A map of the North Eastern Railway circa. 1900 displayed at York railway station
|Locale||North East England, Yorkshire|
|Dates of operation||1854–31 December 1922|
|Predecessor|| York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway |
York and North Midland Railway
Leeds Northern Railway
Malton and Driffield Railway
|Successor||London and North Eastern Railway|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Length||1,757 miles (2,828 km) in 1922|
The North Eastern Railway (NER) was an English railway company. It was incorporated in 1854 by the combination of several existing railway companies. Later, it was amalgamated with other railways to form the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923. Its main line survives to the present day as part of the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh.
Unlike many other pre-Grouping companies the NER had a relatively compact territory, in which it had a near monopoly. That district extended through Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland, with outposts in Westmorland and Cumberland. The only company penetrating its territory was the Hull & Barnsley, which it absorbed shortly before the main grouping. The NER's main line formed the middle link on the Anglo-Scottish "East Coast Main Line" between London and Edinburgh, joining the Great Northern Railway near Doncaster and the North British Railway at Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Although primarily a Northern English railway, the NER had a short length of line in Scotland, in Roxburghshire, with stations at Carham and Sprouston on the Tweedmouth-Kelso route (making it the only English railway with sole ownership of any line in Scotland), and was a joint owner of the Forth railway bridge and its approach lines. The NER was the only English railway to run trains regularly into Scotland, over the Berwick-Edinburgh main line as well as on the Tweedmouth-Kelso branch.[ citation needed ]
The total length of line owned was 4,990 miles (8,030 km) and the company's share capital was £82 million. The headquarters were at York and the works at Darlington, Gateshead, York and elsewhere.
Befitting the successor to the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the NER had a reputation for innovation. It was a pioneer in architectural and design matters and in electrification. In its final days it also began the collection that became the Railway Museum at York, now the National Railway Museum.
In 1913 the company achieved a total revenue of £11,315,130 (equivalent to £1,121,600,000in 2019) with working expenses of £7,220,784 (equivalent to £715,760,000in 2019).
During the First World War, The NER lost a total of 1,908 men.They also raised two 'Pals Battalions', the 17th (N.E.R. Pioneer) Battalion and 32nd (N.E.R. Reserve) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. This was the first time that a battalion had been raised from one Company. The company also sent two tug boats, NER No.3. and Stranton The latter became HM Tug Char and was lost at sea on 16 January 1915 with the loss of all hands.
Constituent companies of the NER are listed in chronological order under the year of amalgamation.
Their constituent companies are indented under the parent company with the year of amalgamation in parenthesis.
If a company changed its name (usually after amalgamation or extension), the earlier names and dates are listed after the later name.
The information for this section is largely drawn from Appendix E (pp 778–779) in Tomlinson.
Having inherited the country's first ever great barrel-vault roofed station, Newcastle Central, from its constituent the York Newcastle & Berwick railway, the NER during the next half century built a finer set of grand principal stations than any other British railway company, with examples at Alnwick, Tynemouth, Gateshead East, Sunderland, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington Bank Top, York and Hull Paragon; the rebuilding and enlargement of the last-named resulting in the last of the type in the country. The four largest, at Newcastle, Darlington, York and Hull survive in transport use. Alnwick is still extant but in non-transport use since 1991 as a second-hand book warehouse,the others having been demolished during the 1950s/60s state-owned railway era, two (Sunderland and Middlesbrough) following Second World War bomb damage.
Other principal stations were located at Sunderland, Darlington and Hull. The station at Leeds was a joint undertaking with the London and North Western Railway.
The NER was the first railway company in the world to appoint a full-time salaried architect to work with its chief engineer in constructing railway facilities. Some of the men appointed were based in, or active in, Darlington.
Professional design was carried through to small fixtures and fittings, such as platform seating, for which the NER adopted distinctive 'coiled snake' bench-ends. Cast-iron footbridges were also produced to a distinctive design. The NER's legacy continued to influence the systematic approach to design adopted by the grouped LNER.
