Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway – Paddy Waddell’s

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The Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway was proposed in the 1870s to run from Kilton Thorpe to the ironworks at Glaisdale, the contractor was John Waddell.

With the collapse of mining in Eskdale the line was never completed although embankments and cuttings for the line can still be seen in several places.
Paddy Wadells

The Station Hotel was also built in anticipation at Moorsholm, but the railway never materialised.

3 thoughts on “Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway – Paddy Waddell’s

  1. Th story of Paddy Waddell’s railway is interesting. The promoters apparently made extravagant claims as to the quality of the stone in the area, which encouraged investors to provide the funds for construction.

    One of the most obvious landmarks of the scheme is the bridge over the proposed line at Rake House, just outside Glaisdale. It is here that the line would have joined the Esk Valley line, with the northern most end linking up with the Lingdale mineral branch line somewhere near Kiltonthorpe.

  2. You can follow the route on Google earth, It crosses the Guisborough – Whitby road at the Liverton junction. The bridge at Glaisdale is visible from trains on the Esk valley branch

  3. John Waddell was a Scot, so there’s often speculation about where the ‘Paddy’ came from. The general consensus is that he’s known to have had a Irish foreman named Gallagher, and people seeing this important man ordering the navvies around on site thought he must be the boss, Mr Waddell.

    Most of the best relics of the proposed railway can be seen where the route crosses an existing road or track… navvies would walk to the spot and start digging in both directions. Similarly there are often spots in fields (notably looking northwards from South Lane/Cow Close Lane in Moorsholm) where half a cutting leads to half an embankment as soil was dug from one to make the other. Then work would come to a halt as the money ran out.

    The main reason for the incompletion of the line was that it was too late… better-quality, more-easily-won iron ores were being discovered in Sweden, which could be shipped to the Tees furnaces. Despite a number of financial re-launches, the Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway ultimately failed. But beneath its route there are huge deposits of iron ore — for the sake of the beauty of East Cleveland, let’s hope they never become economical to win.

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