Bishop Auckland
National Rail
General information
LocationBishop Auckland, County Durham
Coordinates54°39′26″N 1°40′41″W / 54.6572°N 1.6780°W / 54.6572; -1.6780
Grid referenceNZ208291
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byNorthern Trains
Other information
Station codeBIA
ClassificationDfT category F1
Original companyBishop Auckland & Weardale Railway
Pre-groupingNorth Eastern Railway
Key dates
8 November 1843Opened
2018/19Increase 0.155 million
2019/20Increase 0.158 million
2020/21Decrease 51,274
2021/22Increase 0.146 million
2022/23Increase 0.154 million
Bishop Auckland is located in County Durham
Bishop Auckland
Bishop Auckland
Location in County Durham, England
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Bishop Auckland is a railway station that serves the market town of Bishop Auckland in County Durham, North East England, 11 miles 77 chains (19.3 km) north-west of Darlington.[1] The station is the Western terminus of the Tees Valley Line, which links it to Saltburn via Darlington. It is owned by Network Rail and managed by Northern Trains.



Bishop Auckland gained its first rail link in 1842,[2] when the Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) backed Bishop Auckland & Weardale Railway (BA&WR) gained the powers via an act of Parliament to build a railway line from the S&DR's station at Shildon via Bishop Auckland and Witton-le-Wear into Crook, County Durham.[3]

The company initially built a temporary terminus at South Church, which opened on 19 April 1842. A road coach service then extended the service into Bishop Auckland, and a secondary road coach service also ran to Rainton Meadows. After completion of the Shildon tunnel, the BA&WR erected a permanent station on the current site, which opened to freight on 8 November 1843, and passengers on 30 January 1843.[3] All operations were sub-leased as agreed to the S&DR.[3]

Early developments

In 1844, after the West Durham Railway extended from a junction with the Clarence Railway at Byers Green to Crook, the S&DR extended the BA&WR from Bishop Auckland along the river valley to Witton-le-Wear, and then into Crook. In 1845, the S&DR came to an agreement with the Derwent Iron Company to sub-lease the southern section of the former Stanhope & Tyne Railway. It extended the line from Crook to Waskerley and then to Blackhill, and it was opened as the Weardale Extension Railway (WXR).[3][4]

In July 1845 Parliament passed the Wear Valley Act, which allowed the extension of the BA&WR from a junction at Witton-le-Wear to Frosterley, and a small branch line across the river to Bishopley. With all works again undertaken by the S&DR, this line opened on 3 August 1847. After these works had been completed, the BA&WR amalgamated with the WXR. All service were operated by the S&DR, which officially took over the new company in January 1857.[3][4]

View along the curved platforms in 1965, which served the former North Eastern Railway line to Durham, and Clarence Railway via Byers Green.

On 1 April 1857, the North Eastern Railway (NER) started a service from Durham to Bishop Auckland at a new terminus in Tenter Street. However, the S&DR and NER quickly came to the agreement of development of a joint station in the town, and so rebuilt the existing former BA&WR station, with NER trains using it from December 1857.[3][4]

View westward along the main platform in 1965, providing services to Wearhead, and Consett via Crook.

In 1862, an Act of Parliament was passed allowing the S&DR-backed Frosterley and Stanhope Railway to extend the line to Stanhope, thus allowing trains to transport limestone from the Newlandside Estate on the south side of the town. This brought about the extension of the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway from Barnard Castle into Bishop Auckland in 1862, and with the final addition of traffic from an extension of the Clarence Railway at Byers Green, eventually resulted in the NER rebuilding the station again in December 1867.[3][4]

The final extension of the Weardale Railway to Wearhead opened on 21 October 1895, with the NER having resited the station at Stanhope to provide a more suitable gradient for the heavy limestone trains. Between Eastgate and Westgate at Cambo Keels, sidings were established to serve the Weardale Iron Company's Heights limestone quarry, which is still in operation today. This final extension of the Weardale Railway bought about the final and largest layout of Bishop Auckland railway station, which was now rebuilt in triangular form with four platforms in 1905.[3][4] Only three of these were normally used for passenger trains, with platform 1 handling trains towards Crook and Wearhead, and platforms 2 and 3 dealing with services on the Barnard Castle, Ferryhill and Durham lines. Platform 4 (on the chord linking the Durham & Crook lines) was mostly used for parcels & newspaper traffic and for racing pigeon specials.


