Shield Row station, between Beamish and Annfield Plain opened on 1st February 1894. Renamed West Stanley on 1 February 1934, the station closed to passengers, like most stations on the line, on 23 May 1955 and closed completely on 11 September 1961.
The station was built, essentially, on a shelf in the hillside with gradients of 1 in 35 towards Consett and 1 in 50 towards Beamish. A small goods yard with three sidings and a goods shed was situated on the side of the station heading towards Consett.
The stations buildings were typical of the line being timber with the lower part painted green and cream for the upper parts. The footbridge was almost of a copy of the one to be found at Annfield Plain.
In terms of tickets issued, it was the busiest station on the line. 81,997 tickets were issued in 1898, 117,099 in 1903 and, in 1913, the station issued in excess of 170,000 tickets compared with 79,000 issued at Consett the same year.
Possibly as a result of it’s popularity, at some point in time, the platforms were extended as contemporary photographs show that part of the platform was raised slightly higher than the rest.
Like all the stations on the line, however, competition from the new bus services proved unbeatable and, within a year of the bus service being introduced in 1921, passenger numbers at the station were down by a third. In 1920, 138,664 passengers had booked at the station but, in 1921, this fell by almost 50,000 to 89,760.
In 2016, Stanley Town Council issued a statement in that the station was due to be reopened in 2022 following a £1 billion pound investment to extend the Tyne & Wear Metro system. The statement was dated 1 April…
Stanley in the 1960s
Stanley in the 1970s
Tracklifting at Stanley
Once the last passenger train had run to Consett on 17 March 1984, British Rail wasted no time in starting the removal of the track and, only 10 days later track was being lifted through Stanley.
As with many of the locations on the line, today there is nothing to suggest that there was ever a station at the location. On the approaches to the station from Beamish, there used to be two substantial bridges that took the line over the A692 road. Both of these bridges were demolished a few years ago to be replaced by footbridges.
Unlike at Annfield Plain where part of the site has actually been built over, most of the site of the station is now just an open space as shown in the photographs below albeit a row of garages have been built where the station buildings once stood: