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“An excellent place to visit”
Review of Tanfield Railway

Tanfield Railway
Ranked #3 of 30 things to do in Gateshead
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Tanfield Railway, the World's oldest railway dating back to 1725, is a wonderful day out for all the family, whatever the weather. Just sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery as steam drifts past your vintage carriage in a truly yesteryear atmosphere, when lifes pace was less hurried. Trains operate every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday throughout the year, plus Thursdays and Saturdays during the school Summer holidays. Make sure to break your journey at Causey Arch and take a walk across the World's oldest surviving railway, built in 1725 to transport coal from the Durham Coalfields to the River Tyne. Also, a short stroll from Andrews House station, is the engineering base of the railway at Marley Hill. Here you can get up close to our working and stored locomotives within the World's oldest working engine shed, built in 1854. Catering facilities are located at Andrews House station, Pontop Canteen at Marley Hill and Tommy Armstrong's tea room at East Tanfield station.
Reviewed 7 November 2018

The train ride is very interesting with a view of Causy Arch.
The engine shed is also very interesting as a building in its own right as it is over 150 years old and still has the belt driven workshop machines
The tearoom at Andrews House is basic but the one at the end of the line is excellent
You can visit the engine sheds without having to pay for a train ride but given it is run by volunteers I would recommend giving a donation if you have not taken the train ride as well.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank PeterinWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"causey arch"
in 58 reviews
"north pole express"
in 28 reviews
"afternoon tea"
in 37 reviews
"andrews house"
in 23 reviews
"engine sheds"
in 20 reviews
"mince pies"
in 12 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 14 reviews
"rolling stock"
in 7 reviews
"visiting santa"
in 6 reviews
"santa express"
in 5 reviews
"teddy bears picnic"
in 4 reviews
"great trip"
in 5 reviews
"rail enthusiasts"
in 4 reviews
"winter warmer"
in 6 reviews
"lovely countryside"
in 4 reviews
"whole family"
in 6 reviews
"industrial heritage"
in 5 reviews
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11 - 15 of 344 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2018 via mobile

All kids love steam trains and as us big kids do too. So it was an enthusiastic Dad armed with iphone wielding rugrats set off to Tanfield.
It was brilliant, ran wholly by volunteers the steam experience is great defo recommend it, the kids enjoyed it too!!

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2018 via mobile

As a group of 25 people, we had a dedicated carriage as part of the first departure of the day from Andrews House Station. The arrangements for the trip had been made with Tommy and Brenda provided us with picnic lunches and soup after the journey. It was great to see that, in addition to the older, dedicated volunteer railway staff, complete with uniforms, flags and whistles, there were several young ‘apprentices’ hopefully ensuring the future of the “The Oldest Railway in the World”.
Our timetable didn’t include for a walk across Causey Arch but, due to the autumnal loss of leaves, we did get glimpses of it from the train, picked out by the sunlight.
Even the railway buffs amongst our number were impressed by the Railway and the Marley Hill engine sheds.
We all parked at the Marley Hill / Andrews House site but parking is also available at East Tanfield Station and near to Causey Arch.
A fantastic journey through history which built on the Beamish Museum experience we had enjoyed the previous day.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank NeilAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2018 via mobile

This railway has the most authentic colliery engine shed that I have seen since the real thing as a child. Not a hi-viz jacket in sight. A proper representation of a colliery railway with the addition of a little station building. Great atmosphere. Redolent of the past. Steam, coal smoke and oil. Brilliant!

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank TenMileBank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 October 2018

A must visit.
Enjoyed a day on this little railway with my partners niece & hubbie and their young son (1) & daughter (2) - daughter wanted to see a choo choo.
When we got there and she saw the green saddle tank, she shouted, 'It's Percy.' But then wanted to know where Thomas was.
The World War theme added to the day as it included some singers/players at the two main stations amongst other things.
As a railway, it is different and includes older rolling stock and other items of interest.
Ok the engines are small industrial. The rolling stock is interesting - old 4/6 wheel non bogie coaches, different styles with single compartment, balcony, etc.
You can visit & look round the carriage shed and the original Victorian engine shed and the engines.
Walk round the sidings - find the little old turntable & old engines around it, more old engines, including early 1900 overhead electric trains, more carriages, trucks, including some that look like Rocket may have pulled them, cranes, etc.
Take on OS map and combine with adjoining attractions & walks - footpaths/rights of way/trails. Discover some of the old industry / housing.
The line runs next to the famous Causey Arch and a lovely wooded dene under it. There are accessible footpaths along the whole length (and beyond at Sunniside). Walk through Marley Hill down, via the dene/Causey Arch to East Tanfield Station and ride back or vice versa.
Include in a long weekend - say a visit to Beamish Museum (very close) one day and the railway the next. Gibside is close or, if a bit fitter, walk the old railway to Bowes Railway at Springwell.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Arthur G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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