Archaeologists digging on the site of the former Neptune shipyard in Walker, Newcastle have discovered a 200-year-old wooden railway
The discovery of a wooden railway more than 200 years old on the banks of the Tyne has been hailed as a find of international importance.
The 25-metre stretch of waggonway from the end of the 18th Century is the earliest surviving example of the standard gauge railway.
Now used for over half of the world’s railway systems, it originated in the network of waggonways which served the collieries of south east Northumberland and Tyneside.
The find has been made by archaeologists digging on the site of the former Neptune shipyard in Walker, Newcastle, which is being developed by Shepherd Offshore.
The site is also near the Swan Hunter yard and Segedunum Roman fort in Wallsend.
It was expected to reveal Roman finds but instead has uncovered a stunning early example of the railway and coal mining heritage which made the North East globally important.
The dig has been led by Richard Carlton and Alan Williams of the Newcastle-based The Archaeological Practice.