Introduction from Wikipedia
Initially the line opened in stages: from the junction to Shafthill (later renamed Coanwood) in 1851, and from Alston to Lambley in 1852. The full opening of the line awaited the construction of Lambley Viaduct, and was achieved later in 1852.
Despite efforts by the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society to take over the line, the track was lifted soon after the closure.
In 1983 a narrow gauge railway opened between Alston and Gilderdale, and has since been extended northwards. Known as the South Tynedale Railway, this 2-foot (0.61 m) gauge line now runs 4 miles (6.4 km) from Alston to Lintley Halt and regularly runs a steam service with a couple of German built Henschel engines, Helen Kathryn, and Thomas Edmondson.
The journey includes a viaduct over the River South Tyne. Construction of the next section of track, a mile stretch from Lintley to Slaggyford, is under consideration and funding is being sought with hopes of completion by 2015. With this, the STR will be around 4 miles in length.
The track bed has been severed at two points close to the Haltwhistle junction by the A69 Haltwhistle Bypass and the removal of a former bridge on a minor road nearby.
Explore the surviving route of the Alston Branch Line using photographs on Geograph
Photos of the Alston Branch Line from a search of the Geograph website (multiple photographers) located on the current OS map. Click thumbnails to open full size.
National Library of Scotland
Georeferenced 6" Maps from 1888-1913 overlaying present day Google Hybrid