Border Counties Railway

Introduction

Also known as the North Tyne Railway as it runs by the River North Tyne for much of its length. This line is closed. The first portion of the line was opened while still independent of the North British Railway. There are occasional rumours of the re-opening of the Border Union Railway to Riccarton Junction from Carlisle and then the Border Counties Railway to Kielder in connection with the Kielder forestry. The line between Kielder and Falstone is now under the waters of the Kielder Water reservoir. The vast majority of stations had a single platform with a goods loop.






Dates

  /  /1854Border Counties Railway
Act receives Royal assent.
  /  /1860Border Counties RailwayNorth British Railway
Border Counties Railway absorbed by North British Railway.
  /07/1862Border Counties Railway
Opened throughout.
  /  /1864Border Counties RailwayNewcastle and Carlisle Railway
First train runs from Newcastle Central to Riccarton Junction.
  /12/1944Border Counties Railway
Saughtree station closed.
  /08/1948Border Counties Railway
Saughtree station re-opened.
15/10/1956Border Counties Railway
Riccarton Junction to Hexham (Border Counties Junction) closed to passengers.
01/09/1958Border Counties Railway
Riccarton Junction to Bellingham (excluded) closed to freight.
01/09/1958Border Counties Railway
Reedsmouth (excluded) to Border Counties Junction closed to freight.
11/11/1963Border Counties Railway
Bellingham (North Tyne) to Reedsmouth closed completely.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This was an important location is Scottish railway history. This was a large station, junction, locomotive shed, workshops, yard and railway owned village all built at a remote location in the Scottish Borders with no road access. It is a highly evocative location built on the famous former Waverley Route. Here the double track mainline from Edinburgh and Hawick, to the north, split to run ...

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LNER Electrical Engineer's Department completed test form covering Riccarton South box dated 14 February 1930. [See image 23830] ...
Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 12/09/2016
Of several photographs of the journey of 26040, here is the one I like best myself. ...
Jeffray Wotherspoon 09/03/2016
Running down the east side of the Border Counties Railway for the first third of a mile was a long siding served by two platforms or loading banks one ...
Ewan Crawford 01/05/2012
All quiet at Riccarton Junction on the afternoon of 7 November 2007 - not even the sound of a telephone ringing. Rails at this time had been provided ...
John Furnevel 07/11/2007



This was a single platform station just under a mile north of the small settlement at Saughtree.
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The old Saughtree station is accessed via a rough track off the B6357. I think we can define its location as being 'off the beaten track'. ...
Ken Strachan 10/07/2015
Both the hole in the wall, and the track leading into it, are definitely not original features of these railwaymen's cottages at Saughtree. [see image ...
Ken Strachan 10/07/2015
Seen in summer 1994 this shot shows a guards van on a short section of relaid track beside the former Saughtree station building which was restored as ...
Charlie Niven /06/1994
Originally built as a double track railway but only ever had a single track as seen here. The trackbed of the Border Counties Railway about one mile ...
Charlie Niven //1994

This lime works was about half a mile to the north of Deadwater station and served by a siding. The view looks west to the disused lime kiln from the ...
Ewan Crawford 01/05/2012
Lineside remains alongside the trackbed of the Border Counties Railway approximately three quarters of a mile north west of Deadwater heading for ...
John Furnevel 08/11/2013
Remote doesn't really do justice to the countryside around Deadwater. Just to the north of the old station a platelayer's hut still stands alongside ...
Mark Bartlett 07/06/2013


Deadwater station was named for area to the east, Deadwater Moor, the Deadwater Burn and Deadwater Farm. The River North Tyne begins here and the line follows its course south east. To the north the line begins a climb to Saughtree.
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'This station must be one of the least important in the British Islands, serving as it does so sparsely populated a district. No proper roadway ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

This station was built for the Duke of Northumberland whose Kielder Lodge (known as Kielder Castle) was just to the east. The station had a single platform on a loop on the east side of the line and, to the south of the loop, a siding serving a coal depot. The platform was short. The Duke had a shed for his connecting coach here.
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The north end of the former Kielder Forest station seen in 2012. A 'new' stone wall crosses the trackbed, separating the Kielder Stane Walk from a ...
Ewan Crawford 01/05/2012
An old NBR whistle, a gift from an enthusiast in 1969, last used to referee rugby matches during games periods at Peebles High School and before ...
Bruce McCartney //1969
It’s a lean-to gym, but not as we know it. Looking North towards Riccarton, we see that Kielder Forest station [see image 42061] now serves the ...
Ken Strachan 10/07/2015
Looking north towards the former Kielder Forest station in November 2013. The trackbed to the left has become heavily overgrown since closure [see ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2013

This is a single track seven arch masonry viaduct. The arches are skewed. It crossed the Deadwater Burn. The parapet resembles battlements, even featuring arrow-loops. There are crosses at the top of the piers, on the spandrels.
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View south east, Kielder Viaduct, April 2014. ...
Colin Alexander 18/04/2014
The southern approach to Kielder Viaduct in the spring of 2013. ...
John Furnevel 08/11/2013
Sunny day at Kielder. View south through the viaduct on 18 April towards Kielder Water. ...
Colin Alexander 18/04/2014
Looking north over the Kielder Burn alongside the viaduct on 5 November 2013. The Border Counties line continued north west from here before ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2013

