Tees Valley line

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The Tees Valley Line is a rail route, in Northern England, following part of the original Stockton and Darlington Railway route of 1825.[2] The line covers a distance of 38 miles (61 km), and connects Bishop Auckland to Saltburn via Darlington, Middlesbrough and 14 other stations in the Teesdale.

Tees Valley Line
Class158 Redcar.jpg
A Northern Rail Class 158 Super Sprinter, at Redcar Central Station departing Platform 2 with a service to Saltburn.
OwnerNetwork Rail
TerminiBishop Auckland
TypeHeavy rail
SystemNational Rail
Rolling stock
Track length38 miles (61 km)[1]
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Tees Valley line
Bishop Auckland
Stockton & Darlington Railway
to Brussleton Lane & Collieries
Shildon Tunnel
Shildon Sidings
Newton Aycliffe
North Road
Fighting Cocks
(closed 1964)
Teesside Airport Teesside International Airport
Allens West
(closed 1915)
Cargo Fleet
(closed 1990)
(1st station; closed 1885)
(3rd station; 1902-1966)
South Bank
(closed 1991)
(closed 1864)
(closed 1864)
Warrenby Halt
(closed 1978)
Redcar British Steel
(service suspended 2019)
(1st station; closed 1861)
Redcar Central
Redcar East
Saltburn West Junction

The section of line between Darlington and Bishop Auckland is branded as The Bishop Line, and is supported by the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership.[3] Beyond the line's western terminus at Bishop Auckland, the tracks continue for around 16 miles (26 km) to Stanhope along what is now the Weardale Heritage Railway.[4]


Services on the Tees Valley Line are operated by Northern Trains, with an hourly service running between Saltburn and Bishop Auckland, and half-hourly trains to Darlington.

Additional Northern Trains services operate along the Tees Valley Line during the morning peak, with some journeys between Middlesbrough and Newcastle running along the East Coast Main Line, rather than the Durham Coast Line.[5]

TransPennine Express also operate along part of the Tees Valley Line, with hourly services from Redcar Central and Middlesbrough to York, Leeds and Manchester Airport.[6]

Predominantly, rolling stock on the Tees Valley Line consists of Class 156 and Class 158 diesel multiple units operated by Northern Trains, as well Class 185 diesel multiple units operated by TransPennine Express.

The Class 156 and 158 units operating on the Tees Valley Line are currently in the process of being refurbished, with upgrades including free WiFi, power sockets, on-board passenger information displays, and an interior refresh.[7][8]

Class 185 units operated by TransPennine Express were refurbished as part of a £32 million investment, with the work being completed in 2018.[9]

Class 142 'Pacer' trains also served the line on Northern services, until the turn of the new decade, when they were withdrawn from passenger service.[10]

The route serves the following stations: Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe, Heighington, North Road (Darlington), Darlington, Dinsdale, Teesside Airport, Allens West, Eaglescliffe, Thornaby, Middlesbrough, South Bank, Redcar Central, Redcar East, Longbeck, Marske and Saltburn.


A map of the railway network of the Tees Valley, and neighbouring areas of County Durham and North Yorkshire, at its greatest extent during the early 20th century.

The section of line between Bishop Auckland and Darlington (prior to joining the East Coast Main Line), as well as the section between Dinsdale (near Middleton St. George) and Eaglescliffe, follow the original route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, which dates back to 1825.[2]

The line from Middlesbrough to Saltburn, as well as the freight only line to Boulby Mine, were part of the Whitby, Redcar & Middlesbrough Union Railway, until the line's closure on 5 May 1958.[11]

In March 2015, a 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) electrified siding was laid adjacent to the Tees Valley Line, just south of Heighington. This allows low-speed testing of the trains manufactured at the nearby Hitachi Rail plant at Newton Aycliffe, including TOPS classes 800, 801, 805, 807, 810 and 385.[12][13]

Least-used stationsEdit

Prior to the suspension of services to Redcar British Steel in 2019, the Tees Valley Line was home to two of the country's least-used rail stations.

Redcar British SteelEdit

In 2017-18, Redcar British Steel was the least-used station in Britain, with an estimated 40 passenger journeys made.

Prior to service suspension in December 2019, Redcar British Steel was served by two trains during the morning peak (07:57 to Bishop Auckland & 08:25 to Saltburn), and two during the evening peak (16:58 to Middlesbrough & 18:17 to Saltburn).

Teesside AirportEdit

In 2012-13 and 2013-14, Teesside Airport was the least-used station in the country, with just 8 passenger journeys made per year, in both periods.

As of the December 2019 timetable change, Teesside Airport is currently served by a once-weekly parliamentary service. Currently, the single Sunday service, commencing at Hartlepool, is timetabled to call at Teesside Airport at 14:54, before continuing through to Darlington.


Map this section's coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML


  1. ^ "Delivering a better railway for a better Britain: Route Specifications 2019 London North Eastern and East Midlands" (PDF). Network Rail. April 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The Stockton Railway". This is Stockton on Tees. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  3. ^ Home Bishop Line
  4. ^ "Weardale Railway trust | Stanhope | The Weardale Railway Trust". weardale-railway. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Timetables | Northern". www.northernrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Timetables | Download timetables | First TransPennine Express". www.tpexpress.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Northern launches North East's first fully refurbished train". Northern News. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Northern's refurbished trains – creating jobs and boosting the economy". Northern News. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Brighter bigger better A modern makeover for our trains". www.tpexpress.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Northern retires first Pacer train". Northern News. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway". www.gracesguide.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  12. ^ Hitachi Rail Europe's Newton Aycliffe factory connected to national rail network The Journal 25 March 2015
  13. ^ Newton Aycliffe's Hitachi train plant connected to main line BBC News 25 March 2015

External linksEdit