A director of the NER from 1864, and deputy chairman from 1895 until his death in 1904, was ironmaster and industrial chemist Sir Lowthian Bell.His son Sir Hugh Bell was also a director; he had a private platform on the line between Middlesbrough and Redcar at the bottom of the garden of his house Red Barns. Gertrude Bell's biographer, Georgina Howell, recounts a story about the Bells and the NER:
As the heirs of the director of the North Eastern Railway, the Hugh Bells were transport royalty. At Middlesbrough the stationmaster doffed his hat to them and ushered them onto the train at Redcar. Many years later, Florence's daughter Lady Richmond was to remember an occasion when she was seeing her father off from King's Cross, and he had remained on the platform so that they could talk until the train left. The packed train failed to leave on time. Remarking on its lateness, they continued to talk until they were approached by a guard. 'If you would like to finish your conversation, Sir Hugh', he suggested, doffing his hat, 'we will then be ready to depart'.
Among the other famous directors of the NER were George Leeman (director 1854–82, Chairman 1874–80); Henry Pease (director 1861–1881); Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, Bart. (director 1863–1902, Chairman 1895–1902); John Dent Dent (director 1879–94, Chairman 1880–94); Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley (director 1881–1904, Chairman 1902–04); Sir Edward Grey, Bart (director 1885–1911, Chairman 1904–05); George Gibb (solicitor 1882–1891, general manager 1891–1906, director 1906–1910); and Henry Tennant (director 1891–1910).
The NER was one of the first main line rail companies in Britain to adopt electric traction, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway having opened its first electrified line between Liverpool and Southport one week earlier.
The Tyneside scheme commenced public operation on 29 March 1904. The scheme was known as Tyneside Electrics and totalled about 30 miles:
The latter was electrically operated from June 1905 and was a 3/4 mile freight-only line from Trafalgar Yard, Manors to Newcastle Quayside Yard.
Further extensions taking the electrification to South Shields were carried out in March 1938 by the London and North Eastern Railway
The lines were originally electrified at 600 V DC using the 3rd rail system, although after 1934 the operating voltage was raised to 630 V DC. On the Newcastle Quayside Branch overhead line of tramway type was used for upper and lower yards with 3rd rail in the interconnecting tunnels between the yards.
The Newport-Shildon line was electrified on the 1,500 V DC overhead system between 1914 and 1916 and the locomotives which later became British Rail Class EF1 were used on this section.
The NER carried a larger tonnage of mineral and coal traffic than any other principal railway.
The NER was a partner (with the North British and the Great Northern Railway) in the East Coast Joint Stock operation from 1860.
The company owned the following docks:
The NER also owned coal-shipping staithes at Blyth and Dunston-on-Tyne. Its steamboats ran between Hull and Antwerp and other places on the Continent.
A comprehensive list of NER locomotives: Locomotives of the North Eastern Railway.
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The NER originally operated with short four and six wheeled coaches with a fixed wheelbase. From these were developed the standard 32-foot (9.8 m) six-wheeled, low elliptical roofed coaches which were built in their thousands around the 1880s. One variety alone, the diagram 15, five compartment, full 3rd class, numbered around a thousand. The NER started building bogie stock for general service use in 1894, 52-foot (16 m) clerestories for general use with a 45-foot (14 m) variation built for use on the tightly curved line from Malton to Whitby. There were also a series of 49-foot (15 m) low ark roofed bogie coaches (with birdcage brakes) for use on the coast line north of Scarborough. Coach manufacture moved to high arched roof vehicles but with substantially the same body design in the early 1900s.
