Leamside Line

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The funds could have been made available through the regional development fund under that auspices of ONE and South Tyneside Council. Railtrack did the work, the development money would have helped stations which would have safeguarded the line. As it was the work done to reopen the line was wasted, the signalling cable was stolen and track was lifted. The reports of the Leamside being closed since the 1960s are absolute rubbish, the line was still in use into the 90s and it was the embankment fire north of Tursdale which closed the line, today the entire embankment would have to be removed and replaced.
(01 Nov 2021, 10:36 pm)54APhotography Wrote: The funds could have been made available through the regional development fund under that auspices of ONE and South Tyneside Council. Railtrack did the work, the development money would have helped stations which would have safeguarded the line. As it was the work done to reopen the line was wasted, the signalling cable was stolen and track was lifted. The reports of the Leamside being closed since the 1960s are absolute rubbish, the line was still in use in tbe80a and it was the embankment fire north of Tursdale which closed the line.

The fact is, they weren't. Whether that was because the scheme didn't meet the ERDF criteria at the timr or for another reason, I'm not sure we will ever know.

You are right, it didn't close in the 60's. That was when regular passenger services ended.
The ECML diversions stopped in the late 80s if I remember right and I'm sure there were still freight runs until the early 90s.

Having lived close to the line at various stages of the line for quite a few years from the early 90s onwards, it was clear that although officially mothballed - that once the cable and trackbed was stolen and crossings tarmaced over, it was going to take a lot to re-open it.
It was used as a shortcut, it was used by people to hang-out and socialise, it was used by thieves and vandals too. There was no adequate fencing and I'm pretty sure there's been no heavy maintenance carried out on the bridges or the viaduct either. 

I am definitely in the pro-Leamside Line camp. I think the benefits of getting it going again are potentially huge.
Given the issues and delays in getting passenger trains on to the B&T line (where infrastructure is largely intact) and there was a concerted campaign by not only politicians and locals - I do wonder if the Leamside will ever will re-open.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
Victoria viaduct looked like it was in disrepair the last time I seen it which I think its grade listed and don't network rail still own the track bed of the leamside line
(02 Nov 2021, 9:47 am)Andreos1 Wrote: The fact is, they weren't. Whether that was because the scheme didn't meet the ERDF criteria at the timr or for another reason, I'm not sure we will ever know.

You are right, it didn't close in the 60's. That was when regular passenger services ended.
The ECML diversions stopped in the late 80s if I remember right and I'm sure there were still freight runs until the early 90s.

Having lived close to the line at various stages of the line for quite a few years from the early 90s onwards, it was clear that although officially mothballed - that once the cable and trackbed was stolen and crossings tarmaced over, it was going to take a lot to re-open it.
It was used as a shortcut, it was used by people to hang-out and socialise, it was used by thieves and vandals too. There was no adequate fencing and I'm pretty sure there's been no heavy maintenance carried out on the bridges or the viaduct either. 

I am definitely in the pro-Leamside Line camp. I think the benefits of getting it going again are potentially huge.
Given the issues and delays in getting passenger trains on to the B&T line (where infrastructure is largely intact) and there was a concerted campaign by not only politicians and locals - I do wonder if the Leamside will ever will re-open.
The primary problem in the funding for what would have been Metro expansion to Washington, was dogged with infighting and Gateshead council, which throughout the period of investment were a problem and still are today. look at the difference in redevelopment away from the riverside.. 

The line itself was abandoned in 1992, the embankment fire went on for years and the repairs were extensive, Railfreight weren't interested, it was InterCity that the costs were allocated to due to the need for a diversion route during upgrades to the main line, The last diversions of HST and a couple of 91 drags were in late 1991. 

Network Rail removed the track after a wholesale period of theft, first cables ,then sections of rail and other equipment. The line was then prepared for relaying using steel sleepers which NR claimed were ideal for this route, having failed miserably on the S&C.

For reasons only the DfT and Network Rail know that didn't happen, then then reasoning was increased capacity for Eurostar trains running to Edinburgh. That was cloud cuckoo land from the outset. HS2 trains were the primary reason for increased capacity when submitted in 2018, as now it seems Leeds will certainly not get HS2, or even a new route to Manchester, that is now academic.

The Metro debacle continued throughout the investment period and the route chosen is as is, not the much wanted route via Wardley, Usworth and Washington with a deviation at FenceHouses to join the Pallion line to get to Sunderland.

I hope in the future a change comes with government and this network can grow, the Leamside is key, the old line via Brasside to Newton Hall is largely intact and the span of the river wear remains in good order, so Durham via conurbations is definitely on. I think most people accept that north east Durham is extremely poorly served by public transport, much information on this has been handed to Kevan Jones and Mary Kelly Foy and they both support the 'branch' and mainline revival.
(02 Nov 2021, 10:00 am)Ds1197 Wrote: Victoria viaduct looked like it was in disrepair the last time I seen it which I think its grade listed and don't network rail still own the track bed of the leamside line

Yeah, they own all the track bed and infrastructure still. Although most of the track was removed during 2012, supposedly to deter theft (despite being a decade after 2 miles of it was nicked in Penshaw during 2003) and because it was deemed life-expired by Network Rail.

There was an FOI response here (dated 2017) that stated the Viaduct is in a fair state of repair: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g...ia_viaduct

I've been up there last year when out walking, and although you cannot get onto the Viaduct itself anymore, it doesn't look in too bad a condition apart from I wouldn't trust holding the railings, as they are definitely in need of repair. There's also proper walking routes below and it doesn't look in bad condition from under either. I'm no structural engineer though! 

