Some Early Lines Barnard Castle – Tebay Line

Some Early Lines

Barnard Castle – Tebay Line

1 Coke trainThe real ‘raison d’etre’ of this bleak Moorland cross-country line, now closed, was the east-west coke traffic which 50 years ago was plenteous and profitable.  In the spring of 1960 BR standard engines were the mainstay of the motive power.  2-6-0 No. 78018 passes Smardale with the 11.30am train of coke and mixed goods en route to Tebay.  (Derek Singleton

Tebay railway station was on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, which was built to link those two cities between 1844 and 1846, and which was absorbed by the London and North Western Railway in 1879. Tebay became an important junction for, in 1861, the Stainmore Railway, from Tebay-Kirkby Stephen-Barnard Castle and later becoming part of the North Eastern Railway, brought traffic from the east; it was closed in 1962. The A685 runs over much of its trackbed east from Tebay towards Kirkby Stephen. The Ingleton Branch Line of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway connecting via the Midland Railway to Settle and Leeds, enters the main line at the south end of the Lune Gorge; it was built in the 1850s, and was last used for passengers in the winter 1962/63 as a relief to the main line.

2 SignalOne of he joys of wandering round the Tebay – Barnard Castle branch was the atmosphere of the past, which still lingered on.  One example of the more tangible kind is the slotted signal seen here at Belah box, but quite common at most of the stations along the line.  (Derek Cross

3 ViaductThe early morning sun glints on the light and even fairy-like structure of Belah viaduct as LMS class 2 2-6-0 No. 46478 climbs up towards Barnard Castle with the 7.30am goods from Kirkby Stephen, banked by an ex- North Eastern J21 class 0-6-0.  At one time when the heavy coke trains ran in the opposite direction, to be handed over to the Furness Railway at Tebay, Wilson Worsdell’s T class 0-8-0s worked over this spindly structure, having come down from Stainmore summit, 1,370 feet above sea level  (W.A.Camwell

All that remains of the Belah Viaduct, StainmoreAll that remains of the Belah viaduct –

4 PassengerOnce, on summer Saturdays, the old North Eastern branch from Tebay carried numerous special trains made up of antiquated stock.  Even as late as 1952 wooden coaches of various pre-grouping companies could be seen, though by this time with modern motive power at their head.  Class 2MT 2-6-0 No. 46471, complete with thin Darlington chimney, leaves Tebay on 6th June with the 8.42am Ulverston to Durham special train.  (E.D.Bruton

5 Double HeaderNot so very long ago the engine shed at Kirkby Stephen would have been full of old North Eastern J21 0-6-0s and LMS Class 2 2-6-0s, but by 1960 the passenger trains were multiple-unit diesels and the goods traffic had fallen to uneconomic levels.  This once-busy junction looks lonely on Saturday, 6th August, as a Newcastle to Blackpool train runs through, hauled by Moguls Nos. 77002 and 43036.  (Derek Cross

6 - DMUEven the diesels did not manage to sustain the passenger service from Penrith to Barnard Castle via Kirkby Stephen.  A three-coach set makes its way over Deepdale viaduct on its eastward journey in July, 1959.  (W.A.Camwell

7 - DH 0-6-0sA number of J21 class 0-6-0s were built between 1886 and 1892 by the North Eastern Railway as two-cylinder Worsdell-von Berries compounds, but they were later rebuilt with Stephenson valve gear and piston valves to become efficient mixed traffic locomotives.  In this form they lasted for many years, a fair number ending their days on the branches from Penrith and Tebay to Barnard Castle via Kirkby Stephen.  Their normal duties were stopping trains and pick-up goods, but on Bank Holiday Sunday, 1950, these two headed a return excursion from Penrith to Darlington.  The leading engine, No.65090, has been specially fitted with a form of coupling release gear for banking freight trains up the mountainous route to Stainmore summit.  (P.B.Whitehouse

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