This halt was opened in connection with the Forestry Commission's purchase of the Kielder Estate from the Duke of Northumberland in 1932. The Ministry of Labour created a 'Civilian Instructional Camp' on the south bank of the River North Tyne for men assigned to the planting of the Kielder Forest. There were also temporary summer camps such as Whickhope Camp.
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Water filled cutting of the closed Border Counties Railway - now the Kielder Reservoir. ...
Ken Lewis //
Standing on the track bed by Gowanburn bridge beside the Kielder Reservoir. This photograph was taken in 2007, the 'low year'. ...
Ken Lewis //2007
Normally submerged beneath the waters of the Kielder Reservoir, this is a bridge on the former Border Counties line.
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Ken Lewis //2003

This was a single platform station with a group of siding serving the Plashetts Colliery.
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View near the site of Plashetts station on 8 November 2007, taken from the west side of Kielder Water, with the remains of the station and sidings now ...
John Furnevel 08/11/2007
Scene on the Border Counties line following closure between Riccarton Junction and Bellingham. View towards the closed Plashetts station with the link ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

A long siding west of Falstone station, served from the east. The siding terminated at the quarry on the south side of the Belling Crags.
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This station is in the north of Falstone, a small village in the shadow of the dam for the Kielder Water reservoir. The station had a single platform on the east side of a passing loop with sidings at either end of the platform line.It had a two storey stone station building and signal box, both typical of the line, on the platform (the box to south).
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The former Falstone station looking south in 1998. ...
Ewan Crawford //1998
Falstone, as seen from the roadside in June 2013, showing the extensions that have been made in converting the station into holiday accommodation. ...
Mark Bartlett 07/06/2013
The trackbed of the Border Counties Railway through Falstone looking south towards Bellingham in September 2003. The former station master's house is ...
John Furnevel 24/09/2003
Falstone station, undergoing further conversion to residential/holiday accomodation. The platform side is seen here lit by a low winter afternoon sun ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007


This station was a single platform line on the south side of the line, with a wooden building. To the west, over a level crossing, was a railway cottage on the north side of the line.
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The view east over the former Thorneyburn station from the one time level crossing in 1998. The platform was to the right. A sudden snowstorm was to ...
Ewan Crawford //1998
Approaching the level crossing at Thorneyburn station, between Kielder and Bellingham on the Border Counties Railway in November 2007. View is north ...
John Furnevel 12/11/2007
View north west over the former level crossing towards the old station house at Thorneyburn in November 2007. The station, on the Border Counties line ...
John Furnevel 12/11/2007

Just to the north of Tarset station is this splendid three arch skew bridge that once carried the Border Counties line over the Tarset Burn near the ...
Mark Bartlett 07/06/2013
The railway viaduct at Tarset on the Border Counties line, photographed looking west on 30 April 2013. Looks like it has had a fair bit of attention ...
Ewan Crawford 30/04/2013

This was a single platform station with a stone built building combined with a railway cottage. At the east end was a siding on the south side of the line, approached from the west, which reached a loading bank by reversal. The station was signalled.
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Beware of the Bull. Tarset station, September 2003, looking south towards Hexham. ...
John Furnevel 12/09/2003
Running along the overgrown cutting on the left, the Border Counties line arrived at Tarset, some 20 miles north of Hexham. The former station, now a ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007
The remote Border Counties station at Tarset on 5 November 2007, more than 50 years after closure. View is south along the former station approach ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

This was a temporary terminus of the line while construction continued to the west. It was to the south of Charlton Farm and north of the River North Tyne. It consisted of just a temporary platform and hut.
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Located between Bellingham and Tarset, Charlton was the temporary terminus of the Border Counties Railway from 1861 to 1862. The terminus, consisting ...
Ewan Crawford 30/04/2013
This spindly footbridge is an unusual survivor east of the site of the temporary Charlton terminus. ...
Ewan Crawford 30/04/2013

The former Border Counties station at Bellingham in use as a council roads depot in 1998, some 42 years after closure to passengers. ...
Ewan Crawford //1998
The old Station at Bellingham in September 2003. ...
John Furnevel 24/09/2003
The old Bellingham station, closed in 1956, as seen from the road into the village from Redesmouth. It was later used as Council offices but has a ...
Mark Bartlett 07/06/2013
The 1861 station building at Bellingham looking north across Redesmouth Road (leading to Reedsmouth Station) on 6 November 2013. Note the bricked up ...
John Furnevel 06/11/2013

The remains of the bridge that carried the Border Counties Railway over the River Rede just under a quarter of a mile north west of Reedsmouth ...
Peter Todd 20/05/2014

