Bowes Railway is currently open on Tuesdays and Thursdays for guided tours only. 

Our tours are 10am or 1pm and will take around 90 minutes. 
To pre-book your tour or for further information please call or text 07850 916 484.

School or Group bookings can be made by contacting the office

We look forward to seeing you all soon

Adults aged 16+ Daily Charge:   £5 - Includes Guided Site Tour 

Children aged 5+ Daily Charge:  £3 - Includes Guided Site Tour


The World's Only Standard Gauge Cable Railway

Walking through history!

The popular guided heritage walks around the area of Bowes Railway in Springwell take place monthly. The walk includes a visit to the historic Blackham’s Hill Hauler House, originally built to house the stationary engines that wind the ropes for the two inclines of Bowes Railway, Blackhams offers a unique insight into the workings of George Stephenson’s rope haulage system.

The 2-hour walk explores the two very old colliery railways which both operated rope haulage systems in this area. The undoubted highlight is the rare opportunity to look around the inside of the hauler house to see the preserved machinery which moved the wagons up and down lines.

The walk will begins and ends at Bowes Railway Museum in Springwell starting at 10am. Price £3. To book please text 07850916484 or email


Dates for forthcoming walks:

May 31st 2024
July 12th 2024
August 2nd 2024
September 6th 2024


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.



  • "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

15 March 2023

Prysmian workers help out

A Successful Corporate Volunteer Day with Bowes Railway, Clean & Green Team & Cable Manufacturing Co 'Prysmian'  Scroll to bottom for images

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28 February 2023

Does it TALLY up...Who was number 134?

Gateshead Rail College student makes historic find on Bowes Railway track! Click image to read the full story  

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27 February 2023

Loco Coal Wagon restoration now complete!

It has been a five year labour of love to complete the restoration of Loco Coal Wagon, but finally it is complete!

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09 December 2022

Tubs for Silksworth Memorial

Finally installed at the Mining Memorial Site at Silksworth, Bowes Railway's first handcrafted replica coal tubs!  

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06 December 2022

Helping Communities Blossom

Another commission complete! We were delighted to create 6 tubs for the National Trust's 'Helping Communities Blossom' project. Click link for more    

Read more


WALK THE LINE & Discover your Heritage 2022

Challenge Yourself in 2022 -WALK THE LINE with us!
If you fancy more of a challenge register for our 6 mile walk from Burnopfield to Kibblesworth
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.

 Over a series of weeks 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 about the walks or register to receive a schedule of walk dates please contact us for more information




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

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