There's fencing with a gate at each side (as below) now, so you can't use it to walk between Washington and Penshaw. When the gates originally went up, the locks kept getting cut off to reopen it as a through route, but I believe the gate at the Penshaw side has now been welded shut by Network Rail. I'd say it seems to have worked as a deterrent to some degree, as the Washington side is really overgrown now.

[Image: 98453712-2950698421712108-4281949362781403748-n.jpg]
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(02 Nov 2021, 9:47 am)Andreos1 Wrote: The fact is, they weren't. Whether that was because the scheme didn't meet the ERDF criteria at the timr or for another reason, I'm not sure we will ever know.

You are right, it didn't close in the 60's. That was when regular passenger services ended.
The ECML diversions stopped in the late 80s if I remember right and I'm sure there were still freight runs until the early 90s.

Having lived close to the line at various stages of the line for quite a few years from the early 90s onwards, it was clear that although officially mothballed - that once the cable and trackbed was stolen and crossings tarmaced over, it was going to take a lot to re-open it.
It was used as a shortcut, it was used by people to hang-out and socialise, it was used by thieves and vandals too. There was no adequate fencing and I'm pretty sure there's been no heavy maintenance carried out on the bridges or the viaduct either. 

I am definitely in the pro-Leamside Line camp. I think the benefits of getting it going again are potentially huge.
Given the issues and delays in getting passenger trains on to the B&T line (where infrastructure is largely intact) and there was a concerted campaign by not only politicians and locals - I do wonder if the Leamside will ever will re-open.

The last train was 1991 from what I can see, although I think that was a charter/rail tour, rather than a freight train. That date will tie in with when the Freightliner terminal at Follingsby closed.

A lot of the lineside cabinets and such remained for a good few years after the line was mothballed. I remember seeing the damaged and empty cabinets still there around 1994/95, along with signs of digging where they'd been trying to nick cabling between. I recall the Usworth signal box and track over the level crossing road remained for a good few years too, although severely damaged over the years before being demolished.
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(02 Nov 2021, 11:23 am)Adrian Wrote: Yeah, they own all the track bed and infrastructure still. Although most of the track was removed during 2012, supposedly to deter theft (despite being a decade after 2 miles of it was nicked in Penshaw during 2003) and because it was deemed life-expired by Network Rail.

There was an FOI response here (dated 2017) that stated the Viaduct is in a fair state of repair: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g...ia_viaduct

I've been up there last year when out walking, and although you cannot get onto the Viaduct itself anymore, it doesn't look in too bad a condition apart from I wouldn't trust holding the railings, as they are definitely in need of repair. There's also proper walking routes below and it doesn't look in bad condition from under either. I'm no structural engineer though! 

There's fencing with a gate at each side (as below) now, so you can't use it to walk between Washington and Penshaw. When the gates originally went up, the locks kept getting cut off to reopen it as a through route, but I believe the gate at the Penshaw side has now been welded shut by Network Rail. I'd say it seems to have worked as a deterrent to some degree, as the Washington side is really overgrown now.

[Image: 98453712-2950698421712108-4281949362781403748-n.jpg]
Much of the route needs considerable vegetation removal, having cycled all of the routes that interject with the line it is not surprising given the 30 years of uncontrolled growth, the bridge at Leamside on station road itself is shrouded in trees.

It's a lot of work, and has to be done if the region is to keep a toe in.
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Potential reprieve for Leamside Line?
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(22 Dec 2021, 4:27 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: https://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A...ar-3502407&h=AT10NHMQjI7F643lFF-d2gFhfRzA86BjrZ2N2tzVkNM11HYou9mT7y4jwNu37LXsSEmtH-U6cwQuMEF2nF41LeUJAs75jiV5N0bj_8B-OZNxpJ9aCg3rz3GuH2IEAYRB

Potential reprieve for Leamside Line?
Funding. The main stumbling block, plus councils that don't co-operate. £625m the lightest estimate. With OLE £1bn.
(22 Dec 2021, 4:27 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: https://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A...ar-3502407&h=AT10NHMQjI7F643lFF-d2gFhfRzA86BjrZ2N2tzVkNM11HYou9mT7y4jwNu37LXsSEmtH-U6cwQuMEF2nF41LeUJAs75jiV5N0bj_8B-OZNxpJ9aCg3rz3GuH2IEAYRB

Potential reprieve for Leamside Line?

Read this article the other day, I'll believe it when I see it, I don't understand who would fund it if not Central Government? Nexus wouldn't be interested and neither would Durham, who else would pay for it?
(22 Dec 2021, 6:04 pm)deanmachine Wrote: Read this article the other day, I'll believe it when I see it, I don't understand who would fund it if not Central Government? Nexus wouldn't be interested and neither would Durham, who else would pay for it?
The North East was awarded £600m recently through the City Regions Sustainable Transport Settlement - BUT the money being released is dependent on there being a Mayoral Combined Authority rather than the current two CAs (with one having a mayor) and transport being run by a "Joint Committee".
Release of the funds will only take place if the North East has a single CA and an elected mayor (as it the case in the other 7 city regions).

That's why in the Integrated Rail Plan is says "....the Government considers that the case for re-opening the Leamside route would be best considered as part of any future city region settlement."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...uthorities
New business plan for Sunderland and South Tyneside Metro extension unveiled: https://www.sunderlandecho.com/business/...ed-3523383

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