Hedleyhope - John Anderson

 
A search made for a suitable location in which to create a credible fictitious subject showed that the Dearness Valley Railway, or the Waterhouses Branch as it was sometimes known, appeared to be in an area sufficiently populated to justify upgrading the mineral-only upper section of the line serving East Hedleyhope Colliery by giving it a passenger service. This was achieved by extending the existing line a few hundred yards westwards to open ground beyond the adjacent village of East Hedleyhope. The site selected for the extension station and goods yard is a small field and a piece of woodland adjacent to the river behind the Dearness Valley Hotel, which conveniently limits the size of the station and goods yard.

 
Hedleyhope station has facilities for handling general merchandise via a covered goods shed and a fixed 5-ton crane. There is an end-loading facility for agricultural machinery and similar deliveries, and a siding for the bulk loading of potatoes and sugar beet. The end of this siding accommodates a camping coach during the summer season. The usual NER coal drops and depot are provided together with NER hurdle type pens for a moderate amount of cattle. Locomotive servicing facilities are provided and consist of a single road engine shed which boasts a 52'-0" long turntable, a water column and a coaling stage. The shed houses the branch locomotive which is required to reside there overnight to run the early morning passenger train.

 
There are six passenger train return trips to Durham on weekdays including Saturdays, but none on Sundays. However there are frequent Sunday excursions to a variety of places, and Saturday trains are supplemented by football specials run to suit the fixture lists. The service passenger trains are timed such that one set of coaches dedicated to the branch suffices. There are two pick-up goods trains each weekday which shunt the yard as the day-to-day traffic requires. The cramped site of the station and yard means some unusual operating procedures are required. The unusual track layout leads to much manoeuvering to service the coal drops and the cattle dock. As the station run-round loop can accommodate only four standard coaches it means that trains longer than this have to be split to carry out the run-round procedure. which makes for interesting viewing. Similarly the maximum goods train length that can be handled is limited to twelve short-wheel base wagons and a brake-van.

 

Model railway layout - Hedleyhope Model railway layout - Hedleyhope
Model railway layout - Hedleyhope Model railway layout - Hedleyhope
Model railway layout - Hedleyhope Model railway layout - Hedleyhope

 
Return to 1883 Challenge index