BISHOP AUCKLAND WEST
SAT NAV DL14 7TL
Bishop Auckland West is the terminus station at the eastern end of the line and has a mainline connection to the national network. Access to the station is currently only accessible on foot, a short walk from the national rail station Bishop Auckland. There is limited parking at the main network rail station or alternatively at Morrisons supermarket. There are no toilet facilities at the station. See map below for the walking route between the Northern Rail Station at Bishop Auckland and the Weardale Railway Station
Bishop Auckland West is the terminal station at the eastern end of the line. There is also a connection to the national rail network via the line to Darlington. Plans have been approved to construct a short ( 150 metres ) footpath providing direct transfer between the Network Rail platform and the Weardale Railway platform. Until this new footpath is completed access to the platform is via a longer ( 350 metres ) route – shown on the map at the foot of this page.
There is limited parking at the main network rail station. This will become a pay carpark once the current restrictions are lifted. There are other supervised car parks for the adjacent Morrisons and Halfords premises
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BISHOP AUCKLAND RAIL STATIONS
First opened in 1843, when the original Stockton and Darlington railway line was extended from South Church to Crook, Bishop Auckland was to develop into an important interchange point. It was like the hub of a wheel with lines radiating to all parts of the railway network including Darlington, Crook & Weardale, Durham, Spennymoor and Barnard Castle.
It was unusual in shape, being triangular, so it was no problem if a locomotive needed turning. It was occasionally used as a diversion route by mainline express traffic to avoid engineering works between Darlington and Durham. A substantial goods yard opened in the 1870's existed towards the centre of the town. Scammel delivery trucks could often be seen scurrying around the busy streets with deliveries.
In the immediate post-war years it was possible to catch Tyneside to Blackpool summer specials via Barnard Castle and Stainmore summit. Line closures in the 1960's left the station a shadow of its former self, leaving only the line to Darlington and the line to Weardale. The latter kept open to serve a cement plant at Eastgate.
Eventually the old station buildings were to be demolished and replaced in the 1980's with a modern style chalet building. This building today also provides accommodation for a snack bar and a station ticket office and shop operated by Bishop Trains. A signal adjacent to the platform marks the point where the Weardale Railway commences.
On 22nd May 2010 a temporary platform and the line to Weardale were formally opened to passengers, with a trial daily community service commencing the following day between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope. This service ran until 2012. From 1 July 2018 heritage services began running back to the station. It is planned to reintroduce these services as soon as conditions permit. The new owners of the railway (Weardale Railways Limited – part of the Auckland Project are developing plans to introduce excursion and other special services. See here for the latest news