The ‘original’ train line – the railway age started here!

History of the Line

The rail line the Bishop Line follows is of tremendous historic importance as it formed part of the original Stockton and Darlington Railway. The Stockton to Darlington railway opened on 27 September 1825. The official train had thirty-two wagons pulled by the engine Locomotion and ran at a speed of approximately 10 miles per hour. It was preceded by a man on horseback who rode in front of the engine and was followed by twenty-four horse drawn wagons. This historic event took place on the Bishop Line and heralded the start of the “railway age”. There are still many buildings and places of interest to do with the early years of the railways to be found in the area.

History of the stations along the Bishop Line

A series of Interpretation panels depicting the heritage of the Bishop Line have been installed on the station platforms between Darlington – North Road and Bishop Auckland. The boards have been compiled with the help of North Eastern Railway Association using fascinating images from their archive.

Boards have also been produced for Dinsdale Station which, although it strictly sits as part of the Tees Valley Line, shares a common history with the rest of the Bishop Line.

Bishop Auckland board Heighington board North road board





The Heritage boards were unveiled by David Corfield, Vice Chariman of NERA on Friday 25th November 2016 at North Road station. Mr Corfield was joined by the Mayor of Shildon – Councillor Trish Pemberton, along with members of the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership, Northern, ACORP ( The association of Community Rail Partnerships), ASLEF (The Train Drivers Union), Rail North, Weardale Railway, Tyne Valley Railway, New Shildon Residents association, Darlington Borough Council and Durham County Council.

History booklet front coverCharlie Walton, Chariman of the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership commented “We have a lot to cherish and great deal to look forward to for the Bishop Line. The fast approaching bi-centenary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025 reminds all of us of what the North East gave to the world and these excellent interpretation panels on all our stations reinforce that message and the pride we take in our unique railway heritage.”

A commemorative book has been produced featuring a compilation of the artwork used within the Interpretation boards and can be purchased at a cost of £5.00 by contacting the Community Rail Officer for the Bishop Line via the contact us page on the Bishop Line website. http://www.bishopline.org/contact-us


Things to see and do on the Bishop Line

The Partnership in conjunction with the North Eastern Railway Association has produced a booklet about the line.

Things to see and doTo receive a free copy of the booklet, please send a self addressed A5 envelope with postage to cover 100g to:

Community Rail Officer
Bishop Line CRP
Room 417, Town Hall


A Short History of the Route

A brief history of the Bishop Line, written by the Charlie Walton, Chairman of the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership is available to download as a pdf file:-

A short history of the route

Great days out by train

A short line guide can be downloaded below

Great days out by train

The Way We Live

Tyne Tees produced this wonderful documentary in the 60s, of life as a busy Darlington North Road Locoman. The film can be seen on the British Film Industry website.

Darlington Railway film screenshot