Notes: Waterhouses station was in the village of Esh Winning but the goods station was in Warehouses village (half a mile to the south-west) close to Waterhouses Colliery. The goods yard comprised a goods shed, dock and a 3-ton crane. A signal box opposite the yard controlled access to the yard and to Waterhouses Colliery. There was also a signal box at the east end of Waterhouses station.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEERNESS
The Deerness Valley Railway was incorporated by an Act of Parliament
of 30.7.1855 and was sold to the North Eastern Railway on 13.7.1857.
The line opened for goods on 1.1.1858 from Deerness Valley Junction
on the Durham to Bishop Auckland line to a point near the junction
of The Stanley Incline and the line to East Hedley Hope Colliery.
A passenger service wasn't introduced until 1.11.1877 when a single
platform terminus was built part way along the line at Esh Winning,
the station was named Waterhouses; passenger trains never went
beyond Waterhouses. A second station was added at Ushaw Moor on
The passenger service on the line was always of secondary importance
with a number of collieries being accessed from the branch.
There were seven signal boxes, these were sited at: 'Deerness
Valley Junction' (at start of the branch), 'New Brancepeth' (controlled
Ushaw Moor Station and access to New
Brancepeth Colliery closed in 1953), 'Ushaw Moor Colliery'
(controlled access to Ushaw
Moor Colliery closed in 1960) 'Flass Junction' (controlled
the three way junction to Cornsay
Colliery (closed in 1953) & Brickworks and to Esh
Colliery closed in 1968 and Hamsteels
Colliery closed in 1958), 'Lymington' (a gate box controlling
minor road crossing to a quarry and one street of houses), 'Waterhouses
Goods' (controlling access to Waterhouses
Colliery closed in 1966, Waterhouses Goods Yard and the level
crossing over the main valley road at the start of Waterhouses
village). The final box was at Waterhouses Station.
Beyond the East Hedley Hope junction, the line was known as The
Stockton & Darlington Railway Deerness Valley Branch with
the rope worked Stanley Inclines giving access to Stanley Drifts
and Wooley Colliery and on to Bank Foot Coke Works and Chemical
Plant at Crook. It was built for Joseph Pease & Partners the
owners of Waterhouses Colliery, who also owned the complex at
In 1922 there were nine trains in each direction with and additional service on Wednesdays and Saturdays but no Sunday service. During the 1930's excursion trains used to run Saturday
nights to Newcastle with summer Saturdays to Whitley Bay
and South Shields.
In October 1949 the passenger service was reduced to one
train per day to Durham Monday - Friday and the passenger
service was withdrawn altogether on 29.10.1951 by which date Bradshaw only lists one daily down train at 8.17am.
The two stations remained in use until the 1960's for occasional
miners' gala trains with morning passenger trains taking bands,
banners and passengers into Durham and bring them back again in
the afternoon. The freight service continued until 28.12.1964.
The line originally had two wooden trestle viaducts; the viaduct
over the River Deerness to the west of Ushaw Moor station was
demolished in the winter of 1967/68 when the track was lifted.
The line has now been converted into the 8 mile Deerness
Valley Railway Path which starts at the Broompark Picnic Area
and passes through the villages of Ushaw Moor and Esh Winning.
County Council ownership terminates on meeting the B6299 near
Stanley Crook. A further section links to the B6298 on the outskirts
Tickets from Michael Stewart. Bradshaws from Nick Catford. Route map from Alan Young.
Other web sites: Ushaw
Moor Historical Website includes 7 galleries of railway pictures
Miner Project web site
Further reading: Durham's
Railways by Charlie Emett - Sutton Publishing 1999
To see the other
stations on the Deerness Valley branch line click on the station
name: Ushaw Moor
see also Deerness