Station Name: ERYHOLME

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 10.9.1846
Location: Half mile north west of B1263. Private track runs along the west side of the East Coast Main Line.
Company on opening: York & Newcastle Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.10.1911
Date closed completely: 3.3.1969
Company on closing: North Eastern Railway
Present state: Some sections of the later prefabricated platforms survive other sections lie in a heap. Some stone blocks from the platform building can also be seen at ground level. Railway cottages have been demolished.
County: North Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: NZ303060
Date of visit: 1965 and 16.9.2009

Notes: Dalton (also known as Dalton Junction) opened with the Richmond branch on 10th September 1846. It served no community and had no road access and was primarily an interchange station. In the early years of the Richmond branch most trains from Richmond terminated at Eryholme. There were up and down main line platforms spanned by a steel footbridge. The down platform was a wide island at its north end with its western face used by Richmond branch trains. A short timber platform was used by passengers from Richmond who wanted to catch a southbound train on the main line. Passengers were carefully led across the two Richmond tracks and over the footbridge to reach the 'up' mainline platform.

The main station building was on the island platform and was a substantial stone structure incorporating booking office, waiting room and the stationmaster's house. A timber waiting shelter was provided on the 'up' main line platform. The original signal box was at the north end of the 'up' platform this was replaced on the 1st June, 1939 by another box at the north end of the 'down' platform at the junction of the two lines. The station was re-named Eryholme on 1st July 1901.

Regular passenger service were withdrawn on 1st October 1911 but the station remained open for goods traffic and as an unadvertised stopping place for railwaymen and their families living in the adjacent railway cottages.

During WW2 the Richmond branch platform was extended southwards using prefabricated concrete panels and a second platform was built cater for northbound trains. The two platforms were spanned by a new footbridge (removed in the early 1960s). The station was used as an unadvertised stopping place for military personnel from RAF Croft a mile to the west, with the 8.00am and 4.15 pm weekday and 9.20 am and 11.55 pm Saturday trains from Darlington - Richmond trains stopping there. RAF Croft is a satellite station to Middleton St George (Goose Pool) now Durham Tees Valley Airport, serving No 4 Group Bomber Command, serviced in the main by Canadian squadrons in Halifax and Lancaster heavy bombers. The airfield is now a major motor racing circuit. After this use stopped the station remained in use by railwaymen and it was a regular unadvertised stopping place until closure of the line in 1969.

After closure of the station in 1911 the 'up' main line platform was demolished but the 'down' platform remained largely intact with its buildings until the early 1960's. The station officially closed to goods traffic on 1st June 1964 although it seems likely that no goods traffic had been handled for some time.

The station building was demolished in the early 1960s and the edge stones on the 'down' main line and the north end of the branch platform were removed. A road was finally put in to the Scorton - Yarm road 3/4 mile away to serve the railway cottages. The station closed completely on 3rd March 1969 and the track was lifted in October 1970. The signal box was demolished on 31st January 1977 and subsequently demolished (still standing in 1980) being replaced my a metal container still named Eryholme and still in use today.

In 1841 the Great North of England Railway (GNER) opened its line between York and Darlington. In order to generate revenue from the highly profitable lead mines in Swaledale the company proposed a branch from their line to Richmond which was authorised by the Great North of England Railway Act of 21st July, 1845.  Considering the main reason for building the line was to provide railhead for mining traffic it's surprising that the branch terminated some distance short of the main mining area to the west of Richmond. Prior to the line being built, lead ore had to be transported to the Stockton & Darlington terminus at Croft (adjacent to the later Croft Spa Station) and with the opening of the York line in 1841 a new railhead was established at Cowton.

Before the line was built, the GNER was leased by the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway which had opened a line between Darlington and Gateshead in 1842. At this time the NDJR was renamed York & Newcastle Railway on 27th July 1846.

