A section of the original Stockton and Darlington

A view of a section of the original Stockton & Darlington Railway track, including the rail, chairs and sleepers, at Preston Park Museum. The museum was built at Preston Hall for David Burton in 1825, it was aquired by Stockton Corp in 1947 and opened as a museum in 1953. c1960

5 thoughts on “A section of the original Stockton and Darlington

  1. A key innovation in the Stockton to Darlington Railway was the use of wrought iron rails. The cast iron type was made with a definite belly underneath between the stone pillars. This reduced the bending stresses in the rail to a level at which cast iron could stand.

    Wrought iron does not need this as it can withstand much higher stresses. But are these rails originals? Wrought iron was quite expensive to make and I guess it would be the equivalent of scrap stainless steel or copper.

    Wrought iron is easy to recycle, too. There is a company near Thirsk, run by the Topps family that does this kind of business.


  2. The original stone blocks that supported the cast iron wagonway type rails of the S&D Rly had a deep channel cut in them to accommodate the foot of the rail. When steel bullhead rail took over, fastened in chairs as shown in the photograph, the old blocks were redundant and ended up as building material throughout the area. A few of them were in a rockery in the garden of Sunningdale House at the bottom of Raby Road when I lived there in the 50s and 60s.


  3. Quite a lot of the stone sleepers have ended up at Saltburn making up the road to the peer. You can see the four holes in them where the cleats were bolted. I have one myself. originally from Allens West branch line to Yarm Station.


  4. The stone sleepers used on the original track were prone to cracking and were later replaced by wooden ones. Some of the original sleepers can still be seen, I believe, as they were used to build a section of wall on Urlay Nook Road between the Cleveland Bay pub and what is now Tesco supermarket.


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