Wear Valley Junction

(Where all mileages for the Wear Valley branch railway are measured) 

Situated between Witton Park and Howden-Le-Wear on the former Bishop Auckland to Crook line, it was originally known as Witton Junction.

The design of the main station building was similar in appearance to others on the Wear valley branch line, with steeply pitched stone slabbed roofs, tall projecting chimney stacks and stone embellishments to the external walls.

The station layout was unusual in that the up and down platforms were split about the junction.

The down platform was situated to the east (Witton Park) end, and could easily serve trains for Crook and beyond, and the branch. The up platform (linked by a sub-way) could only be used directly by trains from Crook heading for Bishop Auckland. A passenger train from the branch, had to join the Bishop Auckland line and reverse into the platform. The station suffered one of the earliest closures – 8th July 1935.

Adjacent to the station was a nine-road engine shed. W. Blackett built the shed in 1876 from Bishop Auckland. It served the many mineral trains working in the area. It’s shape – a half circle was designed such that it could have been easily extended. It closed in July 1935 as part of a locomotive reorganisation plan.

A signal box stood at the junction controlling the through line between Crook and Bishop Auckland, the Branch and adjacent mineral sidings.

The first signal box on the branch proper was Witton West – a small box situated near an over bridge which controlled the west junction.

The line westward from this point would be single track until Harperley was reached – 4.5 miles beyond.

Wear Valley Junction Station.

WVJ engine shed.

WVJ signal box.


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