Station Name: WATERHOUSES (Durham)

Date opened: 1.11.1877
Location: At the end of Station Avenue, Esh Winning
Company on opening: North Eastern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 29.10.1951
Date closed completely: 28.12.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (North Eastern Region)
Present state: Demolished - no evidence of the station remains. The Deerness Valley Railway Path runs through the site.
County: Durham
OS Grid Ref: NZ192416
Date of visit: September 1967, February 1968, August 1968 & 27.6.2005

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.

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 1.9.1884.

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 Bank Foot.

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 of Crook.

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
Durham Miner Project web site

Further reading: Durham's Railways by Charlie Emett - Sutton Publishing 1999
ISBN: 0750920769

To see the other stations on the Deerness Valley branch line click on the station name: Ushaw Moor see also Deerness Valley Junction

Waterhouses Station in the early 20th century.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

1896 1:2,500 OS map.

1897 1:2,500 OS map showing Waterhouses goods station.

Waterhouses station looking east in the early 20th century.
Photo received from Mark Wood

Waterhouses Station in the early 20th century.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collectio

Waterhouses station looking north-east c.1920s.
Photo from John Mann collection

Class G5 1722 waits at Waterhouses station in May 1936 with a Durham train.
Photo from John Mann collection

Waterhouses Station looking east c. early 1950s.
Photo received from Allan Kitching

Waterhouses Station in 1965
Photo by Roy Lambeth

Waterhouses Station looking north east in c. mid 1960's

Waterhouses Station summer 1966 during track lifting.
Photo by Nick Catford

Waterhouses Station in September 1967
Photo by
Nick Catford

Waterhouses Station in September 1967
Photo by Nick Catford

The site of Waterhouse station looking north east in August 1978.
Photo by John Mann

The site of Waterhouses Station looking north east in June 2005
Photo by Nick Catford

Early 20th C











Click on thumbnail to enlarge

[Source:Roy Lambeth & Nick Catford]

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