Annfield Plain station taken from a train heading in the direction of Consett. Photo copyright Ernie Brack

Like all of stations on the line, the station buildings were wooden structures, and the main station building was a mirror image of the building at Leadgate.  The NER favoured the use of wood both for economical reasons and, in the case of the line between Birtley and Blackhill, to minimise the risk of subsidence due to mine workings which were present all round the local area.  The buildings were painted in the standard NER colours of green for the lower timbers and cream for the uppers.

Annfield Plain Station

LNER class Q6 0-8-0 no. 63381 takes water in the rain at the site of Annfield Plain Station on 22nd April 1966. Photo copyright Bill Wright

Q7 at Annfield with Iron Ore Train

A Q7 approaches Annfield Plain with a loaded iron ore train. Photo Author’s Collection

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9F 92097 passes the site of Annfield Plain station on 10 April 1965 with the R.C.T.S. (West Riding and North East Branches) “The North Eastern No.2 Rail Tour” Photo copyright Kenneth Gray

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9F 92064 passes Annfield East signal box with a loaded iron ore train. Note the Type 4 (later Class 40) at the rear of the train acting as a banker. Photo copyright Kenneth Gray

92063 with the Tyne Docker at Annfield Plain

9F 92063 approaches Annfield Plain with the ‘Tyne Docker’, the last steam hauled iron ore train on 17 November 1965. Note the Type 4 diesel banking engine and the extra brake van added for a group of rail enthusiasts. Photo Author’s Collection

D6789 at Annfield Plain heading towards Stanley on 27 April 1965. Note the iron ore train heading towards Consett. Photo copyright Rail Online.

D6789, with brake tender leading, heads a steel train at Annfield Plain heading towards Stanley on 27 April 1965. Note the iron ore train heading towards Consett. Photo copyright Rail Online.

Appr Annf Plain 11-4-80 37062

37062 approcahes Annfield Plain with a train of bogie bolsters carrying a load of steel plate on 11 April 1980 just a few months prior to the closure of the steel works. Photo Copyright Stephen McGahon

37089 at Annfield East on 29 June 1976. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon

37004 at Annfield Plin with the 6K40 oil tanker train on 12 February 1979. Photo Copyright John Atkinson

37004 at Annfield Plain with the 6K40 oil tanker train on 12 February 1979. Photo Copyright John Atkinson

The photo below shows the final revenue earning train on the line. The photographer, Craig Oliphant, writes:

37023 heads the last freight from Consett (coal empties) at Annfield Plain S&T Junction on 30 September 1983.
The original Stanhope & Tyne Railway route is seen in the foreground, this trailed off to Oxhill and Morrison Busty Colliery. Behind the train a second junction once connected with the Tanfield Branch, but at this time it was just truncated and used as a run round for coal trains that only ventured this far. I had traveled with the loco from Consett High Yard, ‘we’ picked up other enthusiasts en-route boarding near Greencroft. The crew kindly allowed us several photo stops were made on our way down to South Pelaw. I had made “The End” headboard which was carried by the last lifting train on the Washington – South Pelaw lifting train, and on the rear of the last passenger train from Consett.

37023 at Annfield Plain on 30 September 1983

37023 at Annfield Plain on 30 September 1983.  Photo copyright Craig Oliphant

and the crew of the above train ready to leave Consett for the final time, photo caption by Craig Oliphant:

The Crew of 37023 at Consett High Yard as they prepare to haul the last freight train (coal empties) to Tyne Yard. Driver John Lodge, but the guard's name escapes me. 30-09-83.

The Crew of 37023 at Consett High Yard as they prepare to haul the last freight train (coal empties) to Tyne Yard. Driver John Lodge, and the guard is John Johnson 30-09-83.  Photo copyright Craig Oliphant

The Site Today…

Site of Leadgate Station

Site of Annfield Plain Station in 2009 from Google Earth. The station was located where the large white building (a supermarket) is. Also visible right at the top of the image is Annfield Plain junction with the line to Beamish heading towards the top right. The line from the junction to the top left led to Pontop Coke ovens and South Derwent Colliery.

The site of the station building, the goods shed and the goods yard has completely disappeared under a Tesco supermarket although the trackbed of the line through the station still exists alongside the supermarket as part of the Coast to Coast Cycleway.

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Site of Annfield Plain station on 11 April 2014. The wall and houses on the right can be seen in the photographs above. To the left where the station buildings were is the Tesco supermarket. Photo Author’s Collection

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Site of Annfield Plain station on 11 April 2014. Photo Author’s Collection

6 thoughts on “ANNFIELD PLAIN

  1. Michael Denholm

    I went to the ‘Upper Standards’ (the less said about that place, the better!) in 1959 and lunchtimes for me and several other stalwart escapees was Annfield Plain Station. Footplate rides for the short journey to Annfield East on ‘O1’s, ‘ Q6’s, ‘Q7’s & ‘9F’s were better than the school yard. ‘Proper’ rides were pre-arranged on Fridays and then a Saturday morning ‘bike ride from my Sunniside home to Annfield Plain Station was rewarded with a cab ride on a ‘banker’ after taking water there, to South Pelaw, back ‘up the bank’to South Medomsley & return to Annfield Plain. Happy? Yes!!

  2. paul douglas

    Hello there, i worked at tyne yard in the 80s, the traincrew in the photo, i knew the guard by his nickname, JR and 180, he liked darts but we used to call the driver jacky lodge, cheers,.

  3. Keith Brown

    Morning.
    The guards name is John Johnson and yes he certainly liked his darts…..and the bevvies to go with it! I also worked at Tyne Yard at that time and went to a pub in Birtley with him occassionaly. Can’t remember the name of the pub though but it served Sam Smiths OBB.
    Regards
    Keith Brown

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