[Source: Alan Young]

Date opened: After 1909
Location: South of Lynemouth Road.
Company on opening: Ashington Coal Company
Date closed to passengers:


Date closed completely: 16.5.1966
Company on closing:

National Coal Board

Present state: Demolished
County: Northumberland
OS Grid Ref: NZ282917
Date of visit:


Note: This was one of four stopping places for ‘Paddy’ trains on the 20-mile Ashington Coal Company (later National Coal Board) system.

Equipped with short platforms, the halt served miners. Before World War I the NER loaned a locomotive and crew from North Blyth depot to operate the services on the system, but later Ashington Coal Company had its own tank engines and rolling stock which provided the passenger train service until 16 May 1966. After this date contract buses were provided instead. Ellington Colliery was the last surviving deep mine in
the Northumberland and Durham coalfield; it closed in January 2005.

The Ashington Coal Company operated pits at Ashington, Linton, Ellington, Woodhorn and (from 1934) Lynemouth. In 1947 the company’s pits became part of the nationalised coal industry (the National Coal Board).

From 1880 a 2ft gauge line operated to carry miners from Ashington to Pegwood Colliery. In 1895 this was abandoned in favour of the standard gauge network as this expanded, though not between Ellington and Lynemouth or Ashington and Woodhorn. The service was operated by the colliery company using a variety of ex-railway company stock, from four- and six-wheel coaches, eventually to bogie stock. On occasions
before World War I the NER provided a locomotive and crew from their North Blyth depot when a colliery locomotive was not available.

The so-called ‘Paddy trains’ began from Hirst Platform, named after the hamlet around which the town of Ashington grew. A 24-hour, 7-days a week service was operated, with about 100 trains on each weekday, 70 on Saturdays and 45 on Sundays. Besides the miners the trains also carried fare-paying passengers at a very cheap rate, whilst children paid half fare, unless going to school, when they travelled
free. Paper tickets were issued, with a different colour for each day.

A loco shed served the system. It was located close to Ashington Colliery at NZ 263881. At ‘vesting day’ when Ashington Coal Company became part of the National Coal Board the system ran from Ashington Colliery northwards for 2½ miles (double-track) to Linton Colliery, where the railway’s workshops were
situated. Just south of the colliery was Potland Junction, whence a further double track section ran north-eastwards for 1½ miles to Ellington Colliery, followed by a single line of 2 miles to Lynemouth Colliery.

The line was fully signalled and track circuited to allow British Railways’ locomotives to work over the system. North of the terminus at Hirst Platform, trains served New Moor platform, about 1 mile north-north-west, and Linton; alternatively trains operated between Hirst and Ellington. The NCB soon stopped carrying children and the general public, limiting the service to
miners only. In 1965, the year before the service was withdrawn, 95 journeys were run on weekdays and 43 on Saturdays.

The ‘Paddy train’ service was discontinued on 16 May 1966 and replaced with contract buses. All of the pits belonging to the former Ashington Coal Company have now closed.

Click here for a list of sources and a Blyth & Tyne bibliography

Ticket from Michael Stewart. Route map drawn by Alan Young. Timetable from Glen Kilday

To see other stations on the Ashington Colliery Railway click on the station name: Hirst Platform (Ashington Colliery), New Moor & Linton Colliery

Ellington Colliery in 1909.

1958 1:2500 OS Map. Two platforms, presumably for the miners’ trains, are indicated on this map.

Ellington Colliery in 1995, including two sets of pit-head gear.
Photo from Mining Europe web site

Ellington Colliery, looking south-west, in February 2001.
hoto by Alan Young

Ellington Colliery in March 2005, both winding houses and head frames are seen shortly after closure.
hoto by Nick Catford

Ellington Colliery, looking south from a point close to the main entrance in March 2005,
shortly after closure.
hoto by Nick Catford

Looking south-west across the site of Ellington Colliery in May 2012. The formerly extensive site of Northumberland’s last deep mine is being converted into farmland. The platforms were formerly located towards the right edge of the photograph.
hoto by Roy Lambeth

A tribute to Ellington Colliery and its miners at what was the main entrance to the
site, seen in May 2012.
hoto by Roy Lambeth




[Source: Alan Young]

Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 11:15:37 CEST
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