Colliery Railways: Seaham to Hartlepool, 1905-?

Seaham to Hartlepool, 1905-?

The Past

In 1899 the N.E.R. began to construct the Seaham-Hartlepool connection. This necessitated the construction of viaducts over four large denes and several smaller ones. The most spectacular of these are at Seaton Carew, Hawthorn Dene and Dawdon Field Dene. Dawdon Viaduct was finished in 1905 to complete the new line. Seaham was at last connected to the south and was no longer a railway deadend. There were stations at Hartlepool, Hart Station, Blackhall, Horden, Easington (Colliery), Seaham, Ryhope (East) and Sunderland. Over the years the number of stations was gradually reduced until there was only one stop between Hartlepool and Sunderland – Seaham.

The Present

In recent decades all of the pits the Seaham to Hartlepool extension was constructed to serve – Blackhall, Horden, Easington, Dawdon and Vane Tempest have closed. The Durham coalfield is history. The line from Seaham to Hartlepool and beyond has never been a success as a passenger railway. Watch the passenger trains as they shuttle past. Hardly a soul on board.

The Future

If the Seaham to Hartlepool connection does go then surely a magnificent coastal walkway can be created from the trackbed. There is even the possibily of a steam service in summer time.

— by Tony Whitehead