The first scheduled passenger train journey from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope for 60 years set off on Saturday. It’s one of the shortest stretches of independently owned rail tracks in the UK at 16 miles long in County Durham.

Thousands of people turned out for the launch as it’s first journey was blessed by the Dean of Durham, the Rt Rev Michael Sadgrove at 11.40am.

The project was made possible by a government job scheme of a group of young people who even returned to work in their own time to make sure that the completion deadline was met. 

The “competitive fares” of £5.50 return will hopefully encourage passengers near Weardale Railway to use the train into Bishop Auckland instead of their cars as a more environmentally friendly way to travel and to save on parking fees.

Five trains a day will run between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope. From Bishop Auckland passengers can catch a train on to Darlington, and the East Coast Main Line.

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