Town station’s 175 year history revealed

Michael O’Neill, the Chairman of the Auckland Group, reported on an excellent and well attended evening at the Four Clocks Centre, on Tuesday 4th April, in celebration of the 175th anniversary of Bishop Auckland and the Railways, including a suitably celebratory birthday cake!

The town joined the regions railway network on the 19th April 1842, with the opening of the line from Shildon Tunnel to Crook, via Bishop Auckland.

It was also revealed on the evening that the Bishop Auckland and Weardale Railway Bill, which sanctioned the construction of the Tunnel and the line to Crook, had been given Royal Assent in July 1837.

Interestingly this consent formed part of the first Parliamentary Act to receive Queen Victoria’s signature, having ascended to the throne only a few weeks earlier.

The highlight of the evening was an excellent presentation, by John Askwith, the archivist and magazine editor of the Weardale Trust.

John was able to cover the history of the town’s station, the goods yard and much of the local railway network, from the early 1840s to the present time, supported by some excellent photographs and illustrations.

John was also able to outline the work of the Weardale Railway and Trust, who have now commenced the running of their 2017 schedule.

Building on the success of the event, it is the intention of the Auckland Railways Group to hold a number of similar events later in the year, in support of the permanent exhibition at the Four Clocks Centre and ongoing work on local rail heritage.

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