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A new website is currently under construction. Until it is ready this site will remain in place with occasional updates to the Timetables and News areas. See also our Facebook page.

The Weardale Railway Trust is a partner in the Weardale Railway Project. We are the supporting volunteer charity for the project and work with the local authority, Durham County Council, and the commercial operating company, British American Rail Services, under the umbrella company Weardale Railways CIC. Further detail can be found here.




WRT is to bid for the purchase of an additional class 121 diesel unit

To safeguard reliable services and enable expansion the Trust are seeking pledges from supporters, either as donations or loans towards the estimated 50,000 needed to purchase one of the two units currently being offered for sale by Chiltern Railways and bring it into use in Weardale.
Your contributions will only be required in the event of a successful bid.
Pledges currently total 37,500.

To pledge your donation or loan please download  this leaflet and return to:
Weardale Railway Trust, Stanhope Station
Bishop Auckland DL13 2YS



Our bid for one of Chiltern's 121 units:

 Following our appeal, we made a realistic bid for one of these railcars. We are disappointed that our bid did not succeed. There is a faint hope though. Our bid was third, so Chiltern will take it up again if one of the winning bids does not complete.

With such an amazing response to the appeal, the Trust will continue to look for a suitable vehicle to complement and to extend the existing Heritage service.


Summer services now running: Stanhope to Witton-le-Wear:
Timetables and Fares here



Would you like to see Weardale steam services return?


If so you can help by making a donation to the refurbishment costs of No 40, the Trust's steam locomotive.

The Trust owned 0-6-0 tank engine is our single largest asset. It was built in 1954 by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorne to carry passengers on the NCB system in Northumberland. Like all steam locomotives it requires boiler recertification every 10 years and the current certificate expired in 2012.

We are continuing to provide a number of incentives to encourage your contributions.  As before, some of John Lewins superb photographs will be provided, plus autographed copies of the history of the Weardale Railway booklet and also tickets to ride on the special dining trains to be introduced on the line next year.

To learn more and to make a donation download this leaflet.




The Weardale Railway, situated in County Durham, U.K. was a mothballed branch line from Bishop Auckland following the River Wear westwards to Eastgate-in-Weardale, a distance of approximately 18.7 miles (30km). (Find us)

The line was originally built by the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1847 to transport limestone to the ironwork of Teesside, and by 1895 had been extended to its final terminus of Wearhead. Although the passenger service was withdrawn in 1953 (apart from a limited summer Sunday service between 1988 and 1992), the line was retained for freight use transporting bulk cement from the Blue Circle works at Eastgate. This use also ceased in 1993, so the line was mothballed and threatened with lifting.

For more about the line's history  

Click Here

With support from Wear Valley District Council, 1993 saw the formation of The Weardale Railway Preservation Society. This was a group of supporters of the line whose aims were firstly to prevent its removal, and secondly to promote its future. This original support group is now registered charity number 1088897, The Weardale Railway Trust Ltd. This organisation helps to fund the work involved and provide the voluntary assistance, and its members receive a regular magazine to keep them informed of the project's progress.

Volunteers - Working volunteers are always in demand whether helping operations as driver, guard, crossing keeper, etc, station duties in the shop, cafe, ticket office, or behind the scenes maintaining and refurbishing rolling stock and track. All volunteers need the protection of training and the Trust's insurance, therefore it is in everyone's interest that:
All working volunteers must first become members of the Trust to benefit from the insurance cover provided
Upon receipt of the completed application form and payment new members are invited to submit their skills and time available to the Volunteer Coordinator who will put them in touch with the relevant team leader. 

The aim of creating a community project that would integrate a regular passenger service with enthusiasts' specials and freight facilities is unusually ambitious. Therefore the specialised tasks of negotiating with Network Rail, accessing national and EU grants and running scheduled services has been undertaken by Weardale Railways CIC (formerly Weardale Railways Limited).

Every heritage railway depends heavily on its volunteer workforce, some to operate passenger services, some to source, maintain and renovate the necessary infrastructure and rolling stock. In our organisation, many of these 'hands-on' workers are currently based in part of the Wolsingham site formerly owned by Weardale Steel, adjacent to the line itself. This site is being developed as The Wolsingham Railway Centre, the main depot for our operations.

Further information on each of the groups can be found under  "Partners".




Visitor Feedback
If you have visited our railway and would like to comment, good or bad, we would like to hear from you. 
Only by knowing what we do well, not so well, or not at all, can we improve the service to our customers.
Please email your Weardale experience to

If you want to be part of our future, please visit the TRUST area for more information, then print an application form and return it to Stanhope Station.

       Click for application form


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