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Query Corner

Q13.06. Services through South Gosford Station.

Seeing the photograph of metro improvements at South Gosforth in the January RO, a member would like to know whether a passenger service existed through this station to Ponteland in the pre metro past, where the service would have originated and for what period did it run?

Answers

Passenger services on the branch terminated in South Gosford Station, with the train parked in a sidding by the up line in between services to be out of the way of electric trains. Local bus services from Ponteland went directly to the centre of Newcastle via Cowgate without the need for changing. Timetables that there were 10 to 11 trains daily. Passenger services closed in 17/6/1929. Freight services continued even after the Metro took over the line. The catenary wire is to full BR height because of this. The line was used for parking the Royal Train whenever it visited Newcastle from at least the 1920s to the 1960s. Darras Hall closed 2/8/1954 and Ponteland 14/8/1967 with the line cut back to Collerton until the Metro took over. The Metro opened to Bankfoot on 10/5/1981 and to Newcastle Airport on 17/11/1991. Freight continued to Rowntrees, Fawdon until 28/7/1988 and to ICI Calerton 6/3/1989. Yours sincerely Roger Darsley RCTS 7200 The Gosforth & Ponteland Railway was opened in 1/6/1905 for passenger traffic. The trains from Newcastle through South Gosforth to the coast were electrified in 1904. The South Gosforth car sheds opened in 1923.It was planned by the NER autocoaches and ended in 17/6/1929 with steam railcars there was not an operating problem. The Darras Hall line was extended that if housing and thus passenger numbers grew on the line from Ponteland then it would be electrified but passenger numbers never grew. The extension to Darras Hall opened in 27/9/1913 but passenger trains started with BTP class 0-4-4T running as a mineral railway a further 8 miles into Northumber land to a colliery at Kirkheaton. This lasted from1921 to 1929 and this private extension was known as the Wallridge line Passenger services on the branch terminated in South Gosford Station, with the train parked in a sidding by the up line in between services to be out of the way of electric trains. Local bus services from Ponteland went directly to the centre of Newcastle via Cowgate without the need for changing. Timetables that there were 10 to 11 trains daily. Passenger services closed in 17/6/1929. Freight services continued even after the Metro took over the line. The catenary wire is to full BR height because of this. The line was used for parking the Royal Train whenever it visited Newcastle from at least the 1920s to the 1960s. Darras Hall closed 2/8/1954 and Ponteland 14/8/1967 with the line cut back to Collerton until the Metro took over. The Metro opened to Bankfoot on 10/5/1981 and to Newcastle Airport on 17/11/1991. Freight continued to Rowntrees, Fawdon until 28/7/1988 and to ICI Calerton 6/3/1989. (RD:7200)

The service from South Gosforth to Ponteland and Darras Hall commenced on 1st June 1905 and was operated by auto-car with BTP (LNER cl. G6) 0-4-4Ts. Although the line to Ponteland was proposed for third rail electrification (which never happened). From September 1926 LNER Sentinel railcars replaced the locomotive hauled service until withdrawal on 17th June 1929. Although the service normally operated to/from South Gosforth, the wtt for 1923 shows two early and two late workings to/from Newcastle Central without the necessity of changing train at South Gosforth. The branch between Ponteland ans Darras Hall closed to goods traffic (all) on 2nd August 1954. It is interesting to note that there was a row of semaphore signals situated at Darras Hall (like Pilmoor on the ECML) for testing driversí eyesight. The line from Callerton to Ponteland closed to all traffic on 14th August 1967 with the section between the former and Fawdon (Rowntrees Sidings) suffering the same fate on 6th March 1989. It should be mentioned that the RCTS/SLS five day railtour visited Ponteland on Sunday 29th September 1963 behind cl. V3 2-6-2T 67620. The line from South Gosforth to the approach to Newcastle Airport now forms part of the Tyne & Wear Metro system. (DT:7972)

Passenger services to Ponteland started on 1 June 1906 and were extended to Darras Hall when that branch opened on 1 October 1913. Services were initially in the hands of Heaton allocated BTP 0-4-4T (G6) and one or two bogie coaches. From September 1926 the service went over to Sentinel steam car operation. Due to poor patronage the regular passenger service was withdrawn on 17 June 1929. Initially 10 services operated each day (except Sundays) to/from South Gosforth . By 1921 the service was 9 trains, with one extended to/from Manors North and three of which ran on to Darras Hall. At closure there were 11 daily services (3 on Sundays) to/from Manors North seven of which ran to/from Darras Hall. The last and probably longest passenger train to Ponteland was on 29 September 1963 when V3 2-6-2T 67620 and six Mk1 coaches visited as part of a 5 day SLS/RCTS railtour of lines in the North East. (AW:16115)

last updated: 09/05/13