Bowes Railway


The Bowes Railway is the only operational and preserved standard gauge cable railway system in the world. Dating from 1826 and designed in part by George Stephenson, it was one of the world’s first modern railways. It was originally built to carry coal from pits in north west Durham to the river Tyne.  By 1855, the line has been extended to Dipton and was 15 miles in length.  The line worked with a locomotive at each end with six inclines that were gravity worked or powered. 

A section of the railway has been preserved and visitors are given a unique insight into a colliery railway that in its heyday carried over 1 million tonnes of coal per year.  Steam engines, diesel locomotives, and old colliery wagons, and regular workshops make for a fascinating family day out. Run by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers, the museum has open days throughout the year where visitors can take a guided tour and grab a bite to eat at the ‘Kip and Dish’ café.  10 miles of the route can still be walked with the museum at the mid-point of the Bowes Railway path.

Opening times are every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 10am and 4pm with open days on the first weekend of each month. Visitors are encouraged to check the website for open days and times.  The museum is at the mid-point of the Bowes Railway path

Opening Times

Bowes Railway (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)



Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Entry to siteFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Nearest major road is A1(M).

Public Transport Directions

Nearest station is Newcastle Central Station.

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  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp / Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors


  • On-Site café/restaurant - Cafe for 50 people, serving tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks on operational days.
  • Picnic Site

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

  • Approx length of visit - allow 1 1/2 hours
  • Groups Accepted - Prior application necessary.
  • Max group size - 100
  • Min group size - 20
  • Open by appointment only
  • Open by appointment outside normal opening times
  • Special group rates
  • Sterling Travellers Cheques accepted

Provider Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Toilets

Provider Features

  • Indoor Attraction
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Village Location

Target Markets

  • Marketed Towards Children
  • Marketed Towards Families
  • Marketed Towards Senior Citizens
  • Marketed Towards Students / Youth

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Groups
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Individuals

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