Monday, 31 August 2015

Tyne Valley Line

I decided to spend an afternoon exploring the beautiful Tyne Valley Line between Newcastle and Hexham.

First stop was Wylam, which sports a distinctive NER red signal box that straddles the railway line. The box, constructed of wood, brick and cast iron, was completed in 1835. It was granted grade II listed building status in 1985. Wylam signal box is manned full time and handles approximately 80 trains per day, mostly Northern Rail stopping services between Newcastle and Carlisle.

Only a stone's throw from Wylam station is the local pub, The Boathouse. Famed for its wide selection of cask ales, the pub was very conveniently placed for a quick between-train pint of Wylam Brewery's Red Kite. At only £2 a pint I had to have a couple to get the taste and wash down the delicious coronation chicken sandwich I also bought at the bar.

Back to the task at hand and I managed to photograph a couple of Northern Rail Class 142 Pacers passing under the signal box and footbridge. Later in the day, after nipping to Hexham for a couple of hours, I returned to Wylam in time to catch the daily Carlisle North Yard to Tyne Yard engineering train (634I), which was unexpectedly travelling as a light loco.

At Hexham I took a few snaps around the station, which is very well maintained just like the rest of the town. Again, there wasn't much in the way of variety, with Northern Rail Pacers dominating the timetable.

Signalling along the Tyne Valley Line is a mixture of two- and three-aspect colour light signals and semaphore signals. A few quaint old rotating disc shunt signals remain in the lesser used sidings along the route. As signal HE10, a semaphore home signal, was only a few yards away I took a few snaps of that.

Back to Newcastle in time for the early evening and I managed to catch a Virgin Super Voyager (1M00) mid screen-wash as it approached platform 4. A few moments later the daily North Blyth to Tyne Yard coal train passed through platform 4 with a full rake of HKAs.

All photos were taken on 28th August 2015:

Northern Rail 142071 (2N26) at Wylam, 28 Aug 2015.

Northern Rail 142021 (2N29) at Wylam, 28 Aug 2015.

Northern Rail 142096 (2N28) at Wylam, 28 Aug 2015.

Wylam Level Crossing and Signal Box, 28 Aug 2015.

Northern Rail 142090 (2N36) at Hexham, 28 Aug 2015.

Semaphore Signal HE10 Alternative Angle, 28 Aug 2015.

Platform 2 Hexham Station, 28 Aug 2015.

Northern Rail 142017 (2N31) Passes Hexham Signal Box, 28 Aug 2015.

Hexham Station Looking Eastwards, 28 Aug 2015.

DBS 66106 (634I) at Wylam, 28 Aug 2015.

CrossCountry Super Voyager 221134 (1M00) at Newcastle, 28 Aug 2015.

DBS 66158 (604J) at Newcastle, 28 Aug 2015.

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