The NER had limited need for vestibuled coaches but from 1900 built a series of vestibuled, corridor coaches with British Standard gangways, for their longer distance services. The company introduced clerestory corridor dining trains on services between London and Edinburgh. The initial trial was run between York and Newcastle in 1 hour 30 minutes on 30 July 1900. 499.5 feet (152.2 m) long (excluding the engine), and had seating for 50 first-class and 211 third-class passengers. At the same time they built (in conjunction with their partners) similar coaches for the East Coast Joint Stock (GNR/NER/NBR) and the Great Northern and North Eastern Joint Stock.The new train consisted of eight coaches and was
All NER coach building was concentrated at their York Carriage Works, which went on to be the main LNER carriage works after grouping.
With the introduction of the standard 32-foot (9.8 m) 6-wheeled coaches NER carriage livery was standardised as 'deep crimson' (a deeper colour with more blue in it than that used by the Midland Railway), lined with cream edged on both sides with a thin vermillion line. For a time the cream was replaced with gold leaf. Lettering ('N.E.R.' or when there was sufficient space 'North Eastern Railway' in full, together with 'First', 'Third' and 'Luggage Compt.' on the appropriate door) and numbering; was in strongly serifed characters, blocked and shaded to give a 3D effect.
The NER's bogie coach building programme was such that, almost unique amongst pre-grouping railways, they had sufficient bogie coaches to cover normal service trains; six wheel coaches were reserved for strengthening and excursion trains.
The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) was the second largest of the "Big Four" railway companies created by the Railways Act 1921 in Britain. It operated from 1 January 1923 until nationalisation on 1 January 1948. At that time, it was divided into the new British Railways' Eastern Region, North Eastern Region, and partially the Scottish Region.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a railway company that operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863. The world's first public railway to use steam locomotives, its first line connected collieries near Shildon with Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, and was officially opened on 27 September 1825. The movement of coal to ships rapidly became a lucrative business, and the line was soon extended to a new port at Middlesbrough. While coal waggons were hauled by steam locomotives from the start, passengers were carried in coaches drawn by horses until carriages hauled by steam locomotives were introduced in 1833.
Newcastle railway station is a major station in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is located on the East Coast Main Line, around 268 miles (432 km) north of London King's Cross.
The Durham Coast Line is an approximately 39.5 miles (63.6 km) railway line running between Newcastle and Middlesbrough in North East England. Heavy rail passenger services, predominantly operated Northern Trains, and some freight services operate over the whole length of the line; it provides an important diversionary route at times when the East Coast Main Line is closed. Light rail services of the Tyne and Wear Metro's Green Line also operate over the same tracks between a junction just south of Sunderland station and Pelaw Junction.
Darlington railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in the United Kingdom, serving the town of Darlington, County Durham. It is 232 miles 50 chains (374.37 km) north of London King's Cross and on the main line it is situated between Northallerton to the south and Durham to the north. Its three-letter station code is DAR.
The North Eastern Railway (NER) Class P3, classified J27 by the LNER, is a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotive. The P3 Class was designed by Wilson Worsdell and was a relatively minor modification of the existing North Eastern Railway NER Class P2. The most significant change was a deeper firebox with shallower sloping fire grate. This was achieved by raising the boiler slightly, and by reducing the clearance between the firebox and the rear axle. The P3 Class were a freight engine by nature and used for hauling long trains of freight.
Billingham railway station serves the town of Billingham, within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. The railway station is located on the Durham Coast Line 10 miles (16 km) north of Middlesbrough and is operated by Northern Trains who provide all of the station's passenger services.
The South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway (SD&LUR) built a railway line linking the Stockton & Darlington Railway near Bishop Auckland with the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway at Tebay, via Barnard Castle, Stainmore Summit and Kirkby Stephen. The line opened in 1861 and became known as the Stainmore Line.
The York and North Midland Railway (Y&NMR) was an English railway company that opened in 1839 connecting York with the Leeds and Selby Railway, and in 1840 extended this line to meet the North Midland Railway at Normanton near Leeds. Its first chairman was the railway financier George Hudson, who had been called the railway king.
