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Home News News and announcements The Wansbeck Railtour

The Wansbeck Railtour


On a cold but clearing spring day, the Wansbeck railtour, promoted by The Railway Touring Company. departed Newcastle Central.

The K1 62005 heads The Wansbeck as it travels through Chester le Street station on ECML - Colin Smith

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.

K1 on pit? outside NRM - Chris Lawson

K1 being coaled outside NRM - Chris Lawson

K1 ready for next day outside NRM - Chris Lawson

K4 heads the train over Kitty Brewster viaduct, just south of Bedlington - Dave Whitfield

K1 Marchey's House - Dave Whitfield

K4 Winning Junction - Dave Whitfield

K1 approaches Bedlington North - Colin Smith

K1 starting away from Bedlington North - Dave Whitfield

Bedlington North - Dave Whitfield

K1 at Stonebridge, south of Durham - Nigel Bill

The Wansbeck at Carlton - Terry Newman

The Wansbeck at Carlton - Terry Newman

K1 departs Norton West just after signal is pulled off - Steve Hyman

Having been given the right of way the K1 approaches the level crossing and signal box at Norton West - Steve Hyman

Between Norton West and South - Terry Newman

Going down Stockto bank with the Millenium Bridge and Cleveland Hills in background - Terry Newman

The K1 approaching Redcar at Coatham Marshes with the SSI Steel Works in the background - Steve Hyman

K1 passing Longbeck SB Marske - JRPH leaning out - Dave Pennock

K1 through Redcar East - Dave Pennock

Between Redcar and Marske - Dave Pearson

K1 heads the train between Redcar and Marske - Dave Pearson

Leaving Saltburn towards Brotton - Terry Newman

Further into the climb - Terry Newman

Top and Tail towards Huntcliffe - Dave Pennock

The final mile to Huntcliff - Terry Newman

Nearly there - Terry Newman

Pushing hard - Terry Newman

K4 heads the train over Hunt Cliff summit- Dave Whitfield

62005 at Hunt Cliffe - Nigel Bill

Great Marquess leaving Crag Hall - Dave Pennock

Leaving Skinningrove - Terry Newman

61994 at Hunt Cliff - Nigel Bill

K1 heads the train over Hunt Cliff summit- Dave Whitfield

Hunt Cliff - Terry Newman

Just about there! - Terry Newman

Just about there! - Terry Newman

Racing back towards Redcar - Terry Newman

Leaving Saltburn - Dave Pearson

K1 at rear leaving Saltburn - Dave Pearson

K4 heads the train away from Saltburn - Dave Pearson

Departing towards Marske - Dave Pearson

Saltburn at last in the setting sun - Terry Newman

Saltburn terminus - Dave Pennock

Evening at Marske - Dave Pennock

A number of videos have appeared on YouTube including:

More photographs have appeared on Flickr 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.

K4 heads the train over Kitty Brewster viaduct - Maurice Burns

Assisted at the rear by the K1 - Maurice Burns

K1 at Marchey's House - Maurice Burns

K4 at Winning Junction - Maurice Burns

Passing Bedlington North box - Maurice Burns

Starting away from Bedlington North - Maurice Burns

The K1 crosses Durham Viaduct, the scene of the Blue Peter disaster 19 years ago - Maurice Burns

With the old hotels of Marine Parade in the foreground, the train makes its way from Marske to Saltburn - Maurice Burns

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.

Leaving Saltburn, the train begins the climb - Maurice Burns

Further into the climb with a clear view of the coastline from Saltburn pier to South Gare - Maurice Burns

Further up the Hunt Cliff climb - Maurice Burns

Nearly there - Maurice Burns

K1 just reaching the Hunt Cliff summit - Maurice Burns

Over the top - Maurice Burns

Drifting down towards Brotton - Maurice Burns

K4 heads the train on the climb from Brotton to Hunt Cliff - Maurice Burns

Passing the summit - Maurice Burns

Descending - Maurice Burns

Descending towards Saltburn - Maurice Burns

Cotham marshes as the K1 hauls the train back towards Saltburn terminus with SSI steel works in the background - Maurice Burns

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 April 2013 20:37