British Railways The First 25 Years Volume 8: North East England
This is the eighth in a series of books, depicting the first 25 years of British Railways, which will eventually cover the whole of the UK. Here we cover the North Eastern Region in North Yorkshire and County Durham between York in the south and Newcastle in the north. We start on the East Coast main line north of York and travel up to Darlington, stopping to visit the Works and shed, before continuing to Durham but stopping short of Newcastle. After exploring some of the branch and secondary routes off the main line, we move into the industrial regions, from Sunderland to Hartlepool and Teesside, visiting the new depot at Thornaby as well as the older steam sheds which provided the locomotives which worked the extensive freight traffic.
We then turn towards the seaside, starting with the line which forms the bottom edge of our route, between York and the east coast via Malton and what is now the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Finally we travel down to the North Yorkshire coast from Teeside to Whitby and end at Scarborough.
Until 1957 the scene had hardly changed from pre-war days. Freight traffic remained in the hands of the NER ‘J27’ 0-6-0s and ‘Q6’ 0-8-0s while local passenger work was dominated by ‘G5’ 0-4-4Ts and big 4-6-2Ts on the heavier services. BR Standard designs had a limited impact on some of the secondary work in the mid-1950s but the Gresley engines continued on the East Coast main line until the end of the decade. DMUs arrived in 1957, sweeping away the passenger tanks within a couple of years.
Dieselisation of main line passenger services started in around 1960 with the English Electric Type ‘4’ but 1961 was to see the introduction of the ‘Deltics’, with the Gresley Pacifics displaced by 1964 as the ‘Peaks’ and Brush Type ‘4’s took over. Steam continued on some of the heavy freight work until 1967 although BR Sulzer Type 2s and English Electric Type ‘3’s began to take over from around 1962.
Hardback, 208 pages, black & white photographs, maps
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Updated: 29 December 2021