Station Name: SALTERSGATE COTTAGE

[Source: Nick Catford]


Date opened: Probably never opened
Location: At the end of Saltersgate Lane where an unmade track continues
across the railway to a quarry (now disused)
Company on opening: Probably never opened
Date closed to passengers: Probably never opened
Date closed completely: Probably never opened
Company on closing: Probably never opened
Present state: The stone wharf is still extant. The remains of the coal depot can also be seen. The cottages have been demolished although some rubble remains on the site.
County: Durham
OS Grid Ref: NZ077426
Date of visit: April 2006

Notes: K. Hoole (author) lists the opening date for for mineral traffic as 16.5.1845 and references have been found to a station at Saltersgate Cottage which is clearly marked on Ordnance Survey maps between 1855 - 1865 although there is no local industry.

By 1894 the station is no longer shown although Saltersgate Cottage itself is shown. There is also an old quarry, a disused brickworks and a tramway running a short distance south, then two miles east to a quarry.

Between 1919-1926 maps show Saltersgate Cottages, Saltersgate Siding (stone wharf) and a tramway running west to an old lead mine and a quarry.

It is possible that the passenger station was built and never opened and that the site was then just used for transportation of minerals using the stone wharf.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BISHOP AUCKLAND TO ROWLEY LINE
The western section of the Stockton and Darlington Railway had been progressively improved and extended with the Bishop Auckland & Weardale Railway finally reaching Crook in 1843. The B A & W company minutes show that the line opened to a permanent station at Bishop Auckland on 30 January 1843, ahead of the rest of the line to Crook and that the generally quoted 8 November 1843 for opening to Crook was for goods only. The line was leased by the Stockton & Darlington Railway.

The following stations were proposed: South Church, Bishop Auckland, Escombe, Old Etherley Colliery, Low Bitchburn, Howden and Crook. The line opened to a temporary terminus at South Church on 19.4.1842 and extended to a permanent Bishop Auckland station on 30.1.1843. The line to Crook was authorised for opening on 3rd January 1844 but the passenger opening date to has not so far been traced; however, the minutes do show that the line was inspected on 1 January 1844 and that permission to open for passengers was received by on or before 6 January Escombe and Low Bitchburn stations are never mentioned again and were probably never built.

It is likely that the initial service to Crook was market days only because when it first appeared in Bradshaw in July 1844, only a Thursday market service was shown but the line was in full use by January 1845.

The Derwent Iron Company was looking for an outlet to the south and itself considered building a line towards Crook and the Stockton and Darlington Railway but in the end it was the S&D who constructed the Weardale Extension Railway from Crook, via the rope worked Sunniside incline to a station at Tow Law joining the former Derwent Railway at Waskerley, at the head of Nanny Mayors Incline where a small railway village developed on the top of the moors. The line was opened to traffic on behalf of Derwent Iron Company on the 16 May 1845; the company subsequently purchased the Derwent Railway.

Tow Law first appears in timetables in September 1847; references have been found to additional stops at High Souk (alias High Stoop) and Saltersgate Cottage, which would have been further north towards Burnhill. Although both stations appears on the early Ordnance Survey maps, passenger use cannot be confirmed.

The Bishop Auckland & Weardale Railway amalgamated with the Wear Valley Railway in 1847 which was in turn taken over by the Stockton & Darlington in 1858 and by the North Eastern Railway in 1863. On 2nd March 1868 the Sunniside incline was replaced by a deviation to allow locomotive haulage, this required the resiting of Tow Law station.

In NER days a through service was provided from Darlington to Tyneside via Bishop Auckland, Crook, Tow Law, Burnhill and along the Derwent Valley Line through Blackhill & Swalwell. With increasing competition from roads and the decline in the handling of lime and stone the line north of Tow Law to Blackhill (Consett) was closed to passengers in May 1939 along with the stations at Burnhill and Rowley ending through running to Tyneside. Shortly after closure the Government built the Salters Gate Ammunition Depot across the line between Salters Gate and Burnhill which effectively totally closed the through line although munitions trains could access the Burnhill Station transfer yard from both directions.

The line was further cut back to Crook on 11th June 1956 and the final section of line from Bishop Auckland - Crook closed to passengers on 8th March 1965. The track north of Wear Valley Junction was lifted in late 1967 or early 1968.

The line between Bishop Auckland and Crook served a number of collieries and other industrial sites. Click here for a full list.

To see the other stations on the Bishop Auckland - Rowley line click on the station name: Bishop Auckland, Etherley, Wear Valley Junction, Beechburn, Crook, Tow Law, High Souk, Burnhill Junction (Military Exchange Station), Burnhill & Rowley

See also stations on the Wear Valley line to Wearhead


Saltersgate looking north in the 1950s.
Photo from Alan Brown collection

Saltersgate Cottage Station is clearly shown on early maps


Looking north from Saltersgate Cottage in April 2006
P
hoto by Roy Lambeth


Saltersgate coal depot (foreground) and stone wharf (behind) in April 2006. The boundary fence for the Saltersgate Ammunition Depot can be seen to the rear of the wharf.
P
hoto by Roy Lambeth


Saltersgate Stone Wharf (platform) in April 2006
P
hoto by Roy Lambeth

 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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