Open main menu

The Tees Valley line is a name for the railway route between Bishop Auckland and Saltburn via Darlington, Middlesbrough and Redcar. Also operated on the line are services from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn via Darlington (using the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and Darlington). The line between Darlington and Bishop Auckland has been re-branded The Bishop Line and is supported by the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership.[1]

Tees Valley line
Longbeck railway station MMB 02 142021.jpg
Northern Rail Pacer DMU 142021 approaches Longbeck railway station with a service to Darlington. July 2011.
SystemNational Rail
LocaleCounty Durham
North Yorkshire
North East England
OwnerNetwork Rail
TransPennine Express
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Tees Valley Line
Bishop Auckland
Brusselton Lane
& freight lines
Newton Aycliffe
Darlington & Tebay Branch
to Barnard Castle
North Road
Teesside Airport Durham Tees Valley Airport
Allens West
Tees Rail Bridge
over River Tees
Tees Marshalling Yard
Cargo Fleet
Cleveland Railway
(later Normanby Branch)
South Bank
Freight lines to
Lackenby, Teesport and Wilton
Redcar British Steel
Redcar Central
Redcar East
Saltburn West Junction
Whitby-Loftus freight line
to Boulby Mine

Beyond Bishop Auckland, the railway line continues as the re-opened heritage Weardale Railway. A regular freight service operated on weekdays moving coal from Wolsingham to Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station and Scunthorpe Steelworks, ceasing in 2013.[2]


All trains along the route are currently operated by Northern with Class 142 Pacers and occasionally Class 156 SuperSprinters.[3] TransPennine Express operate fifteen services per day in each direction from Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough via the line.[4]

Between Darlington and Middlesbrough/Saltburn there is a service running almost every half-hour during the daytime, becoming roughly hourly in the evenings. The service to Bishop Auckland is more sparse, running hourly at peak times and two hourly off peak. A once weekly parliamentary service in each direction stops at Teesside Airport.[3] The new Northern Rail franchise operator Northern has announced its intention to increase the service to Bishop Auckland to hourly (15 each way weekdays and 12 each way on Sundays) once the new franchise agreement came into force on 1 April 2016.[5] The unpopular Pacer units are also to be withdrawn once new rolling stock is delivered in 2018, though the Tees Valley line will more likely see refurbished Sprinter units than the brand new units being built for Northern.[6]

The towns and villages served by the line are listed below.

The Bishop Line between Bishop Auckland and Darlington is designated as a community rail route and has its own community rail partnership (CRP).[7]


The section of line between Bishop Auckland and the East Coast Main Line, as well as the section between Dinsdale Station near Middleton St George and Eaglescliffe station, follow the original route of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.[8]

The line from Middlesbrough to Saltburn, as well as the freight line to Boulby mine, were part of the Whitby Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway (WRMU). This extended to Whitby, until it was closed on 5 May 1958.[9]

In March 2015, a one kilometre section of electrified track was laid to the west of the line, south of Heighington to allow low speed testing of the Class 800/801s being built at Hitachi Newton Aycliffe.[10][11]


  1. ^ Home Bishop Line
  2. ^ Shannon, Paul (February 2014). "Railways Illustrated". Freight Review 2013 (132). Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Bishop Auckland-Saltburn timetable Northern Rail
  4. ^ North East to Manchester Airport & Liverpool timetable First Transpennine Express
  5. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT
  6. ^ Arnold, Stuart (20 February 2018). "Hate travelling on Pacer trains? Well 'wrong routes' mean you won't be getting new replacements". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  7. ^ "ACORP Summary map" (PDF). Association of Community Rail Partnerships. 28 July 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "The Stockton Railway". This is Stockton on Tees. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  10. ^ Hitachi Rail Europe's Newton Aycliffe factory connected to national rail network The Journal 25 March 2015
  11. ^ Newton Aycliffe's Hitachi train plant connected to main line BBC News 25 March 2015

External linksEdit