Collieries and other industrial sites served by the Bishop Auckland - Crook railway line.


[Source: Roy Lambeth]

Sites run from south (Bishop Auckland) to north (Crook)

Henry Stobart & Co. Ltd - Etherley Colliery
George Pit (NZ185301) was served by sidings north of the main line half a mile east of Etherley Station, latterly known as Old Etherley Colliery (rather than Pit) and was closed in 1917 (site now used by Escomb Sports Ground.

Jane Pit (NZ171304) was worked by the same company and served by sidings west of the main line 1/4 mile north of Etherley Station. Closed before 1900

Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. Ltd - Witton Park Ironworks (NZ174306)
Opened February 1846 closed 1882 served by sidings east of the main line just north of Etherley Station. In the 1890s the site was opened by Auckland Rural Council to produce various types of road material from the dumped ironworks waste. Closure date not known but was still open in 1906.

The works was later re-opened by The Witton Park Slag Co. Ltd. who processed the dumped slag
from Witton Park Ironworks. It appeared to have closed again about 1931. The site was re-opened by the British Railways Board in the 1950s as Etherley Tip, Witton Park (NZ174304) for waste ballast and was disused by the late 1980's

North Bitchburn Coal Co. Ltd - North Bitchburn Colliery & brickworks, near Howden-le-Wear (NZ166324) opened in 1845, served by a long siding east of the main line with connections at the south of Beechburn station and at Wear Valley Junction just south of the signal box

The company was taken over by North Bitchburn Fireclay Co. on 5th May 1934 (the brick making
subsidiary of Pease & Partners). The colliery became a licensed mine at the formation of The NCB and closed in 1966 when the sidings were abandoned and the brickworks continued with a rail connection

Strakers & Love - Beechburn Colliery (Also known as Bitchburn Colliery) near Crook
Served by sidings east of main line about 1/2 mile north of Beechburn Station opened before 1860 closed after 1945

Just north of Beechburn Colliery a tramway left the west of the main line west to Woodifield Colliery ( NZ159351). Opened around 1843 and closed 1944. 1890's - Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Ltd. 1910's - Woodifield Coal Co. Ltd & 1930's - Steels House Colliery Co. Ltd.

200 yards north of Beechburn Colliery was Low Beechburn Colliery (also known as Low Bitchburn Colliery but sunk in 1850 as Thistleflat Colliery) (NZ162347) closed 1937 and served by sidings east of the main line

A few yards to the north of the Low Beechburn Colliery sidings connection another siding connection to the west of the main line gave access to Cold Knott Fire Brick Works and on the east side of the line a siding connection to Crook Colliery closed by 1923

Opposite Crook Passenger station were the sidings and main access to the huge Bank Foot site of coke ovens, fireclay works, chemical plant and the Pease's West Colliery




[Source: Roy Lambeth]

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