Whilst the passenger service on the line ceased in May 1955, latterly the line saw a surprising number of Railtours as well as a visit from the Royal Train when Prince Charles visited Consett in December 1982 following the closure of the Steelworks.
LAST PASSENGER TRAIN – 17 March 1984
As I’m getting ever more information on the last passenger train, I have separated it off on to a page of it’s own here.
After the closure of the Steelworks in 1980, the Derwentside Rail Action Group fought to keep the line to Consett open and for the reintroduction of passenger trains alongside and improved bus service.
On 27 February 1984, a Class 100 DMU by then in Departmental use, was used as an inspection train run by the County Council who invited members of the Derwentside Rail Action Group along with councillors and officials of British Rail as part of a feasibility study in to keeping the line open. The train stopped at all the station sites and making it the last stopping train on the line. (My thanks to Donald Kent for this information).
THE ROYAL TRAIN – 3 December 1982
Hauled by the specially prepared Class 31 locomotives, 31415 and 31403, the Royal Train took Prince Charles to Consett on 3 December 1982.
By this time of course, Consett Station was no more so the Prince had to disembark in to the mud using a set of wooden steps. The Prince left Consett by other means resulting in an empty return working for the train.
In the cab that day were Tyne Yard men Driver George Milley and second man Alan Dodds.
R.C.T.S. NORTH EASTERN NO.5 RAILTOUR – 27 September 1980
Consisting of a 3 car (Class 101) and 2 car DMU, ran from Leeds to Consett and back.
THE ‘GREAT FAREWELLS’ TOUR – 20 September 1980
The ‘Great Farewells’ tour, named for the closure of both Consett and New Holland Pier ran from Kings Cross to Consett on 20 September 1980.
The train consisted of 9 Mk1 coaches pulled by a number of different locomotives with Class 37, 37143, in charge on the section from Doncaster to Consett with Class 08, 08373, used at Consett to move the coaches whilst 37143 ran round the train.
For further information on the tour, click here.
The full consist of the train to and from Consett was as follows:
- 37143 – Class 37 locomotive
- 16008 – Composite 1st and 2nd Class Corridor (CK)
- 25182 – 2nd Class Corridor (SK)
- 25806 – 2nd Class Corridor (SK)
- 25444 – 2nd Class Corridor (SK)
- 1682 – 2nd Class and unclassified Restaurant and Kitchen
- 25053 – 2nd Class Corridor (SK)
- 26090 – 2nd Class Corridor (SK)
- 4472 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 14101 – 1st Class Brake Corridor (BK)
Below are copies of the documentation received by the passengers on the Great Fairwells tour:
TYNE-TEES LTD – 22 March 1980
The Tyne-Tees Ltd railtour ran from Cardiff to Consett Steelworks and back on 22 March 1980. Pulled by 37114 from York to Consett with a train consisting of 10 Mk1 coaches this railtour also traversed the Leamside line (another line now consigned to the history books) and got to South Pelaw Junction via Washington.
At Consett, the coaches were pulled by 08271 while 37114 ran round it’s train. On leaving Consett, the train headed back to South Pelaw Junction where it took the line to Ouston Junction and headed to Newcastle where the loco was changed to 40118 for the return journey to York.
For further information on the tour, click here.
COUNTY DURHAM CRUSADER – 12 & 19 May 1979
Originally scheduled for 24 March 1979 but cancelled due to bad weather and re-run on 12 May 1979, this particular railtour proved so popular it was run again the following weekend.
Run from Kings Cross with the journey to Consett via Ouston Junction and South Pelaw Junction and the return via South Pelaw Junction and Washington, the train on 12 May was pulled by 37062 and on 19 May by 37085 with a consist of 11 Mk1 coaches.
The full consist of the train on 12 May was as follows:
- 37062 – Class 37 Locomotive
- 5069 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 4461 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 4529 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 4666 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 4990 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 1546 – 2nd Class and unclassified Restaurant and Kitchen
- 35418 – 2nd Class Brake Corridor (BK)
- 13256 – 1st Class Corridor (CK)
- 4631 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 4632 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
- 4759 – 2nd Class Open (SO)
STOCKTON & DARLINGTON 150 ANNIVERSARY – 19 July to 27 September 1975
As part of the Stockton & Darlington 150th Anniversary a number of passenger specials, in the form of diesel multiple units, ran between Darlington Bank Top Station and Consett.
Costing £1.50 for adults and 75p for children, the specials followed the routes of the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway, the Durham Junction Railway and the Brandling Junction Railway as well as the route of the Stanhope and Tyne and part of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.
A copy of the BR publicity leaflet sent to the passengers is shown below.
Images of tickets from both the RCTS Tour of 9 September 1972 and the County Durham Crusader of 12 May 1979.