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Title:  Class Q7 locomotive, No.901, Low Fell Station, 1938

Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  1938
Reference Number:  GL003961

Item Description:  The passenger railway came to Gateshead in the 1830s with the opening of the Redheugh to Carlisle railway in 1838. Because there was not yet a railway bridge to carry trains over the River Tyne, passengers were ferried to and from Newcastle by steamer. Meanwhile, the Brandling Junction Railway Company were busy constructing a line from Gateshead to South Shields and Monkwearmouth. The line ran through the town from Redheugh, up an incline and across the centre of town by a viaduct to Oakwellgate. In1839 the Scotswood Railway Bridge was completed and Redheugh station declined in importance.

Further developments were made in1844 when the Newcastle to Darlington line opened and plans were made to link the north and south lines across the Tyne. NER gained powers to erect a station at Greenesfield, Gateshead and in 1852 built large locomotive sheds and works on the same site. They also set about building a high-level bridge over the Tyne which opened in 1849. There were many further extensions to the passenger lines providing branches throughout Gateshead. After the Second World War there was a huge decline in railway traffic and branches such as Low Fell Station closed 1952, Bensham in 1954 and Gateshead west 1965.

In addition to passenger railways many industrial sites in Gateshead also had sidings including Abbot and Co (Park Works), Redheugh Colliery, Allhusen’s Alkali Co. and Clarke Chapman’s Victoria Works.

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