1856: The Opening of a Railway Station in the British Hamlet of Broomielaw

July 8, 1856

A railway station was opened in the hamlet of Broomielaw in northeastern England as part of the Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway’s line serving that region. Unlike the other stations along the line that were also opened at the time, Broomielaw railway station was originally not intended for public use. The facility was instead built for private use by members of the Bowes-Lyon family residing nearby in Streatlam Castle.  One of the more famous members of that family was Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who achieved royal fame as the wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II.

One family member who evidently took special pride in having exclusive rights to Broomielaw railway station was John Bowes. In 1862, he even named one of his horses Broomielaw in honor of the station. A case can be made that being named after the station was a harbinger of good luck for that horse, which won such prestigious races as the Chester Cup and the Prince of Wales Stakes.

It was not until 1942 that Broomielaw railway station was finally made available for public use. This station continued to serve as a general depot for passengers until 1964. The facility remained in use as a pickup and drop-off point for goods until the following year, when it was closed altogether.

Photo Credit: Ben Brooksbank (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on Broomielaw railway station, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broomielaw_railway_station

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