The 9 mile 62 chain double track branch opened on 10th September 1846 from a junction station on the York line at Dalton, 6 miles south of Darlington between Croft and Cowton with intermediate stations at Moulton, Scorton and Catterick Bridge. Initially there were three trains each day between Richmond and Darlington with a journey time of 45 minutes. By
the end of the year a fourth daily train had been added with three on Sunday. The York & Newcastle Railway only survived for a further 7 years after the opening of the line, becoming part of the North Eastern Railway in 1854.

There were a number of later proposals to extend the branch west from Richmond to reach the Swaledale mines, these including the Reeth & Richmond Railway which was authorised in 1869 but no extension was ever built.

In the early days, many branch trains terminated at Dalton Junction which served no community and had no road access being no more than an interchange station for the Darlington - York line. Dalton (renamed Eryholme in 1901) was an early closure losing its regular service in 1911 with all trains then terminating at Darlington and calling additionally at Croft Spa on the main line. For a time Croft Spa became the interchange station for passengers travelling south.

The service on the branch gradually improved with five daily trains in 1870 and seven in 1906. A number of excursions also ran into Richmond, notably for the annual Whit Monday 'Athletic Sports and Bicycle Meet' with specials from Middlesbrough, Saltburn and Bishop Auckland and additional trains running from Darlington.

The level of service remained much the same until WW1 and the opening of the 4 mile steeply graded Catterick Military Railway from a trailing connection at Catterick Bridge station to Catterick Camp two miles south of Richmond. The idea for a military camp in the area had first been proposed by Lord Baden Powell in 1908 but construction didn't start until 1914 a few weeks after the outbreak of WW1. During building of the camp, a 2' gauge contractor’s line was built from Catterick Bridge. This was completed by May 1915 and converted to standard gauge by the end of the year. Stations were provided at Brompton Road, close to Catterick Bridge Station, Camp Centre, California and Scotton. Although built to light railway standards all locomotive classes were permitted on the line which was also capable of carrying the large cross-channel railway guns used in WW2.

The first soldiers arrived at the camp in October 1916 and troop traffic was immediately very heavy with seven passenger trains operating between Catterick Bridge and the camp, the last two running through to California. Five trains ran in the opposite direction with an extra train at lunch time on Saturday although no trains ran from California. On Sundays there were two
trains between Catterick Bridge and Camp Centre.  Some trains between Camp Centre and Darlington were combined with trains for Richmond dividing at Catterick Bridge where the camp's own tank engine was waiting to haul the detached coaches on to Camp Centre. The camp's tank engine was kept in a 2-road corrugated iron shed opened in 1915. It stood south west of Walkerville Crossing and closed in c.1925.

Each year until the end of the war 750,000 soldiers passed through the camp almost all of them being carried by train. Goods traffic carried by the branch was also high, increasing as the war progressed with a daily goods train with 60 - 70 wagons running every day between 1917 - 1918.

After the war, the War Department decided to make the camp permanent and when the Richmond branch became part of the London & North Eastern Railway under the 1923 Grouping the running of the Catterick Military Railway was handed over to the LNER although the line was cut back to Power House sidings and California & Scotton stations were not used after 1919 and the track was lifted.

In 1923 all passenger trains on the Richmond branch were worked by a locomotive from Richmond shed with the exception of the 7.55 am from Darlington and the 9.30 am return which was worked from Darlington shed. In later years more locomotives from Darlington shed were used and after Richmond shed closed on 30th December 1933 all locomotives came from Darlington.  From 1st May 1933 the branch was operated by Sentinel steam railcars but by 1937 these had largely been withdrawn and only operated the Sunday service.

During the inter-war years there were freight and troop trains running into the camp from the main line with local and leave traffic being handled by a daily push-and-pull shuttle service running between Camp centre and Brompton Road Platform from where soldiers could transfer to the public service at Catterick Bridge, this ran until 1947. During WW2 some 'leave' trains ran through to Darlington reaching a peak of 3 - 4 on weekdays and 5 on Sundays. During this period the line was generally worked by large tank engines due to the increase in military traffic although on troop specials during and after the war virtually any class of large locomotive could appear. Between 1943 - 1946 some trains stopped at Eryholme to serve Scorton airfield near Catterick Bridge.