As elsewhere the UK, rail traffic in the area declined after World War II, with the Wearhead branch the first to lose its passenger trains in 1953. The principal closures came in the 1960s mainly as a result of the Beeching cuts, with services to: Barnard Castle via West Auckland ending in June 1962; Durham in May 1964;[5] and Crook in March 1965. This left only the former original S&DR line to Darlington line in operation, along with the freight-only branch traffic to Eastgate.[3][4] In 1976, the disused platform was reinstated avoiding need for passengers to use a footbridge.[6]

The station remained more or less intact (although increasingly forlorn and run-down) for more than 20 years thereafter, though by the early 1980s only the former platform 3 was in use[4] (along with the former Bishop Auckland East signal box). It was eventually replaced by the current structure on 6 June 1986. This stands on the site of the former Crook branch platform, on a siding off the now single 'main' line which continues on towards Stanhope and Eastgate. The signal box was abolished at the same time, with neighbouring Shildon box assuming control of the much-simplified layout.

The remaining station buildings were then demolished and the site sold off for retail redevelopment. The former goods yard is now a supermarket with carpark, and the Durham platform is now the site of a cycling and motoring store and a bank.[4]

The station today

A British Rail Class 142 waits in the platform to form a westbound service
Northern Trains
Route 3
Tees Valley Line
Bishop Auckland Parking Heritage railway
Shildon Bicycle facilities Heritage railway
Newton Aycliffe Parking Bicycle facilities
Heighington Parking
North Road Bicycle facilities
Darlington Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access
Teesside Airport Airport interchange
Allens West Bicycle facilities
Eaglescliffe Parking Bicycle facilities
Thornaby Parking Bicycle facilities
Middlesbrough Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access
South Bank Bicycle facilities
Redcar Central Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access
Redcar East Bicycle facilities
Longbeck Bicycle facilities
Marske Bicycle facilities
Saltburn Bicycle facilities

The station is currently operated by Northern, which provides National Rail passenger services. In 2012, Bishop Trains adopted the station from Northern Rail (the operator at the time), providing a National Rail Ticket Office and staff for the station. Bishop Trains have further developed the Ticket Office and now provide a booking service for coach trips and holidays, and more recently, rail charters. It is staffed six days per week throughout the year (Monday to Saturday 06:50-16:15). At all other times, tickets must be purchased in advance or on the train. Service running information is offered by timetable posters and Bishop Trains staff (when open). Step-free access is available from the main entrance to the ticket office and platform.[7]

In 2014, the station was revamped. In the former toilet block, a glass front waiting room was constructed, alongside a new toilet and office. Digital CIS displays have also been installed, as part of a scheme to provide these at all stations in the area (bar those at Teesside Airport and British Steel Redcar, which both have only a limited timetable).[8]



As of the December 2023 timetable change, the station is served by an hourly return service to Saltburn via Darlington and Middlesbrough operated by Northern Trains.[13]

Rolling stock used: Class 156 Super Sprinter and Class 158 Express Sprinter

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Shildon   Northern Trains
Tees Valley Line
Heritage Railways  Heritage railways
Terminus   Weardale Railway   Witton-le-Wear
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  North Eastern Railway
Clarence Railway
Byers Green Branch
Terminus   North Eastern Railway
Durham–Bishop Auckland Line
Line and station closed
West Auckland
Line and station closed
  North Eastern Railway
South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway
  Historical railways  
South Church
Line open; station closed
  Stockton & Darlington Railway
Bishop Auckland & Weardale Railway
Line open; station closed

