East Coast Mainline
The east coast mainline that we know today running from London to Edinburgh and passing straight through Aycliffe Village developed in stages.
The Great North of England Railway Company was incorporated July 4, 1836 and the Company intended to have made a through line from Newcastle to York. The Act enabled them to make the most difficult portion, that from Newcastle to Croft. However the intention of the promotors altered and they obtained an Act for the line from Darlington to York which opened in1841. The line from Newcastle to Darlington was abandoned and a separate body arose to complete the chain of communication. The line from Darlington to York opened on January 4, 1841 for the conveyance of coals and merchandise, and on March 31 for passengers.
On 18th June, 1842 a Bill for completing the railway communication between Newcastle and Darlington by a railway, to be called the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway, with a branch at Durham received Royal Assent.
The Durham branch of the Newcastle and Darlington Railway opened April 15, 1844.
On 17th December, 1845 a portion of the Newcastle and Darlington Railway at Morden Carr gave way and about 50 yards of the line disappeared altogether in marshy ground. The traffic was stopped for several days by the accident.
On 27th July, 1846 the Bill for enabling the Great North of England Railway Company to lease, and also sell their Railway to the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway Company and to raise additional money (£4,000,000) for those and other purposes, received the Royal Assent. Under this Act the name of the Newcastle and Darlington Junction Railway Company is changed to the York and Newcastle Railway.
On 31st July, 1854 various amalgamations took placed resulting in the line becoming part of the North Eastern Railway Company which embraced 720 miles of track and had capital of £23 million.
This then became part of the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923, passing on to the Eastern Region of British Railways following nationalisation in 1948. Its main line survives today as the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh and was electrified in 1990.
Aycliffe Station on the east coast main line was opened June 19, 1844. On the 3rd September 1952 British Railways sent a preliminary letter to Darlington Rural District Council informing them of the intention to close the station.
The station witnessed daily the passage of 40 to 50 through trains but at that time only two trains stopped there on week days at 7.42 am for Newcastle from Darlington and at 8.30 am to Darlington from Newcastle. The only Sunday train stopped at 8.30 am on its way from Newcastle to Darlington. For the rest of the day the platforms were virtually deserted but never quiet as they echoed to the roar of mighty expresses and the rhythmic clanking of freight trains.
The station closed 2nd March 1953.
David G Lewis