Bowes Railway

The World's Only Standard Gauge Cable Railway

Bowes Railway

Come Along to an Open Day


History of Bowes Railway

Bowes Railway was originally a colliery railway built to carry coal mainly from pits in north west Durham to the Tyne at Jarrow. The earliest section was designed by George Stephenson and opened on 17 January 1826, making it one of the world’s first modern railways. It was 15 miles long when completed in 1855. Each end was locomotive worked; the six mile middle section consisting of rope worked inclines with very steep gradients.


Upcoming events

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  • "What a lovely and surprising place this is. The guide was very knowledgeable. Set aside 2.5hrs for the visit. A snack from the cafe is well recommended, don't miss the sausage rolls. Will definitely be back."

    Colin Thompson

  • "I had a great morning at The Bowes Railway yesterday. I was shown around by enthusiastic guide Wilf and a very busy Amanda. He went above and beyond in escorting me around the site and inside most of the various sheds and engineering shops for over an hour. Thank you both very much"

    Rob Davidson

  • "Fantastic place all the staff were really helpful and welcoming. My son (2 years) loved seeing all the engines and trucks. We took part in the crafts and there was a good range to keep him entertained for a couple of hours, then he didn't want to leave. Thanks to the excellent team"

    Emma Mcmain


Latest news

11 February 2020

THE EASTER BUNNY IS HOP hop HOP hopping to see you!

Watch out for TICKETS COMING SOON Easter Fun for all the family this Bank Holiday Monday April 13th

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23 January 2020

Fell Dyke Community Primary School Visit

A great day was had by all!

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15 November 2019


A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE THIS HANDCRAFTED COLLIERY STYLE COAL TUB MADE IN BOWES RAILWAY WORKSHOPS AT SPRINGWELL VILLAGE ONLY £400 mounted on a piece of rail or sold for Nearest Offer without mount Call in to the site on any opening day Thursday or Saturday 10am till 3pm to see this fantast...

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08 December 2018


The railway is run by volunteers. A huge task for a very important industrial monument. The railway receives no funding for running costs and relies on raising money through events, sales and, very importantly, donations from well-wishers.

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13 November 2018

Christmas Events 2018

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WALK THE LINE Discover YOUR Heritage

WALK THE LINE Is a new series of guided walks led by our experienced Tour Guides to follow the Bowes Railway line.

Starting this Spring we are heading out to walk the line which began at Dipton's Delight Colliery. Over the weeks we will be passing through Burnopfield, Tanfield Railway, Birkheads Crossing, Kibblesworth down to Team Valley, passing underneath the East Coast main Line A1M and A167, then up hill to Blackfell Engine House and Blackham's Hill Winding House which Bowes are opening up for viewing, then over to Bowes Railway main site. 

If we have enough interest we will be taking participants on to Springwell Bankfoot, Wardley and the Jarrow Staithes where the coal was previously unloaded on to ships bound for London and the Continent.

Guided walks are £3 per Adult and £1 per child (N.B Check appropriate walks suitable for children).

We are partnering with the Tyne and Wear Archive and Museums project 'Live Well' to carry out the walks during May and early June and participants will receive a complimentary Goodie bag for the trail. 

If you would like to know more please contact us for more information on:

Mobile :0785 0916484 or email: [email protected]




Sorry, we currently have no scheduled upcoming events. Please check back again soon.