There were a number of stations at Consett over the years but the ‘main’ one, at Delves Lane, was opened on 17 August 1896.
The station consisted of a single, wide, island platform on which stood the single, timber built, station building with a large flat roofed awning with a deep valance painted in the green and cream colour scheme that was standard for the stations on the line. The platform was accessed from a ramp leading from an over bridge from Delves Lane.
Site of Consett Station in 1945 from Google Earth. Clearly visible is the large island platform and the array of sidings next to the station.
As a result of it not being the only station in Consett, it wasn’t as busy a station as may have been expected. For example, in 1913, just over 79,000 tickets were issued at Consett compared with over 114,000 at Annfield Plain and over 170,000 at Shield Row. Part of the reason was the existence of Blackhill station (opened as Benfieldside, on 2 December 1867. It was renamed Consett on 1 November 1882, despite being located much closer to Blackhill, a large village which also housed Consett Iron Company workers. On 1 May 1885 it was again renamed, this time as Consett & Blackhill, before finally becoming Blackhill on 1 May 1896) which was much closer to the Steelworks and was a 4 way junction. As a result, it had a much greater variety of destinations and had a shorter journey time to Newcastle.
Consett station on 30 August 1975 taken from one of the DMU railtours run as part of the Stockton and Darlington 150 celebrations. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
By 1920 there were eight trains from Newcastle to Consett on Monday to Friday, ten on a Saturday and two on a Sunday. In the other direction, there were 7 trains to Newcastle on week days, nine on Saturdays and two on Sundays.
37166 is parked next to the long closed station on 2 November 1976. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
Whilst the population of the town grew in the 20th Century, passenger numbers dropped after the First World War, in no small part due to competition from the new bus services. Venture buses, for example, who are still operating today, operated between Consett and Newcastle every 20 minutes in 1931 and in 1930, ticket bookings at Consett were down to less than 15,000, less that a fifth of those in 1913.
The station closed to passengers on 23 May 1955 and closed completely on 2 October 1967 although a single siding serving a coal merchant remained in use almost right until the closure of the line. However, unlike the other stations on the line, it was not demolished in May and June 1965 and the station buildings survived relatively intact and un-vandalised well in to the mid 1970s as evidenced by the photographs on the right.
Remarkably, despite the last steam hauled train having run 17 years previously, an NER water crane survived at the site until the end and it can be seen in the last photograph of 46026 on the last passenger train further down the page.
Consett in the 1970s…
Consett station in 1976 taken from the Delves Lane overbridge. Photo copyright Alan Lewis
37100 leaving Consett with a steel train on 28th February 1977. Taken near the site of Carr House East box which had gone by then as shown by the missing signal arms from the bracket signal in the background. I think the box would have been in the shot as well. Looks like a new starting signal in the centre and the coal drops in use adds a bit of interest. Caption and photo from Stephen McGahon
Consett station in 1977. Photo copyright Alan Lewis
Consett in the 1980s…
The site of Consett station in 1980 following the complete demolition of the station and the island platform. Note the coal depot in the background. Photo copyright Colin Alexander
The site of Consett station in June 1980 just weeks before Consett Steelworks closed. 37166 heads a Consett to Tyne Yard freight. Photo copyright Michael Rhodes
46026 runs round the last passenger train at the site of Consett station in March 1984. The small coal yard in the background was the last industry served by the line. Note also that, despite the last steam hauled train having run 17 years previously, an NER water crane survived and can be seen at the far end of the locomotive. Photo copyright Neil Young
37079 at Consett Coal Depot on 17 June 1983. The station, although long gone by now, was off to the left of the photo. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
37094 shunts a coal train at the site of Consett station on 10 May 1982. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
Carr House East
Carr House East Signal box sat between Leadgate and Consett. After the closure of the line, the box was dismantled and rebuilt at Beamish Open Air Museum where it can be seen today.
Carr House East Signal Box looking towards Consett Station taken from one of the Rail 150 Tours in August 1975. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
Carr House West
Beyond Consett station was Carr House West (later just Carr House) signal box. 37094 approaches the signal box on 11 May 1982 with a load of scrap from the steelworks which was, by then, being demolished. The building in the background above the locomotive was the iron ore unloading facility from 1974 onwards. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
37094 again passes Carr House signal box on 10 May 1982 with a coal train made up of 21 and 16 tonne wagons. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
On 27 May 1982, 31276 passes Carr House signal box with a train of 16T wagons to be loaded with scrap from the demolition of the steelworks while 37163 is in the background loading rails. The building to the right of 37163 is the iron ore loading facility that came in to use in 1974. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
Taken from Delves Lane, with the site of the station behind the photographer. The large building with the sloping roof to the right is the iron ore unloading terminal (which replaced the unloading gantry in 1974) with Fell Box just visible to the left of it. The lines to the terminal diverged just beyond the centre of the photo where there is a ‘hump’ in the track. Just visible on the left is Carr House (originally Carr House West) signal box. Photo copyright Jon Hale
Track Lifting at Consett
37270 heads the final train to leave Consett on 25 September 1984 with the track literally being lifted being the train. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
Track lifting at Consett on 25 September 1984. Note the bridge at Leadgate in the background. Photo copyright Stephen McGahon
Consett is finally disconnected from the rest of the rail network on 25 September 1984. Photo copyright Stephan McGahon
The Site Today…
Site of Consett Station in 2009 from Google Earth.
Today, like the steelworks, no trace of the station remains with the site having been completely built over during the construction of the A692 road in to Consett as evidenced in the Google Earth image to the right from 2009. The Delves Lane roundabout visible in the centre of the picture marks the spot where the ramp from the original over bridge ran down to provide access to the platform.
By way of a comparison and a perfect example of how the railway has been obliterated from the Consett landscape, the Google Street View image to the right was taken from the same location as the image of 37094 at Carr House above: