On a cold but clearing spring day, the Wansbeck railtour, promoted by The Railway Touring Company. departed Newcastle Central.
The tour offer read"
This unusual rail tour by steam train covers parts of Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland. It passes through rural and coastal scenic areas including Wansbeck, named after the river in Northumberland. It travels along routes with an interesting history, some of which are open for ‘freight only’. For most of the journey, the train will be ‘topped and tailed’ by steam locomotives class K4 No. 61994 “The Great Marquess” and class K1 No. 62005, one at each end.
Our train leaves Newcastle Central Station at around 09:00 and heads north along the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to Morpeth, the county town of Northumberland. Just north of Morpeth we branch off to the east and travel along the ‘freight only’ Blyth and Tyne Line. We reverse our direction of travel at Bedlington Junction and then head north to Ashington, crossing the River Wansbeck at West Sleekburn.
On arrival at Ashington we reverse again and return to Marchey’s House Junction. Here we branch off eastwards passing Winning Junction and continuing to the North Sea Coast at Cambois. We then travel southwards along the coast to North Blyth, a small settlement on the north eastern side of the River Blyth harbour.
We reverse direction of travel at North Blyth and return on the ‘freight only’ line to Winning Junction and West Sleekburn Junction. We then travel southwards on the Blyth and Tyne route to Benton Junction, where we rejoin the ECML. We stop to pick up passengers at Newcastle Central Station, then cross the famous King Edward VII Bridge en route to Tyne Yard, where our locomotives take on water.
We continue southwards along the ECML, passing through Durham with its spectacular Victorian viaduct high above the city. We leave the ECML at Ferryhill and head for Stockton, Middlesborough and Redcar. At Saltburn West Junction we join the scenic freight only line to Boulby, running along the cliff tops with spectacular sea views. The Boulby Potash Mine was opened in the 1970’s and is Europe’s second deepest mine.
Our train returns to Newcastle, steam hauled, via Middlesbrough, Darlington and the ECML.
On Friday 29th, the K1 and K4 had travelled to NRM York from the East Lancs Railway.
A number of videos have appeared on YouTube including:
We have received a superb set of photographs of the tour taken by Murice Burns. Rather than merge them into the chronological collection above and feel the need to remove others which duplicate the same scene, they are shown by themselves below.
Two homes associated with the K1 are contained in the background of this photograph. Behind the train is Wilton chemical works, site of the former No 5 depot, where the group overhauled the K1 on numerous occasions during the group's 19 year residency on the former ICI site. In the right distance is Seal Sands petrochemical works where the K1 spent its immediate post BR days as a stationary steam boiler.
|< Prev||Next >|