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 large 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.
Unlike the other stations on the line however, it was not demolished in May and June 1965 and the station buildings survived relatively intact and vandalism free well in to the mid 1970s as evidenced by the photographs below.
Remarkably, despite the last steam hauled train having run seventeen years previously, a North Eastern Railway water crane survived at the site until the end and it can be seen in the photograph of 37094 further down the page.
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 four way junction with trains to Newcastle (via both the Derwent Valley and South Pelaw) , Durham, Crook and Bishop Auckland. As a result, it had a much shorter journey time to Newcastle. In 1913, 145,849 tickets were issued at Blackhill station, almost twice the number issued at Consett.
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 eight trains to Newcastle on week days, nine on Saturdays and two on Sundays.
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 twenty 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.
To the North West of the station good facilities included a large number of sidings with a large, wood built, goods shed, coal drops for the local coal merchants and a turntable right next to the Delves Lane bridge.
The station closed completely to goods traffic on 2 October 1967 although the coal drops remained in use until at least 1977 and the coal depot almost right until the closure of the line in 1984.
Consett Station in the 1960s…
On 29 September 1963, the Stephenson Locomotive Society / R.C.T.S. North Eastern Rail Tour visted Consett, the following three photos were taken on that day.
Consett Station in the 1970s…
Consett Station in the 1980s…
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 as part of Rowley station. A signalling diagram showing which part of the line it controlled circa 1950 can be seen here: https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=815
Carr House West
Beyond Consett station was Carr House West (later just Carr House) signal box. A signalling diagram showing which part of the line it controlled circa 1970 can be found here: https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=814
Track Lifting at Consett
Consett Station Today…
Today, like the steelworks, no trace of the station remains with the site having been completely built over during the construction of the new 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 island platform of the station.
By way of a comparison and a perfect example of how the railway has been obliterated from the Consett landscape, the two images below were taken from the same location 34 years apart.