Back on Track - Railway line from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope to reopen this spring Friday, 10 February 2023

Screenshot 2023 02 02 113416

The railway line from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope will reopen this spring for the first time in three years, thanks to an extensive restoration programme carried out by The Auckland Project.

The Auckland Project acquired the 16-mile stretch of railway in January 2020 and has since been working to repair the line from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope and re-establish a regular service between the two towns.

The Auckland Project and Weardale Railway Limited will run the first service between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope on Saturday 22 April to coincide with the popular Bishop Auckland Food Festival, which attracts around 30,000 visitors per year.

Visitors to Bishop Auckland Food Festival will be able use the newly re-established rail service to explore the Durham Dales, whilst residents of Stanhope and Wolsingham will be able to travel to the Food Festival by train. Tickets are now available.

The Auckland Project hopes to re-introduce regular services from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope, with services operating on selected Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months in 2023.

Wayne Dixon, General Manager of Weardale Railway, said: “We’ve been working hard to get Weardale Railway back on track for the people of Bishop Auckland and Weardale. Thousands of passengers have enjoyed a ride on the railway since we opened the line between Stanhope and Wolsingham in May 2023. This year we hope even more passengers will be able to enjoy our services, as we expand our timetable and extend the line to Bishop Auckland.”

David Maddan, CEO Development at The Auckland Project, said: “The reopening of the line from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope is a landmark moment and we are delighted with the progress that has been made to date. We have ambitious plans for the future of Weardale Railway, which we hope will benefit the residents of Weardale as well as those who wish to explore the beauty of the North Pennines AONB by train.”

In the meantime, Weardale Railway Limited are operating their regular timetable between Stanhope and Wolsingham on selected dates throughout February, March and April.