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British Industrial History

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North Eastern Railway

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1871. Swing bridge over river Ouse, built by Pease, Hutchinson and Co.
1893. Compound Express Passenger Locomotive.
1893. Compound Express Passenger Locomotive.
Latest engine. Picture published in 1894.
1896. Works at Gateshead.
1896. Works at Gateshead.
1896. Works at Gateshead.
1896. Works at Gateshead.
1896. Works at Gateshead.
Engine No. 1870.
1875. Exhibit at the Shildon Locomotion Museum.
1880. Bridge over the river Wear at Sunderland.
1899. Express Locomotive Designed by Wilson Worsdell.
1899. Express Locomotive and Tender.
1904. Omnibus running from Beverley to Driffield.
1905. Workshops at Darlington.
1905. Tool and fitting shop.
1905. Emery grinding department of workshops at Darlington.
1905. Brass finishing shop.
Method of loading Railway Trucks. 1906.
Method of Loading Railway Trunks. 1906.
1906. Four cylinder compound loco.
Dynamometer Car-Measuring and Recording Mechanism. 1907.
July 1908.
Snow Plough For NWE Rail. 1909.
Royal Saloon For Princess Victoria. 1909.
Royal Saloon.Day Saloon With Dining. 1909.
Royal Saloon. Day Saloon. 1909.
Royal Saloon. Dining Room. 1909.
Royal Saloon. Queens Sleeping Saloon. 1909.
Royal Saloon. Princess Victoria's Sleeping Saloon. 1909.
Royal Saloon. Sleeping Saloon and Dressing Saloon. 1909.
September 1913.
September 1913.
September 1913.
September 1913.
May 1917.
1922. Steel for this engine was supplied by The Monk Bridge Iron and Steel Co.
1922. Express Passenger Electric Locomotive. Sir Vincent Raven. M.Inst. C.E.
1922. Electric locomotive.
January 1923.
Mar 1957.Locomotive 62384 at Darlington and Stratford Works

of York

of Gateshead Works, York Works

The North Eastern Railway (NER), unlike many other of the pre-Grouping companies, had a relatively compact territory, having the district it covered to itself. That district extended through Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, with outposts in Westmorland and Cumberland. [1]

It formed the middle link between London and Edinburgh, joining the Great Northern Railway near Doncaster and the North British Railway at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

1854 Incorporation took place. The constituent parts of the NER were:

1854 Thomas Elliot Harrison was appointed chief engineer.

York station (York) was the hub of the system, and the headquarters of the line was located here.

From 1860 the NER was a partner (with the North British Railway and the Great Northern Railway) in the East Coast Joint Stock operation.

1877 The basis for the present York station was opened on June 25. Until the advent of modern signalling, the 295-lever box was the largest manually-worked signal box in Britain.

Newcastle Central station (Newcastle) (which had opened on August 29 1850) became the largest on the NER. 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.

1875 See 1875 Number of Locomotives where the NER are listed second with 1,331 locomotives.

1882 Alexander McDonnell appointed locomotive superintendent

1885 Thomas William Worsdell was appointed locomotive superintendent

1888 See Locomotive Stock June 1888 where the NER are listed second with 1,506 locomotives.

1888 Thomas Harrison died.

1890 Wilson Worsdell was appointed locomotive superintendent (title was changed to Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1902).

1891 George Gibb was appointed as general manager in succession to Henry Tennant

1904 The NER was the first main line rail company in Britain to adopt electric traction (the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway followed about one week later). The lines converted were known as Tyneside Electrics:

  • Newcastle Central via Wallsend and Whitley Bay to Gosforth
  • Newcastle Central to Benton
  • the Riverside Loop from Byker to Percy Main.

BTH had the contract to supply electrical equipment for motor units, carriages and laying of third rail. British Westinghouse received a contract for switchboards, transformers and sub-stations [2]. Electric Multiple Units were built at York Carriage Works for service on the north bank of the Tyne. Electrical equipment was supplied by British Thomson-Houston Co., and fitted at York Works.

1904 Shortly after the electrification of the Tyneside passenger lines the NER decided to electrify the Newcastle Quayside branch as well. Two electric locomotives (Nos. 1 & 2) were built to operate the branch in 1905. The frames and bodies were constructed by Brush Engineering in Loughborough, who acted as sub-contractors to British Thomson-Houston Co who supplied the electrical equipment. The track was fitted with a third rail in the tunnels where there was insufficient overhead clearance. For safety reasons, overhead conductors were used in the yards at each end of the branch.

1905 Electrical operations of the Quayside branch began on 5th June 1905.

1908 The company owned 1,650 miles of lines. [3]

1910 Vincent Raven appointed chief mechanical engineer

1913-16 Electrification of the Shildon-Newport line[4]. The LNER electrified further lines in 1938.

The NER carried a larger tonnage of mineral and coal traffic than any other principal 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.

  • Thomas Prosser held the position from 1854 to 1873. He worked in Newcastle
  • Benjamin Burleigh, died after only two years in post.
  • William Peachey who followed Burleigh for an equally brief period of office, was based in Darlington.
  • William Bell worked for the NER for fifty years and was chief architect between 1877 and 1914.
  • Arthur Pollard was in post briefly
  • Stephen Wilkinson then filled the position of chief architect briefly, before the merger of 1923 into the LNER led to the abolition of the department.

The company owned the following docks:

  • Hull Docks: acquired 1893. Dealt with a large variety of cargoes, including grain, seed and fruit
  • Hartlepool Docks: acquired 1865. A large timber trade
  • Tyne Dock: opened by NER in 1859. Timber and coal exports
  • Middlesbrough Dock: Opened in 1842. Iron and steel exports; and a world-wide trade in other goods.

The NER also owned coal-shipping staithes at Blyth and Dunston-on-Tyne.

1920 Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth was general manager. [5]

1922 Amalgamated the Hull and Barnsley Railway

1923 The company was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping.

  • See also The North Eastern Railway in One Hundred Years of British Railways in The Engineer - The Engineer 1924/10/31

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia
  2. The Times, 31 January 1903
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  4. See The Engineer 1916/06/02 for a description of the electrification scheme
  5. The Engineer 1920/12/17