NY9940 : The Weatherhill Incline

taken 7 years ago, near to Crawleyside, County Durham, Great Britain

The Weatherhill Incline
The Weatherhill Incline
The Backtrack website LinkExternal link includes the following information from the book Rail in the Durham Fells by Alan Earnshaw.

The Stanhope & Tyne Railway was conceived in 1831 to link Crawleyside with Waskersley. The men behind the railway included William Wallis and William Harrison (and other members of the Harrison family, including T.E. Harrison who was assistant engineer to Robert Stephenson). The railway lacked Parliamentary powers and was constructed via way-leaves. Work commenced at Stanhope in 1832, reached Carr House on 15 May 1834 and was completed on 10 September 1834. The Crawleyside incline was mostly at 1 in 8; the Weatherhill incline at 1 in 12 to 1 in 32 (the beam engine from this is preserved at the NRM); the long Meeting Slacks incline at 1 in 41 to 1 in 47. Waskersley became the centre of operations. Beyond were the self-acting Nanny Mayers incline (1222 yds at 1 in 12) and the extremely steep (up to 1 in 3) inclines to cross Hownes Gill. This caused a serious bottleneck and the line ran into financial difficulties. The company had to be wound up at a general meeting on 29 December 1840. A new company was formed, with Parliamentary powers (23 May 1842) - the Pontop and South Shields Railway - and the Stanhope & Tyne ceased to exist on 5 February 1841. The debts were to plague Robert Stephenson. The closure of the western section was a disaster to the Derwent Iron Company which bought and worked the Stanhope line from 1842.

New lines were known as the Weardale and Derwent Junction Railway. These lacked Parliamentary powers and ownership passed to the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Lines included the 1 in 13 Sunniside incline down to Crook. Deviations were constructed at Meeting Slacks in 1846/7; the Hownes Gill viaduct on 4 July 1858; and from Burnhill to Whitehall Junction on 4 July 1859. The Sunniside incline was found capable of being operated by locomotives, but the long Crook to Tow Law deviation opened in 1867. Engines were replaced at Crawleyside in 1866/7, but the Weatherhill engine was not replaced until 1919 when a marine compound engine was linked to locomotive boilers.

The Rookhope Railway was built from 1846 by the Weardale Iron Company via way leaves. From a junction with the Stanhope & Tyne at Parkhead it reached 1670 feet (the highest point on a standard gauge line in Britain. It included very steep gradients to reach the lead mines at Rookhope.
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NY9940, 36 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 17 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 18 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Uplands  Quarrying, Mining  Railways  Derelict, Disused 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NY 9943 4098 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:45.8252N 2:0.6229W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NY 99359 40740
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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