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Replacement of Witton-le-Wear Crossing Gate

On Wednesday 8th March, Trust volunteers worked together with staff from Weardale Railway Limited to install a new crossing gate at Witton-le-Wear. The old west-side gate was in a poor condition with rotten timbers and despite remedial repairs to keep it operational, needed replacing completely before the line to Bishop Auckland reopens to regular passenger services later this month.


The replacement gate was constructed and primed by Grove Reed Joinery before being delivered to Wolsingham depot last year where it then received several coats of paint by volunteers. New metal work was fabricated by staff at the depot with the hinges and locking mechanisms being swapped over whilst on site. The gate as well as the traffic management required to install it safely was funded by the Weardale Railway Trust.


On the day of installation, the gate was transported to Witton-le-Wear crossing from Wolsingham on the Wickham trolley before being lifted and hung into position. New steel mesh was fitted to the gate along with the reflectorised stop boards. Replacement electric lamps were also fitted along the top of the gate. Our thanks go to the volunteers and company staff who have been involved with this project.


This project follows the replacement of the longer east-side gate which was replaced by the Trust back in April 2019. Both gates now look very smart and should provide many years of reliable service.


Photo captions:


1 - Original crossing gate before replacement - 8th March 2023 (Photo: Kevin Richardson)


2 - Dismantling the old gate - 8th March 2023 (Photo: John Askwith)


3 - Unloading the new gate - 8th March 2023 (Photo: John Askwith)


4 - Installing the new gate - 8th March 2023 (Photo: John Askwith)


5 - Testing the new gate - 8th March 2023 (Photo: John Askwith)


6 - New crossing gate fully installed - 8th March 2023 (Photo: John Askwith)


7 - New crossing gate fully installed - 8th March 2023 (Photo: Kevin Richardson)


8 - Line inspection train passing the new crossing gate - 23rd March 2023 (Photo: Tom Hatton)


9 - New crossing gate and line inspection train - 23rd March 2023 (Photo: Tom Hatton)

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