Station Name: HYLTON
|Company on opening:||York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway|
|Date closed to passengers:||
|Date closed completely:||4.10.1965|
|Company on closing:||
Passengers: British Railways (North Eastern Region)
|County:||Durham (now Tyne & Wear)|
|OS Grid Ref:||NZ354566|
|Date of visit:||20.6.2013|
Notes: The line from Sunderland to Leamside opened on 20 February 1852 for goods traffic and on 1 June 1853 for passengers, and a station was provided at Hylton from the outset. Although Hylton is now a suburb of Sunderland it was little more than a village when the railway reached it, the station being at the southern limits of the settlement. The main two-storey building at the station was on the down (Sunderland-bound) platform, built of brick, and somewhat austere in character. The roofs were slated and low-pitched. A gabled section at the north-east end projected towards the platform from the rest of the building and had a ground floor bay. Passengers were sheltered by an awning attached to the building. A pent-roof wooden shelter stood immediately south-west of the main building. On the up platform was a timber waiting shed under a pitched slate roof with generous provision of windows onto the platform.
When the railway opened the immediate surroundings of Hylton were rural, but the village lay in the ‘Great Northern’ coalfield and the prosperous docks and port facilities of Sunderland were only a couple of miles to the east. By the 1870s South Hylton ironworks, south-west of the station, was reached by a short branch off the railway. By the end of the nineteenth century more housing had been built north of the station, and a goods yard had been developed behind the down platform, with four sidings including a loop. A goods shed and three-ton crane were provided, and a branch served South Hylton Forge.
NER statistics for 1911 reveal that the station served a population of 5,629 and that 99,017 tickets were issued. Hylton’s goods traffic included iron and steel, cinders and livestock; paper was, however, the principal traffic, with the large Ford paper mill between Hylton and Pallion stations served by railway sidings. By 1920 villas had spread south of the station, and in that year ten up trains called on Monday-to-Friday, 11 on Saturdays and four on Sundays; in the opposite direction the service was of similar frequency.
In 1923 at the Grouping of Britain’s railways the NER lines, and thus Hylton station, were allocated to the London & North Eastern Railway. During the LNER era the station received the familiar wooden running-in boards with the station name in metal letters pegged to the board. By the late 1930s a new housing estate had been built south of the station.
At nationalisation in January 1948 the former LNER lines and stations in north-east England were placed within the North Eastern Region of British Railways. BR showed little inclination to modernise the station, which retained gas lighting and LNER signage. Train services were adequate to serve commuters travelling to and from Sunderland, with an infrequent service during the day. In 1951, despite competition from buses, Hylton issued 54,250 tickets, substantially more than other intermediate stations between Durham and Sunderland. Whilst the neighbouring station at Millfield closed in 1955 and Pallion, Cox Green and Penshaw were relegated to ‘halts’, Hylton continued to be a staffed station.
The Reshaping of British Railways (‘Beeching’) report recommended the withdrawal of the Sunderland – Durham – Bishop Auckland passenger train service, and closure came on 4 May 1964. Goods-handling facilities were retained at Hylton until 4 October 1965, and the line through the station continued to handle goods and mineral traffic until 21 August 1967. After this date Hylton Quarry sidings, a short distance on the Sunderland side of the station, were westernmost extent of the line. The station was demolished by 1976.
Hylton returned to the railway map on 31 March 2002 when the eastern end of the Durham – Sunderland line was reopened as part of the Tyne & Wear Metro, some of it on a new alignment. The South Hylton terminus of the new line is on the opposite side of the level crossing from the original station.
From 1857 Leamside station enjoyed some importance as the de facto junction where trains to and from Sunderland and Durham connected with the services on London Kings Cross – Newcastle – Edinburgh main line. Fencehouses or Penshaw could equally have been awarded this status, but Leamside station, in its remote rural surroundings, was rebuilt with an island platform and bays at each end to accommodate the connecting services and allow convenient interchange by passengers. Its importance was short-lived and was suddenly removed when the new main line route between Ferryhill and Newcastle via Durham opened in 1872. Leamside station was now an extravagance, with little local population to serve; conversely the splendid Durham viaduct, originally serving only the Leamside – Bishop Auckland branch, was now a prominent feature of the main line providing a vantage point from which millions of passengers would be able to admire Durham and its cathedral.
As with most lines in northern County Durham the Sunderland – Durham route carried large quantities of goods and mineral traffic, notably coal. Several collieries were directly linked to the line, and there were branches into shipyards and Deptford staiths on the Wear as well as to the Hudson, Henson and South docks on the coast.
Passenger services on the Sunderland – Durham line remained frequent. However from the 1920s motor buses began to provide a more intensive service and linked the numerous mining villages and towns in north-east Durham. The ‘Old Main Line’ south of Leamside lost its passenger services in 1941. On the Sunderland – Durham route, apart from the very early loss of Frankland station, between Leamside and Durham, in 1877, casualties began with Leamside in 1953, followed by Millfield in inner Sunderland in 1955. Diesel multiple units replaced steam haulage on the route during 1957.
Goods services ceased between Leamside (Auckland Junction) and Durham (Newton Hall Junction) and at Finchale siding (Frankland) on 22 October 1964. The tracks into the former Fawcett Street terminus in Sunderland, which had continued as a goods facility reached from the Durham line, were severed on 3 October 1965. Goods services were retained between Penshaw and Sunderland until 21 August 1967 when they were discontinued west of Hylton Quarry sidings. In 1971 the line from Pallion to Ford paper works at Hylton was singled and ceased to be signalled when the factory closed, but Dolomite from Hylton Quarry continued to be carried until 1976 when the line was cut back to Pallion; it was officially taken out of use on 20 November 1976. The remainder of the line to Hendon, including Deptford Johnson Siding closed to goods on 27 November 1984. The section of the ‘Old Main Line’ which the Sunderland – Durham services shared between Penshaw Junction and Auckland Junction continued in goods use for some years more, but was ‘mothballed’ in 1991 and closed in 2012.
To see other stations on the Old Main Line click on the station name: Felling 2nd, Felling 3rd , Felling 1st, Pelaw 1st, Pelaw 3rd, Pelaw 4th , Pelaw 2nd, Usworth, Washington 2nd, Washington 1st, Penshaw 1st, Penshaw 2nd, Fencehouses, Rainton, Rainton Meadows (on branch), Leamside 1st, Leamside 2nd, Belmont Junction, Durham Gilesgate (on branch), Sherburn Colliery, Shincliffe & Ferryhill
See also Sunderland and Durham (via Leamside):
|Last updated: Sunday, 21-May-2017 10:20:49 BST||
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