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STANHOPE AND TYNE RAILWAY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  STANHOPE AND TYNE RAILROAD, WEAR AND DERWENT RAILWAY, PONTOP AND SOUTH SHIELDS RAILWAY
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The Stanhope and Tyne Railway (or Railroad) was authorised by Deed of Settlement in 1834 and built under the wayleave system, avoiding the need for capital outlay. It ran from South Shields to Stanhope via Washington, Fatfield, Leadgate, Cold Rowley, Waskerley and Parkhead. Planning for the line had begun around 1831. The original driving force for the line was probably to move lime (from Lanehead Quarry , Stanhope) and coal (from Pontop, Medomsley and West Consett) in a cost-effective way to the coast. It is thought that initially the main three businesmen behind the concept of the line were: Cuthbert Rippon (a quarry owner), William Harrison, (already a successful promoter of wagonways) and William Wallace (with intersts in colliery concessions). Wallace and Rippon soon left the project in 1832. More than half of the line was worked by inclined planes. At its opening in 1834, 10.5 miles were worked by horses, 11 miles by 9 stationary steam engines, 9.5 miles by locomotives, and there were 3 self-acting inclines. The Western part of the line between Leadgate and Stanhope was purchased by the Wear Valley Railway and formed part of the Wear and Derwent Valley Railway from 1841, and closed in 1964. The eastern portion from Leadgate to South Shields became known as the Pontop and South Shields Railway. The Pontop and South Shields railway was acquired by the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway Company in August 1846 (that company became known as the York and Newcastle Railway and later York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company). It is thought that the rails of the former Pontop and South Shields line were removed in 1985; the route of the line has been incorporated in to the Sustrans cycling and walking path.

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