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Silksworth Colliery Railway

Silksworth to Ryhope

54.878618, -1.390629





Entry Created:

20 Jun 2023

Last Updated:

20 Jun 2023

Partly Preserved



Description (or HER record listing)

NEHL - The Silksworth Colliery railway connected Silksworth Colliery in the west of Sunderland with the mainline at Ryhope, for onward connection to Sunderland Docks as it was only accessible from the north. It opened around the time of the colliery in 1869, serving the pit until the early 70s.

The line was single track throughout, with a coal depot at New Silksworth for local shipment. The line was also used by Ryhope Colliery just eastwards. Ryhope pit closed in 1966, with Silksworth closing 5 years later.

Much of the engineering is still extant. A number of the bridges can be seen through Tunstall Hills and Silksworth.


NEHL - This is by far one of the best railway walking routes in the region. You can start at Millfield as I did and make your way along the Hetton railway, or join up at Silksworth sports centre and make your way to Ryhope. The views are really incredible and staggers belief that you're still actually in Sunderland. As far as I can remember it is accessible throughout, with even footing and few areas overgrown. The only element to be mindful of is the motorbike barriers at Silksworth which are very narrow and may pose issues to those who require mobility aids or with pushchairs. It may be appropriate to start the walk a little later at Durham Terrace/Dene Street.

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Looking northwards on the Silksworth Colliery line in 2023.

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At the foot of Tunstall Hills in what looks like the 1960s. Source: Sunderland Global Media

At the foot of Tunstall Hills in what looks like the 1960s. Source: Sunderland Global Media

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 


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