Bishop Auckland West

Bishop Auckland West
Station on heritage railway
General information
LocationBishop Auckland, County Durham
Coordinates54°39′26″N 1°40′53″W / 54.6571182°N 1.6814853°W / 54.6571182; -1.6814853
Grid referenceNZ208291
Owned byWeardale Railway
Managed byWeardale Railway
Original companyWeardale Railway
Key dates
May 2010Opened
2012Service suspended
July 2018Service resumed
Bishop Auckland West is located in County Durham
Bishop Auckland West
Bishop Auckland West
Location in County Durham, England

Bishop Auckland West railway station is the eastern terminus of the Weardale Railway, a heritage railway which runs between there and Stanhope. The station was built by the Weardale Railway and initially opened on 23 May 2010,[14] with a regular passenger service which lasted until the end of the 2012 running season.[15][16]

Regular heritage trains were reintroduced in 2014, mainly using a Class 122 Bubble Car and initially only running between Wolsingham and Stanhope,[17] but later extended to Witton-le-Wear on 27 March 2016.[18]

After a short section of track at Broken Banks – approximately 0.5 miles (0.80 km) west of Bishop Auckland – was lifted and the underlying embankment repaired in early 2018, the line through to Bishop Auckland was made safe for passenger traffic for the first time in a number of years. Thus, from July 2018, two of the three daily return services between Stanhope and Witton-le-Wear have been extended to Bishop Auckland West.[19][20]

The station is located approximately 150m to the west of the National Rail station. A footpath linking the two stations was completed in August 2022.[21]


  1. ^ Kelman, Leanne (2020). Railway track diagrams, books 2 - eastern (5 ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. 44B. ISBN 978-1-9996271-3-3.
  2. ^ Body 1988, p. 43
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Butt 1995, p. 35
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bishop Auckland". Disused Stations. 2 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Disused Stations: Bishop Auckland Station".
  6. ^ Improvements at Bishop Auckland Modern Railways issue 334 July 1976 page 282
  7. ^ Bishop Auckland station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 16 February 2017
  8. ^ "Report of meeting with Steve Payne, Tees Valley Unlimited" North East Coastliners news article 29 June 2015; Retrieved 17 February 2017
  9. ^ "Death of and old Auckland resident". Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough. England. 10 December 1886. Retrieved 28 February 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "N.E.R. Appointments". Newcastle Evening Chronicle. England. 14 December 1907. Retrieved 28 February 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Blyth man retiring". Blyth News. England. 28 October 1920. Retrieved 28 February 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "N.E.R. Appointments". Newcastle Daily Chronicle. England. 3 May 1922. Retrieved 28 February 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "N3 - Bishop Auckland and Darlington to Middlesbrough and Saltburn" (PDF). Northern Railway. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  14. ^ Williams, Adam (July 2010). "Regular passenger services return to Weardale". Modern Railways. London. p. 9.
  15. ^ "Weardale Railway News 2010". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  16. ^ Conner-Hill, Rachel (9 April 2018). "Weardale Railway to extend service to Bishop Auckland | The Northern Echo". Northern Echo. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  17. ^ Henderson, Tony (29 September 2015). "Weardale Railway Trust celebrates its 20th anniversary as it keeps heritage services running". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  18. ^ Russell, Helen (27 March 2016). "Trains stop in County Durham village for first time in 50 years | The Northern Echo". Northern Echo. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  19. ^ Anderson, Lizzie (25 April 2018). "Delight as Weardale Railway extended to Bishop Auckland for class 31 gala | The Northern Echo". Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Weardale Railway - Timetables". The Weardale Railway Trust. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Weardale Railway News - Bishop Auckland Connecting Path Nears Completion". The Weardale Railway Trust. Retrieved 13 June 2023.


  • Body, G. (1988). PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 2. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-072-1.
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.

Further reading