Reedsmouth Junction Shed in 2002. The former line to Riccarton is to the left. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Reedsmouth engine shed. The line to Riccarton was to the left and the junction behind the camera. ...
Clive Barlow 25/05/2006
The old 2-road locomotive shed at Reedsmouth standing to the north of the station on the east side of the Border Counties line. The shed, which ended ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007
'Sub to Blaydon (52C)' was how the old 2-road Border Counties locomotive shed at Reedsmouth was described at the time of its official closure ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

Also known as Reedsmouth Junction, this was a three platform junction station to the east of Redesmouth House. The small village of Redesmouth, largely railway cottages, developed by the station. The station was just east of the confluence of the River Rede and the River North Tyne.
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Reedsmouth in May 2002, looking north from the trackbed towards the converted signal box that stands on the platforms. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
The former Wansbeck platform at Reedsmouth Junction in 2002. The station building and former signalbox have become housing.
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Mike Shannon /05/2002
Approaching Reedsmouth from the north in November 2007 along the trackbed of the Border Counties line from Riccarton Junction. The station had been ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007
The converted station building still standing on the platform at Reedsmouth, seen here on 5 November 2007 looking northeast from the trackbed of the ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

This was one of the short lived termini of the Border Counties Railway which opened in a series of steps northwards from Hexham.
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Looking west towards the site of Countess Park station, the temporary terminus of the Border Counties Railway from 1860 to 1861. Located just over a ...
Ewan Crawford 30/04/2013

This was a two platform station with a long passing loop. The line opened in 1859 and the station opened to passengers in 1860. The station building, stone built and of two storeys, was on the northbound platform and there was a goods siding on the west side, approached from the north, serving a loading bank. This was equipped with a non rail served goods shed. The stone signal box was at the ...

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Wark station building in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Wark signal box from south in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
The former signal box at Wark still standing in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
The former station at Wark, Northumberland, in November 2007. The line ran along the other side of the buildings and the view is south towards Hexham. ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

This was a single platform station north of the village of Barrasford. The platform was on the village (south) side of the line. The building was stone and largely single storey with a central two storey portion.
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Barrasford station, now a Scout hall. ...
Clive Barlow 25/05/2006
Barrasford station, now a Scout hall. ...
Clive Barlow 25/05/2006
The former Border Counties Railway station in the village of Barrasford, Northumberland, standing on the banks of the North Tyne and seen here looking ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007
View of Barrasford building and platform. This view looks south east along the line. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

This was a single platform station with a goods yard to the south. The village of Chollerton is to the north east.
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Chollerton station cottages from the road. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Chollerton goods shed from the road in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
The impressive skew arch viaduct that once carried the Border Counties line over the A6079 a quarter of a mile south of Chollerton station, seen here ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007
Six miles north of Hexham (as the crow flies) stands the village of Chollerton. View west over the road junction in the village centre on 5 November ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

This was a single platform station, with the platform on the west side of the line. Chollerford itself is on the west bank of the River North Tyne, the station being on the east bank, and Humshaugh is a little further beyond at half a mile.
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Humshaugh station viewed from the roadway. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Humshaugh (pronounced Humshoff I'm assured) station closed in 1956 with the withdrawal of passenger services between Hexham and Riccarton Junction and ...
Mark Bartlett 30/04/2016
View north alongside the Border Counties Railway track bed, just south of Humshaugh station. This view looks north with the Chollerford bridge over ...
Mark Bartlett 30/04/2016
Across the fields stands the old station at Humshaugh on the Border Counties line. The platform is still in place with the main building now a ...
John Furnevel 05/11/2007

This was a single platform station with a long passing loop. The platform was on the east side of the loop, the village side. Wall itself was just under half a mile to the north. The River North Tyne was just to the west.
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Wall station viewed from the west in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Wall, showing the new station building from the south in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Wall signal box from the south. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002
Wall station platform from the north in 2002. ...
Mike Shannon /05/2002


This was the junction for the siding to Acomb Colliery. This was the second line to this colliery, following the same course as the older original tramway which had joined the line to the south (Acomb Colliery Junction [1st]), to be approached from the south. The new connection was approached from the north.
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Looking north at the stumps of the former Border Counties viaduct running north from Border Counties Junctions. ...
Ewan Crawford /11/1997
The remains of the Border Counties Railway bridge over the Tyne in May 2006 looking east along the river towards Hexham. The site of Border Counties ...
John Furnevel 07/05/2006
A misty morning on the Tyne a mile west of Hexham station in May 2006. The photograph is taken looking north from alongside the site of Border ...
John Furnevel 07/05/2006

This was the junction between the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway (opened here in 1836), the Border Counties Railway (opened here in 1858) and the Hexham and Allendale Railway (opened here in 1867. All three of these lines were opened in portions.
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Newcastle bound Sprinter runs east towards Border Counties Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford /11/1997
V2 4771 Green Arrow running wrong line near Border Counties Junction to the west of Hexham c 1985 with The Citadel railtour. ...
Colin Alexander //1985
Looking east at the former Border Counties Junction. The base of the signalbox can be seen in the distance. This box controlled both the Border ...
Ewan Crawford /11/1997
A mile west along the Tyne from Hexham station is the site of Border Counties Junction. Here the Carlisle line continues west while the trackbed of ...
John Furnevel 07/05/2006