10 thoughts on “Freight train on The Cuckoo Line

  1. Hi Colin I lived facing the farm in the Dutch barn houses I loved playing in the fields just below the bridge I do remember your name did you live off the avenue. Marilyn Scott


  2. Just came across this photo. Wonderful childhood memories of being lifted up by my mum so I could see the trains passing under Bishopton Road West bridge.


  3. The building in the background on the right, Boldon House, was once an RAF “Y” station. It was operational during world war one when it was listening for radio messages from German Zeppelins & U-boats. The two main buildings and a small part of the boundary fence still exist as part of a private home just off Marley Close, Elm Tree.



  4. Spent many happy Saturday afternoons during the late 50s as kids at a footbridge further down the line behind the photographer and the Bishopton Road bridge on which he is standing with our bottle of wrights lemonade or dandelion and burdock and the obligitary bag of sweets. Laying pennies on the line to see them flattened by a loco. Just before the line closed I was fortunate to photograph a few passenger trains, a rare treat, obviously due to a diversion from the coast route. I always knew this line as the “cuckoo line” but never found out why, does anybody know.?


    • I was always led to believe that the line was called “The Cuckoo Railway” as the electric locomotives that hauled the coal in the early part of the 20th century had a whistle that sounded like the call of a cuckoo.


    • Hi Colin I lived facing the farm in the Dutch barn houses I loved playing in the fields just below the bridge. I do remember your name did you live off the avenue Marilyn Scott.


  5. Sorry, Anon – the loco was number 92060, one of Tyne Dock’s allocation. The air pump for operating the hopper doors on the ore trains is visible on the photograph, but hidden under the Picture Stockton watermark on the enlarged copy.


  6. Incredible photograph and what memories, looking out over open countryside and farmland which in the next ten years or so would be built over; and of course the ‘cuckoo’ railway itself, closed in 1967 and subsequently lifted. A quiet Saturday afternoon by the date given and the train’s shadow. The engine is a BR Standard 9F 2-10-0 and like the railway and the farm land its life expectancy was short, c1966, despite it being a fairly new machine in 1961. Though not identified it may have been one of Tyne Dock’s allocation of ten 9Fs which were mainly used on iron ore trains from Tyne Dock to Consett Iron Works -another place there is now no trace of. Occasionally, at quiet periods for ore traffic, other sheds would borrow a 9F from Tyne Dock and the train is likely to be heading for the Middlesbrough area from Tyneside.


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