Northumberland Tales header 800 px

 

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

Wall
Humshaugh
Chollerton
Barrasford
Wark
Redesmouth
Bellingham
Tarset
Thorneyburn
and Falstone
( 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.
The Hareshaw iron works at Bellingham was also unprofitable and it was eventually closed.

Severe floods in August 1948 damaged the bridge over the Tyne at Hexham and complete restoration was judged to make no financial sense.

Passenger services bet5ween Hexham and Riccarton were withdrawn 15th October 1956.

Source:Rural branch lines of Northumberland by C R Warn

border counties line

 

border counties line closure

 Steam train at Tarset station

tarset station