“THE preliminary operations for erecting the new railway station at Durham were commenced on Monday, in the staking out of the ground to be taken up by the intended building,” reported the Darlington & Stockton Times of 150 years ago this month in January 1871.

Durham’s first station, at Shincliffe, on the line to Sunderland, had opened in 1839. A second, at Gilesgate, on the Leamside line, had opened in 1844, and then in 1857, a small station had opened on the viaducts as the line arrived from Bishop Auckland. By 1871, this stretch of line was being developed into the main London to Newcastle line, and so a suitable station was begun.

“The contract is stated to have been let to Mr Hirst, of Sunderland, and the cost is estimated at between £11,000 and £12,000,” said the D&S Times.