The World's Only Standard Gauge Cable Railway

Bowes Railway



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

Easter Monday Open day and Egg Hunt

Easter Monday 13th April 2020 Open Day  Egg Hunt & Crafty Chick Activities 10am till 2pm                                                                                                                                              

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13 April 2020, 10:00 AM - 13 April 2020, 02:00 PM

Poetry Appreciation Session with Local Poet Elaine Cusack

JOIN US for a friendly poetry appreciation session at Bowes Railway Complimentary Coffee Pastries & Poems                      With Local Poet and Author of 'The Felling Princess'                    ELAINE CUSACK Thursday 16th April 2020 1pm  till 3pm

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16 April 2020, 01:00 PM - 16 April 2020, 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

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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Join us to WALK THE LINE & Discover your Heritage

WALK THE LINE is returning this year from end of April 2020 for a new series of short and medium level guided walks led by our experienced Tour Guides to following the 15 mile stretch of Bowes Railway line.

Starting this Spring we will be covering a variety of walks including Dipton's Delight Colliery, 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 will be opened for viewing on selected dates.


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

Mobile :0785 0916484 or email: [email protected]