Station Name: BLACKHILL

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 2.12.1867
Location: West from the end of St. Aidans Street
Company on opening: North Eastern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 23.5.1955
Date closed completely: Coal yard served by a single line from Consett remained open till late 1970s or later. Track lifted by February 1984.
Company on closing: British Railways (North Eastern Region)
Present state: Demolished - the station site has been cleared and landscaped
County: Durham
OS Grid Ref: NZ100515
Date of visit: September 1967

Notes: The station was opened as Benfieldside and was renamed Consett on 1.11.1882, renamed Consett & Blackhill on 1.5.1885 and renamed Blackhill on 1.5.1896.

Work on the Derwent Valley Railway started in 1865 and the line was opened on 2nd December 1867 Four viaducts were constructed and a deep, 800 metres long cutting was dug near Rowlands Gill. The Nine Arches Viaduct was one of the major engineering feats of the railway; it is five hundred feet long and was built because the Earl of Strathmore would not allow the railway to pass through the Gibside Estate.

Stations were built at Blackhill, Shotley Bridge, Ebchester, Lintz Green, Rowlands Gill and Swalwell with High Westwood added in 1909. The line was single track between Blackhill and Lintz Green and double track between Lintz Green and the junction at Derwenthaugh. At its peak in 1914 the railway was carrying over half a million passengers a year with a regular goods traffic of timber, bricks and coal to Newcastle and iron ore to Consett.

The line also has a gruesome claim to fame in 1911 Lintz Green station was the scene of the inexplicable murder of the stationmaster by an unknown gunman the crime never solved.

By the 1920's, buses started to take the passengers. Freight fared better, continuing to deliver to collieries, coke-ovens, brickworks, paper-mills, dairy farms and the livestock mart at Blackhill, but even the freight traffic declined after W.W.II. High Westwood Station was closed in 1942 while the remaining stations survived into the 1950's but passenger numbers failed to recover after the war and one by one the stations closed. Shotley Bridge and Ebchester closed in September 1953, Swalwell and Lintz Green followed in December 1953. Rowlands Gill closed in February 1954 and Blackhill survived until May 1955. As road traffic became more efficient the freight service continued to decline until the line finally closed completely on 11th November 1963

The track was lifted in 1964 and for many years little was done to the line until Durham County Council developed it as a country park. The viaducts and bridges were repaired and the trackbed has now become an excellent country path and cycle route.

At Lydgetts Junction near Consett, the Derwent Valley route links with the Lanchester Valley Railway Path, Waskerley Way, and the Sustrans Consett-Sunderland cycle path, the latter two form part of the C2C (Sea to Sea) Cycle Route.

Route map drawn by Alan Young.

Click here for freight movements around Consett

To see the other stations on the Derwent Valley line click on the station name: Shotley Bridge, Ebchester, High Westwood, Lintz Green, Rowlands Gill & Swalwell

Photo:Blackhill Station in September 1967
hoto by Nick Catford

Photo:Class V3 67658 at Blackhill (Consett) in the early 50s. The line was on the through route from Darlington to Newcastle via Bishop Auckland, Crook, Tow Law, Ebchester (now Derwent Valley Footpath) and Swalwell.#It is on the north bound platform facing south
Copyright photo by Jim Sedgwick

Photo:The site of Blackhill Station in Februaery 2006
Photo by Mike Brady




[Source: Nick Catford]

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