Saturday, 31 December 2011

Steam and Stroll

The first two days of 2012 will be seen in with our 'Steam and Stroll' train travel and trek event.   There will be a longer morning and a shorter afternoon walk.   See  Events on the main TR web  for details.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas Past 6

These photos from Stu Armstrong will be the last of the Christmas / North Pole Express for a while.   They are especially for people who missed or have forgotten the heavy snow of 2010.

Thanks again to all the photographers who have supplied their shots for the blog over the last few days, which I hope everyone has enjoyed.   Normal blog photos of everyday work should resume soon.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas Past 5

Pics of the 2011 North Pole Express season from Dave Hewitt, who retains copyright.   See  for more of Dave's work, and the Photography links at the bottom of the right hand column of this blog.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Past 4

Some shots from this year's North Pole Expresses by Stu Armstrong, who retains copyright:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Happy Birthday David

Surprise party for birthday boy David at the Causey Arch Inn

Christmas Past 3

Another selection of Carl Chambers' shots.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day

Birthday boy David with Alan on No.6
(photo courtesy of Neville Whaler)

Christmas Past 2

These photos are the work of Carl Chambers (who retains copyright), taken during the weekend of 17/18 December.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Past 1

The following are a selection of photos taken at last weekend's carol service by Bryan Attewell, who retains copyright.   See  for more of Bryan's work.   For other photographers, see the Photography links at the bottom of the right hand column of this blog.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

North Pole Express Day 10

David Allinson removing 49's ashpan
(photo courtesy of Richard)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Today's Work

Brian and Ronnie get to grips with
the hydraulics on the dumper

Tanfield People in Monochrome 3

All photographs courtesy of Carl Chambers, who retains copyright.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

So we are in the black and white mode

Last Friday's image of Alan tending the lamps - timeless

Wednesdays Work

Tuesdays Work

As seen from the shot above, we've been
busy making another 12 30ft panels

Monday's Workshop

Typical Monday - the lads are busy with the vacuum ejector

Tanfield People in Monochrome 2

All photographs courtesy of Carl Chambers, who retains copyright.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Tanfield People in Monochrome 1

All photographs courtesy of Carl Chambers, who retains copyright.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Points of Interest

Photography Sites

I've started to add a list of photographers' relevant web sites in a section at the bottom of the right hand panel of the blog.   If you know of others, please let me know via  

Note that photographers' work is copyright - please see details on their webs and contact them for further information

Christmas Top of the Spots!

I notice that Tanfield Railway is now Trip Advisor's no. 1 place to visit in Gateshead.    See

Sunday, 18 December 2011

North Pole Express Day 8

All photographs today courtesy of Neville Whaler

In the morning ......
Chris assisting Mark, fireman on No.6 today

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

General Work

Ronnie and Brian progress the dumper

Links of Interest

Links of Interest  (in the panels to the right, lower down on this blog) point to web sites which seem to have stong connections with our own history, ethos and area.   I've just added the Lambton Locomotive Trust which has an abundance of really interesting information and photographs.

If you know of similar sites, please email details to  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Trackwork Again

More progress today on the short replacement section south of Terrace Junction.
Lowering ballast to match heights of old and new sections

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Trackwork Continued

We continued with the same job as yesterday by changing the temporary 30' 90lb/yard bullhead rails with 60' 95 lb/yard rails.   The shots reflect today's changeable weather plus a bit of teamwork.   At the end of the day, we still have to align, pack and reconnect to the main, ready for the passing of empty stock for the North Pole Express.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Popularity of TR

Due to an increase to a total of six reviews, all very positive, Tanfield Railway is now Trip Advisor's no. 2 place to visit in Gateshead, behind only the Sage.    See


We are replacing the section of 90 lb/yard bullhead on wooden sleepers with 95 lb/yard bullhead on concrete sleepers between Marley Hill junction and Andrews House.
The engineer's train heads out on a bright cold day

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Ghostly Images

Here's a shot for the historians and modellers
 - Bowes Terrace foundations!

North Pole Express Day 6

All photos on this page courtesy of Neville Whaler.
Twizell and Tom at the North Pole today

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Friday, 9 December 2011

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Brian and Ronnie lower the engine into the dumper

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Inside Work

Geoff panelling a wall for displays in the carriage shed

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Another Cold Day

Graham, Les and Malcolm assembling a track panel

Monday, 5 December 2011

A Cold Day

Malcolm, Malcolm, Phil and Malcolm assembling
another 30' panel of 90 lb/yard rail on CS1 sleepers
(Vic tidying up in the background)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

North Pole Express Day 4

Today is 4 of 10 with expresses from East Tanfield to the North Pole taking children (and bigger people) to see Santa in his grotto.   All trains are fully booked up to Christmas Eve, with about 400 children per day seeing Santa.

All photos on this page by Neville Whaler.

Richard, Tom and James on No.6 wait .....

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Friday, 2 December 2011


Twizell and No.6 drawn out of the shed to be lit and
coaled up ready for North Pole Express duty tomorrow

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Mainly Engineering

Peter enjoying his work at Andrews House - and
visited today by the previous encumbent, Ron Dodd

TR Blog

To all our readers

This TR blog has existed for 5 months and has reached a minor milestone - 4000 page views per month.   I'm unsure how this "Google measure" compares with a common hit counter, but it has been steadily increasing.   Thanks to everyone for showing interest, and I hope you feel more informed.

Ian and a few others have provided some material, but I'd like variety about people at the railway - if you have any news, stories, photos, videos, etc, please email

I prefer unposed shots showing people which consider privacy, safety, security and image.   If a photo shows a member of the public, they must waive their publication rights if it focuses on them or shows detail.   For our folk, show them in a positive light doing normal things - and respect their wishes if they don't want to be featured.

Currently, there are two authors of this blog, and people can't make responses to posts.   If you have any comments or complaints, please email


Wednesday, 30 November 2011


We plan to replace some bullhead sections of the mainline currently on wooden sleepers with bullhead on concrete sleepers (CS1s).   This will ease maintenance in areas where it is difficult to replace individual sleepers, interface well with adjacent sections, utilise materials from stock, maintain the axle loading, and give a better 'heritage' appearance than modern heavy flat bottom rail on F27 (or similar) sleepers.

Ian bringing in temporary 30' lengths of 90lb bullhead rail

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Working Week Continues

On East Tanfield curve, Ken and Bill fix replacement
sleepers while Vic tidies the side of the formation

Monday, 28 November 2011

Another Week Begins

In the workshop: Alec, Dave, hi-vis Walter, Jim and Ian discuss work for the day, then get down to this.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Happy Birthday Malcolm

Pink feather boa on No.6

David and Steve pose with their pink feather boas,
as part of the Guiness book of Records attempt
on The World Wide Scavenger Hunt

North Pole Express Day 2

Neville is signalman today
(photo courtesy of Carl Chambers)

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Friday, 25 November 2011

North Pole Express Preparations

New helper Donna is seen posing on Saturday's locomotive,
Twizell, which will be hauling trains to the North Pole

The North Pole Awaits

Tomorrow sees the start of 5 weekends of North Pole Expresses.   Trains on Saturday 26 Nov will be hauled by Twizell, first train at 11.20 and last at 2pm from East Tanfield, heading for the North Pole where Santa will greet everyone in his grotto.   (There are additonal set up and set down trains outside of these times, and No.6 will be on standby.)   All trains in December are fully booked - there are a few seats available on 26 & 27 Nov.
Colin and Matthew with xmas tree at the North Pole
(photo courtesy David W)

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Rubbish in, rubbish out, in preparation for catering disposal
and firing the North Pole Expresses which start this weekend