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Aycliffe Station

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

Hitachi Rail Europe

After many months of campaigning the decision to bring the Hitachi rail project to Aycliffe was announced on the 25 July 2012 by the Government’s Transport Minister, Justine Greening and Chiaki Ueda, Chairman of Hitachi Rail Europe.


The site is close to the A1 motorway and has good links to the sea at Tees-port and is adjacent to the original Stockton & Darlington railway line where the world’s first passenger train started out from on 27 September 1825.


The factory to be built at Merchant Park, owned by Merchant Park Development, will take up 32 acres of the 70 acre site. Prior to construction an archaeological excavation was undertaken by Wardell Armstrong LLP and evidence of Iron Age roundhouses were found. We hope to publish a copy of their report on the Archaeology part of our website.  Members of the History Society had the opportunity of a site visit on the 23 August 2013.


Shepherd Construction was awarded the main contract for the construction of the Hitachi Rail Europe manufacturing facility.  Work started on 2 December 2013 and by March 2014 the foundations of the 42700 square metre factory was being laid. Local firm Finley Structures were given the task of constructing the steel frame.  The factory which will include a research and development centre was expected to take 20 months to complete. By October 2014 the exterior of the £82m plant, which will make trains for the East Coast and Great Western Lines, was complete and work has started on fitting it out for production which is expected to start in early 2016.


A topping-out ceremony was held on the 30 October 2014 when it was announced that Hitachi Rail Europe UK design office would be on the site.


David G Lewis

 

Aycliffe Station

Aycliffe Station

courtesy Mrs Flower

Heighington Station

Heighington Station in the early 1950s. On the left is the Station Master, Mr Horner, and next to him Mr W. Robinson.

View of Aycliffe from the railway

View of Aycliffe from the railway

Heighington Station

Heighington Station in the early 1950s

Station Terrace

Station Terrace

The Robinson Family at  Railway Cottages

Railway Cottages near Heighington Station. Mr & Mrs Brown, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Lester, Trevor and Melvin Robinson

Aycliffe Station

Aycliffe Station, April 3, 1949

 

Aycliffe Station, 1965

Aycliffe Station 1965

 

Aycliffe Station

Aycliffe Station

 

Aycliffe Station, courtesy of Miles Snowdon

Aycliffe Station, courtesy of Miles Snowden

Aycliffe Station, courtesy of Miles Snowdon

Aycliffe Station, courtesy of Miles Snowden