‘World’s oldest’ standard gauge line gets £75K grant

A section of what may be the world’s oldest standard gauge railway will be protected and studied with the aid of a £75,000 award.

Close-up of the wooden waggonway. PAUL JARMAN
Close-up of the wooden waggonway. PAUL JARMAN

As highlighted in Heritage Railway issue 180, the wooden railway was discovered in 2013 during a dig prior to Shepherd Offshore beginning redevelopment work at the former Neptune shipyard site in Walker, Newcastle.

The railway dates from the 1790s when horse-drawn waggons carried coal to the River Tyne for shipment. Compacted coal waste covering the railway had resulted in a remarkable state of preservation.

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