Bowes Railway

The World's Only Standard Gauge Cable Railway

Bowes Closed Friday 14th June

Due to inclement weather Bowes will be closed on Friday 14th June

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

A Fascinating Talk by Tom Davidson Flight Engineer 466 Squadron

Saturday 2.30pm in the BOWES RAILWAY pop up performance lounge straight through the small courtyard FREE ENTRY but limited seating so get there early as this WILL BE VERY POPULAR!

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29 June 2019

An Original Short Play The White Moth

FREE ENTRY into the POP UP Performance Lounge at Bowes Railway                 Written by Peter Ross and read by The Progressive PlayersSaturday 29th 11am   and 2pm          Sunday 30th 12noon  and   2pm  

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29 June 2019, 12:00 AM - 29 June 2019, 12:00 AM


THE WHITE MOTH Short Play ready by The Progressive Players from the Little Theatre Gateshead SUNDAY 30th June 12 noon  and 2pm (Please  note the 2pm performance may be moved to 2.30pm to follow the end of the Battle due to the clash in times ) LIMITED SEATING If you would like to reserve a  FREE sea...

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30 June 2019, 12:00 AM - 29 June 2019, 12:00 AM

1940s Springwell Village Event

A weekend of nostalgia 1940s style! ***Featuring On Saturday 29TH JUNE AT Bowes Railway***  Living History Displays by NWW2 Battle Reenactors THE BIG BATTLE FIRING DISPLAY  TRADERS FOOD & DRINK LIVE THEATRE LIVE MUSIC DANCING TRADERS WW2 TALK by Fighter pilot Tom Davidson KIDS STUFF...

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29 June 2019, 10:00 AM - 29 June 2019, 03:00 PM

Sunday 30th June EVENT DETAILS

So much to see and do for everyone throughout the weekend Schools Participation Day Drop in Session Friday 28th June 11am till 3pm Saturday Programme Gates Open to look round from  10am at Bowes Railway Sunday   Programme Gates Open to look round from 10.30am at Bowes Railway

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30 June 2019, 12:00 AM - 30 June 2019, 12:00 AM

Springwell Village 1940s Event

SPRINGWELL VILLAGE 1940s EVENT Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June 2019                                            Not to be Missed! FREE ENTRY FREE vintage shuttle Bus from Bowes Railway Car Park running back and forth throughout the village BATTLE REENACTMENT  * THE WHITE MOTH - SHORT PLAY WRI...

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29 June 2019, 10:00 AM - 30 June 2019, 03:00 PM

  • "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

18 December 2018

Christmas Events 2018

The Bowes Railway is closed now to the public for visits, until well into the New Year 2019. Please watch for the announcements on here, the Website or Facebook page. Thanks for your support through 2018.

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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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09 October 2018

Autumn Events 2018

Annual and very popular Fireworks and Bonfire party on Saturday 3rd November (5pm-8.30pm)

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04 September 2018

Heritage Open Days

As part of the Nationwide "Heritage Open Days" programme Bowes Railway is open Thursday until Sunday 6th to 9th and Thursday until Saturday 13th to 15th of September (10am-3pm each day)

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12 August 2018

Rope Haulage

The present system of haulage used on the Railway is a development of the earliest methods of hauling coals to rivers for shipment.

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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]