NEWS UPDATE, 23 APRIL 2014:
TV DRAMA AT STANHOPE STATION:

Last July Stanhope Station was transformed, briefly, into a station on the Shields Link Metro for an episode of the ITV crime drama ‘Vera’. This episode is to be shown for the first time at the start of the new series on Sunday night 27th April at 8pm on the main ITV channel.

Apparently a couple boarding the train  at Stanhope, now renamed Partlington, discover a dead body and Vera is brought in to solve the case. Appropriately Vera’s full title is  DCI Vera Stanhope.

As you can see from the accompanying photos the station was given a fairly complete makeover which included repainting, the installation of ticket barriers to control the rush hour  crowds , a refreshment kiosk, photo-booth, newsagents and numerous  platform seats.

Then , after a few days, it was all taken down, repainted yet again and Stanhope station went to sleep until the Polar Express came along in November.

Thanks to John Hargreaves for the photographs, these and others are also viewable on Dropbox at : -    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/piybw95ddahjfl9/5GQ3y6chFH

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Work underway on the platform at Stanhope                       John Hargreaves arriving with Shields Link 141
   
on 6 July  2014                                                                                                                                              

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John waiting to be served at the newly opened                         Platform 1 looks different with all the additional
   
refreshment kiosk.This and all following photos                        ‘furniture’                                                                 

   
taken on July 7.                                                                                                                                                        

 

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Platform entrance and kiosk ready for the rush hour Metro crowds.

G. C. Mudd

 

 

NEWS UPDATE, 22 APRIL 2014:

VERA:    Sunday 27 April at 8pm on ITV

 The fourth series of VERA starring Brenda Blethyn starts this coming Sunday on ITV1, 8.00 till 10.00pm.

In episode 1, Stanhope Station will be hidden in there somewhere disguised as a Metro style station on the Shields Link Railway.  

International award winning actress Brenda Blethyn reprises her leading role as the brilliantly perceptive D.C.I. Vera Stanhope for a fourth series of the popular crime drama produced by ITV Studios.
Actor, director and writer David Leon also returns to his role as Vera’s trusted sidekick, Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth, and relished the opportunity to return to his native home in the North East to film four new standalone films.

 

 

NEWS UPDATE, 13 JANUARY 2014:
THE NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR:

The Durham branch of The Western Front Association, a First World War historical society, will feature a talk by Bob Langham on "The North Eastern Railway during the First World War" next month. The talk is based on his newly published book of the same title due to be launched at Shildon Railway Museum this Saturday, 18th January. If you would like to attend, the meeting is at 7:30pm on Monday 10th February at The Tithe Barn, The Hallgarth (off Hallgarth Street), Durham City, DH1 3HU or Contact Durham WFA Chairman Alan Healey.

 

 

NEWS UPDATE, 03 DECEMBER 2013:
"WORK YOUR CHRISTMAS PUD OFF" 2013:

The annual Weardale Railway Trust "Work Your Christmas Pud Off" day will take place on Saturday 28th December 2012 between 10.00am and 3.30pm.

This is an ideal opportunity to work off a little bit of that Christmas over indulgence and also help the railway at the same time.
Prospective volunteers are encouraged to assemble at Stanhope Station for 10am for a day of friendly banter and light duties which include a general tidy up of the stations down the line. Hot broth and a bun will be available as a further enticement. 

If you could make yourself available, it would be much appreciated. If you can’t make it but know someone who could, please pass the message on. (Day membership of the Trust is available to non-members).

Trevor Horner and John Askwith will be allocating tasks on the day.


NEWS UPDATE, 18 NOVEMBER 2013:
OUR PW EXPERT TREVOR HORNER WILL GIVE A PRESENTATION on the Weardale Railway to the Permanent Way Institute on 3rd December.
Trevor, who is the Chairman of the Darlington & North East Section of the Institute explains:

"I’ve eventually been cornered/ agreed to give a talk on the Weardale Railway at a PWI meeting. The paper will be titled “Weardale Railway – Past, Present and Future”, or something akin to that. The venue will be the Railway Athletic Club in Brinkburn Road, Darlington; commencing at 18.15 for a 18.30 start. The proceedings will be over by 20.30 at latest.
Please try and come along – you may learn something and get the chance to put me on the spot with any questions.
Please feel free to pass on and/or bring along anyone else who may be interested."


NEWS UPDATE, 10 OCTOBER 2013:

WEARDALE  RAILWAY COAL FREIGHT TRAFFIC ENDS: The final train carrying coal from the Park Wall site near Crook departed from  Wolsingham at 12.30hrs on the 2nd October. These trains started in May 2011, usually running up to six times per week to the power station at Ratcliffe  near Nottingham or to the TATA Steelworks at Scunthorpe. The planning application for the Park Wall North site allowed for coal extraction for up to 44 months, however, due to quick progress, extraction operations at Park Wall finished after 40 months  and thus the  Wolsingham coal loading facility was only required for 27 months. Coal prices have dropped 13% this year, which paradoxically has meant that more coal has been used in the UK to generate electricity because at the same time gas prices have risen. This has happened even though four UK coal powered stations have closed this year due to EU carbon policy. Roughly two thirds of UK coal is imported.

A Colas owned Class 66 hauls the last coal train through the level crossing at Witton le Wear on 2nd October 2013 (D Scott)

The incoming coal empties on 1st October passes under Latherbrush Bridge at Bishop Auckland. ( D Scott)

 

 

NEWS UPDATE, 02 OCTOBER 2013:

The coal trains which have operated from Wolsingham Depot since May 2011 will cease to operate as from this week. It is understood that  the remaining coal reserves were no longer economic at today's prices - with the result the site at Park Wall near Crook will close after 27 months instead of the originally estimated 48 months.  

The last coal train will leave at 12.30 hours from Wolsingham on Wednesday October 2nd. It is headed for Ratcliffe power station near Nottingham.
Note : time may vary if the incoming train has been delayed en route.

 

NEWS UPDATE, 21 SEPTEMBER 2013:

POLAR EXPRESS ON ITS WAY : OVER 50% OF TICKETS SOLD IN FIRST WEEK:

The website for the Weardale Railway Polar Express became fully operational at the beginning of this week.  Ed Ellis, Iowa Pacific Company President and majority owner of the Weardale Railway said “It has been a truly remarkable launch.  We put the word out last Tuesday that tickets were available. We have now  (Saturday) sold 15,673 tickets, nearly half the total seats, in less than a week.  This exceeds the pace of any launch in the US.” 
Again this year the Weardale Railway and its companion railway in Devon, the Dartmoor Railway, will be the only railways to offer the Polar Express experience.  The Polar Express departs from Stanhope station for its journey to the North Pole on 32   days from November 15  to December 29, with up to three departures daily. Prices are from £20 to £35 Adult and £15 to £25 Child.

 

SCENES FROM LAST YEARS POLAR EXPRESS AT STANHOPE STATION

 

NEWS UPDATE, 15 SEPTEMBER 2013:
Ken Dawson

Published in the The Northern Echo on 14 September 13 :

DAWSON, September 6 (suddenly) of Frosterley. Ken aged 89 years, dearly loved husband of the late Janet and a dear uncle. Will be sadly missed. Will friends please meet for service in Wear Valley Crematorium, Coundon on Tuesday September 17 at 1.15pm. Family flowers only please, donations in lieu to The Weardale Railway Trust.

 

All comments, suggestions, contributions please to gcmudd@ntlworld.com


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