After the war military traffic was in decline with only weekend 'leave' trains and a daily goods service and by the late 1950s there was just a Friday afternoon departure for Newcastle and a Saturday lunchtime departure for London with three early Monday morning trains returning to the camp from Darlington.

By the early 1960s, the Richmond line was operated entirely by DMUs with 12 daily trains and an extra one on Mondays and Saturdays and three on Sundays but BR claimed that the branch was running at a loss. On 10th October, 1963, the North Eastern Region of British Railways gave notice of their intention to withdraw all passenger services, (except certain
military trains), between Darlington and Richmond. Following objections, the proposal was rejected and trains continued to run although passenger services to the camp ended on 26th October 1964 although 'leave' trains continued to run to Catterick Bridge station for a little longer.

The last steam train to visit both the Richmond branch and the Catterick Military Railway was the 'Three Dales Railtour' on 20th May 1967. A second proposal for closure was submitted on 26th January, 1968, once again objections were made, but on 11th December, the Minister of Transport gave his consent to closure subject to the introduction of a suitable replacement bus service. BR announced that passenger services to Richmond would cease from 3rd March, 1969, goods traffic having already been withdrawn from Richmond on 2nd October 1967.

Prior to the second closure application, BR had singled the line from a point 246 yards west of Catterick Bridge station to Richmond. This section was then worked under the ‘one engine in steam’ arrangements.  The line between Catterick Bridge and Richmond closed completely on 3rd March, 1969. By this date the Sunday service had already been withdrawn so the last train actually ran on Saturday 1st March. Freight traffic to Catterick Bridge continued to run until 9th February 1970. Track lifting started later that month and was completed by October 1970.

Tickets from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Chris Hind, route map drawn by Alan Young


To see other stations on the Richmond Branch click on the station name:
Croft Spa, Moulton, Scorton, Catterick Bridge & Richmond.

Catterick Military Railway: Brompton Road (1st site), Brompton Road (2nd site), Camp Centre, California and Scotton.
Click here for additional views of the Richmond branch and the CCMR

See also Croft (1st site)

See other ECML stations:Tweedmouth, Scremerston, Goswick, Beal, Smeafield, Crag Mill, Belford, Lucker, Newham, Fallodon, Christon Bank, Little Mill, Longhoughton,Lesbury, Warkworth, Longhirst, Morpeth, Stannington, Plessey, Annitsford (1st), Annitsford (2nd), Killingworth, Forest Hall, Heaton (2nd), Heaton (1st), Durham, Croft Spa, Otterington, Alne & Tollerton

Eryholme Station looking south c.1905. The main line platforms are straight ahead with the Richmond platform. There was a second platform out of view to the right, this was very short and made of timber. The signal box was later replaced by a new box at the north end of the island platform.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

1904 25" OS map. The short timber platform can be seen on the left

A5 69835 at Eryholme with Richmond train in February 1953
Photo from Alan Brown collection

A4 60005 Sir Charles Newton passes through the closed 'down' main line
platform at Eryholme c.1950s
Copyright photo from Maurice Burns collection

Goods train passes the disused Richmond branch platform at Eryholme in the 1950's. During WW2 the left platform was extended and a new prefabricated concrete platform provided on the Darlington side and a footbridge was also provided. Eryholme was an unadvertised stopping place serving Scorton Airfield from 1943 - 1946 and the station was also used by railwaymen and their families
until closure of the line in 1969.
Photo from John Mann collection

Eryholme Station in 1959. The main line down platform remains largely intact but the Richmond branch platform has lost its edge stones at the north end . The two new prefabricated concrete platforms built during WW2 can clearly be seen.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

A DMU for Richmond waits at Eryholme in c.1965
Copyright p
hoto by Maurice Burns

Track lifting at Eryholme in October 1970
hoto by Alan Brown

Eryholme Station looking south from a passing main line southbound train in July 1971
Photo by Alan Brown

Eryholme Station looking south in September 2009
hoto by Nick Catford

Click here for more pictures of Eryholme Station




[Source: Nick Catford]

Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 11:16:49 CEST
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