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Thursday, 9 April 2020

Around the Rattler on Facebook & a Bike

Many historic photos are being added to Tanfield Railway Facebook timeline photos album.   Recently, there have been several photos of the Marsden Rattler (SSM&WCR) & Harton electric locos, intermingled with the North Sunderland Railway.
An 18" RSH on a public passenger train at Westoe Lane station in the early 1950s
(TR Facebook timeline photos album)
Now, housing is on the alignment of Westoe Lane station buildings, facing onto Spohr Terrace
A token for the driver to leave Westoe Lane for ......
..... Mowbray Road Bridge token exchange, before heading down the coast to Whitburn Colliery
(Mowbray Road Bridge is at the bottom right of the lines shown below)
A section of 1900 OS map from NLS overlaid with Google Earth - Westoe Lane station bottom left
(on the NLS map site, use the slider/fader at bottom left)
The new white roofed building standing partly where once was a  triangle of lines .....
..... is Westoe Crown Primary School .....
.... where once stood the Harton electric loco shed - here with E10 & E9, which are at Tanfield
(1982 photo from opposite direction across what is now the school yard courtesy of Bob Payne)
(TR Facebook timeline photos album)
Two miles down the coast a Hunslet heads a coal train from Whitburn through Westoe to the staiths
This photo was taken in the late sixties from the Grotto Road footbridge
(TR Facebook timeline photos album)
A recent view along the coast road, with the former trolleybus turning circle on the left, square topped lime kilns & the top of Souter Lighthouse in the distance
For a photo of an ex NER class C on a coal train at the same location, see the blog post More Rattler from 11 January 2016.

The lime kilns provided the staple mineral traffic on the rattler route until coal was won at Whitburn
The National Trust owns the leas, Souter Lighthouse & foghorn
The lighthouse was once surrounded by Marsden mining village, razed as category D

There is a wealth of industrial & social history about Whitburn Colliery, Marsden Village & the Rattler published by the Marsden Banner Group, as mentioned in a blog post of 2 January 2015.


An aerial shot showing at the top: the North Sea, Marsden Village, Souter Lighthouse, limestone quarry & railway, & the bridge over the A183.   Mid left are Whitburn Village & footbridge to the canteen & pit baths (so this is post vesting day).   Whitburn Colliery & workshop complex on the right.
The north bridge abutment is still on the A183
The main colliery buildings & entrance were substantial (shown across the road down from the baths on the aerial shot).   The buffer stop is at the end of the passenger platform run round loop, alongside the A183 coast road.
The obelisks either side of the entrance are still in place ......
..... & have had mementos added
You'll need this to return on the Rattler from the Lighthouse signalbox to Mowbray Road

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