Preservation Era Post 1975
The final section of the line remained between Springwell Bankfoot and Jarrow Staiths was used as the Monkton railways – this served a coal washery but the final rail traffic on this remaining section was on the 10th January 1986 when it was closed by the National Coal Board, leaving only the preserved sections of the railway in operation.
The 1½ mile section between Black Fell and Springwell was saved by Tyne and Wear County Council as well as the Springwell workshops and 40 wagons from the railways fleet were saved for the nation. The site preserved three original locomotives for use as well as demonstrating the two remaining inclines. The railway was later made a scheduled ancient monument, the preserved workshops later helped build a replica of Stephenson’s rocket. In 1979 the Pelaw Main spur was re-laid for passenger use and finally in 2002 the site was granted museum status.
As well as the Bowes Railway two other parts of the railway have been preserved, the Marley Hill shed forms part of the Tanfield Railway and the Springwell Bankfoot locomotive shed is now the home of the North East Bus Preservation Society.