Billingham, County Durham
Billingham Junction Railway Station
31 Jan 2024
Billingham, County Durham
This is a
Current status is
Designer (if known):
The Durham Coast Line still operates through the site.
Billingham's railway station is now half a mile or so east of its previous location here - in fact both my photo and the 60s shot are taken at exactly the same spot.
The earlier station was opened at a time Billingham was a small village. The station opened about a mile north at the junction of the line to West Hartlepool and to Port Clarence in 1841. Upon opening, it was owned by the Stockton and Hartlepool Railway with Ralph Ward Jackson a major proponent of the line.
It was a typical North East station with substantial station masters house and booking office (for just a small village, perhaps to entice the upper clientele given Billingham Hall was next door) and yard.
Given the lack of facilities around it a station hotel opened on the roadside, as well as multiple sidings seen on the shot below to ship coal and goods to the village. The Station Hotel was formally the Union Inn, but rebranded and expanded to exploit the railway trade. When the New Town was built, decisions were taken to move the station to a more central location, with this one closed in '66 and demolished in the early 70s.
It was also the scene of a brutal collision in 1953. A York - Hartlepool goods train ran into the platform, derailing 13 wagons. It completely "clocked the lines", with the driver and fireman in severe shock. Thankfully no one was hurt. Breakdown gangs only took one day to clear the whole crash, with bus services ferrying passengers between Hartlepool and Stockton.
Listing Description (if available)
The Ordnance Survey maps above illustrate Billingham Station through the mid to late 19th century. As illustrated, the area was pretty much desolated at this time apart from a few cottage industries, the Union Inn (probably built at the same time as the railway) and a couple of farms. Billingham Hall was yet to be built, but is visible on the 1890s maps.
The railway expanded by the 1890s, incorporating extra through lines and shunting sidings like to provide capacity for the ever growing Port Clarence Railway. The Union Inn was renamed to the Station Hotel, and was expanded. It was later rebuilt. Villas also started to be constructed on what is now Wolviston Road.
The 1923 Ordnance Survey shows the area only a few years before housing developments sprang up north of the station. The smaller industries, like the clay bits for nearby brickworks, were closed in favour of larger complexes on the Tees.
Billingham Junction Station, with the Station Hotel, in 2024
The station in 1947, unknown source.
Historic England. Aerofilms Collection Historic England Photograph: EPW032211 flown 01/05/1930