The North Eastern Region was a region of British Railways from 1948, whose operating area could be identified by the orange signs and colour schemes that adorned its stations and other railway buildings. It was merged with the Eastern Region in 1967. It was the near direct post-nationalisation descendant of the North Eastern Railway, that had merged with some other companies to form the LNER in 1923.
The NER 901 Class was a class of 2-4-0 steam locomotive of the North Eastern Railway, designed by Edward Fletcher. Between 1872 and 1882 55 of the class were built for the NER.
The Scotswood, Newburn and Wylam Railway was a railway company that built the 6 1⁄2 miles (10.5 km) North Wylam branch or North Wylam loop on the former Newcastle & Carlisle Railway. The loop line opened between 1871 and 1876 and followed the former Wylam waggonway past the cottage where George Stephenson was born. The company was taken over by the North Eastern Railway in 1883.
The York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway (YN&BR) was an English railway company formed in 1847 by the amalgamation of the York and Newcastle Railway and the Newcastle and Berwick Railway. Both companies were part of the group of business interests controlled by George Hudson, the so-called Railway King. In collaboration with the York and North Midland Railway and other lines he controlled, he planned that the YN&BR would form the major part of a continuous railway between London and Edinburgh. At this stage the London terminal was Euston Square and the route was through Normanton. This was the genesis of the East Coast Main Line, but much remained to be done before the present-day route was formed, and the London terminus was altered to King's Cross.
Ken Hoole (1916–1988) was an English historian known for his works on the railways of the north east of England.
The Clarence Railway was an early railway company that operated in north-east England between 1833 and 1853. The railway was built to take coal from mines in County Durham to ports on the River Tees and was a competitor to the Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR). It suffered financial difficulty soon after it opened because traffic was low and the S&DR charged a high rate for transporting coal to the Clarence, and the company was managed by the Exchequer Loan Commissioners after July 1834. An extension of the Byers Green branch was opened in 1839 by the independent West Durham Railway to serve collieries in Weardale.
Ferryhill was a railway station located in Ferryhill in County Durham, Northeast England. It was located on what became the East Coast Main Line between Darlington and Durham, close to the junctions with several former branches, including the extant freight-only Stillington Line to Norton-on-Tees and Stockton.
The Newcastle & Carlisle Railway (N&CR) was an English railway company formed in 1825 that built a line from Newcastle upon Tyne on Britain's east coast, to Carlisle, on the west coast. The railway began operating mineral trains in 1834 between Blaydon and Hexham, and passengers were carried for the first time the following year. The rest of the line opened in stages, completing a through route between Carlisle and Gateshead, south of the River Tyne in 1837. The directors repeatedly changed their intentions for the route at the eastern end of the line, but finally a line was opened from Scotswood to a Newcastle terminal in 1839. That line was extended twice, reaching Newcastle Central station in 1851.
Hartlepool railway station was a railway station that served the Headland area of Hartlepool in the ceremonial county of Durham, North East England. Though originally built as the coastal terminus of the Hartlepool Dock & Railway in 1839, for most of its life the station was the terminus of a shuttle service from the town's main station in West Hartlepool.
The Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway, was an east-west railway line that connected Darlington and Barnard Castle in County Durham, England. Besides the main running line, it had two branches that headed south into Yorkshire that were only used for freight. The whole system opened up by July 1856 and was closed completely by 1966. The former Merrybent freight branch is now used as part of the A1(M) road that bypasses to the west of Darlington.
The network of railways in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, was constructed by three companies whose lines through the town were built between 1841 and 1852. They were all amalgamated into the North Eastern Railway (NER) which in turn was subsumed into the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923 and British Rail in 1948. British Rail closed two lines, the Wensleydale line in 1954 and a section of the Leeds Northern Railway to Harrogate in 1969. The Wensleydale line was retained as a freight branch and resurrected as a heritage railway in 2003 but the line to Harrogate closed completely. Despite closures and rationalisation, the station still is at a major junction on the East Coast Main Line.
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