The Border Counties Line
Basically Hexham and north through the North Tyne Valley up to Scotland.
Interest began in 1845 when the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway bid unsuccessfully to develop a branch line to
the Bellingham and Ridsdale Iron making areas.
The Border Counties Railway plan was put to Parliament on 29th November 1853. Plans showed a line from near
Hexham to Bellingham burn, near Plashetts where coal was being worked.Stations would be at
( essentially Hexham to what is now Kielder)
The line was 26 1/4 miles long.
Construction was quick and in 1856 the line was opened to Belling Burn.
However the coal from Plashetts was not good quality and its intended use in the woolern mills along the tweed
never materialised. The coal ended up for domestic use only.Severe floods in
August 1948 damaged the bridge over the Tyne at Hexham and complete restoration was judged to make no financial
The Hareshaw iron works at Bellingham was also unprofitable and it was eventually closed.
Passenger services bet5ween Hexham and Riccarton were withdrawn 15th October 1956.
Source:Rural branch lines of Northumberland by C R Warn
Steam train at Tarset station
Redesmouth ( apologies for overprint)