Eaglescliffe Railway Station c1930

A ships rudder weighing 54 Tons is seen here at Eaglescliffe Railway Station on the 8 May 1930 on it’s way from the Darlington Forge Works to Middlesbrough Docks.
The new replacement rudder for the RMS Aquitania measured 19 x 28 feet and over-hung the flat railcar by 13 feet which gave little room for manoeuvre when the train passed signal posts, loading ramps and passenger platforms along it’s route and it was here at Eaglescliffe were the rudder came closest to a signal only missing it by 3 inches! Interestingly the press report states both Eagles Cliff and the Port Of Middlesbrough from were the rudder was loaded onto a cargo ship which took it down to Southampton.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson and Charles Young.

4 thoughts on “Eaglescliffe Railway Station c1930

  1. The first station was erected on this site in 1848. It was known as Preston Junction, after nearby Preston-On-Tees. From 1849 it was the junction of the Stockton & Darlington Railway and the Leeds Northern Railway. At this time it was a single platform. The name was changed to Eaglescliffe Junction in the 1870`s to avoid confusion with other junctions of a similar name. Between 1893 & 1894 the station was enlarged to two platforms with further lines and an additional one for standage. Large waiting rooms were added and the platforms were linked by iron bridges, approached by inclines. The station also had licensed refreshment rooms.


  2. On 6 May 1933 a near rail disaster was averted at Eaglescliffe Junction by the quick thinking of Eaglescliffe signalman Jack Smith.
    The Darlington to Saltburn train, containing 40 Middlesbrough children returning from a camp at Scarborough, had just left Eaglescliffe station platform and was crossing over on to the main line. At the same time the Liverpool to Newcastle Express train (The City Of Newcastle) was entering the station. From his signal box Jack Smith could see that an accident was inevitable and immediately dashed to the platform with a red flag and raced along side the express waving the flag. The engine driver reacted quickly and applied the brakes accompanied by a terrific grinding noise and sparks flying from the wheels.
    This was not enough to halt the express and it ploughed into the side of the Darlington to Saltburn train cutting it in two at the second of the front coaches. This coach contained the children. The coach was pushed off the rails. But due to the quick actions of the signalman and driver it did not overturn.
    Despite being hurled across the coach only three children required hospital treatment for minor injuries. Two men on the express were also treat for minor injuries. Breakdown gangs had to work until 11.00 A.M. the following day to clear the line.


  3. My husband worked in the Stockton-on-Tees shed. He was a stoker, in the 60s, all I can remember is him talking about his mates. One was Walter who loved dog racing. He said they were good times, lots of hours and hard work. It sounds great to hear him speak a lot about his home town. May my husband rest in peace. Geoffrey Ayre.


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