Bishop Auckland West 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. Work has commenced on a project to construct a short footpath (about 150 metres) providing direct transfer between the Network Rail platform and the Weardale Railway platform. This path should be operational by mid 2022. Until this new footpath is completed access to the platform is via a longer (350 metres) route – see map below.
There is limited parking at the main network rail station. Parking charges are soon to be implemented. There are other supervised car parks for the adjacent Morrisons and Halfords stores.
Postcode for sat navs: DL14 7TL
A Brief History of Bishop Auckland 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 1870s, 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 1960s left the station a shadow of its former self, leaving only the line to Darlington and the line to Weardale. The latter was kept open to serve a cement plant at Eastgate.
Eventually the old station buildings were to be demolished and replaced in the 1980s 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 (Shildon 36) 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 1st 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 Railway Limited (part of The Auckland Project), are developing plans to introduce excursion and other special services.