Newcastle railway station
|Newcastle Central Station|
The main entrance
|Place||Newcastle City Centre|
|Local authority||City of Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Managed by||Virgin Trains East Coast|
|Number of platforms||12|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|PTE||Tyne and Wear (Nexus)|
|Original company||York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway/Newcastle and Carlisle Railway joint|
|Pre-grouping||North Eastern Railway|
|Post-grouping||London and North Eastern Railway|
|29 August 1850||Opened as Newcastle-on-Tyne Central|
|after 1948||Renamed Newcastle|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Newcastle from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Newcastle railway station (or Newcastle Central Station) is the principal mainline railway station in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne and Wear, North East England. Opened in 1850, it is a Grade I listed building and is located in the City Centre at the southern edge of Grainger Town and to the west of the Castle Keep. It is a nationally important transport hub, being both a terminus and through station serving the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh, the Durham Coast Line to Middlesbrough, and the Tyne Valley Line to Carlisle. It is also served by the adjoining Central Station on the Tyne and Wear Metro. As of June 2015, the station is managed by Virgin Trains East Coast.
All Virgin Trains East Coast services between London and Edinburgh stop at Newcastle, with extensions to Southbound destinations run to London Kings Cross, York and Leeds. CrossCountry supplements services to Scotland, and operates trains southbound to the South West and south coast via Birmingham and the wider Midlands; trains reach as far as Penzance and Southampton. The station is also a terminus for First TransPennine Express, which connects Newcastle to Liverpool, via Leeds and Manchester, including some services to Manchester Airport.
Northern Rail variously combines three routes out of Newcastle in order to provide both terminating and through services. To the west, trains connect the city to the MetroCentre, Hexham and Carlisle, with intermittent extensions to Whitehaven, and to the north, Cramlington and Morpeth on the East Coast Main Line, with extensions to Chathill. To the south east, the Durham Coast Line serves Sunderland, County Durham, and Teesside. Important stops include Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough, the line being shared with Tyne and Wear Metro services to Sunderland. In peak hours some services arrive from Teesside via the East Coast Main Line. Additionally, Northern and Abellio ScotRail jointly operate a limited service to Glasgow via Carlisle. There is furthermore pressure for the line to Ashington to reopen and be included in the next Northern franchise with regular services from Newcastle.
The station is connected to Central Station on the Tyne and Wear Metro, which lies directly beneath the mainline concourse and is an interchange between the green and yellow lines, providing frequent services through central Newcastle to the Airport and Whitley Bay, and through Gateshead to South Shields and Sunderland. Together with many local bus routes, the complex is one of the most important transport hubs in the North East. There are currently two Metro and twelve mainline platforms accounting for 13 million passengers annually, and in lieu of increasing numbers the mainline station has undergone an £8.6 million refurbishment to increase retail space and enhance the station environment including the pedestrianisation of the portico. Nexus also began to refurbish the Metro station in 2015. Passengers numbers for the mainline station alone currently stand at just over 8 million.
- 1 Construction and opening
- 2 Train services
- 3 Layout and platforms
- 4 Station redevelopment
- 5 Railway infrastructure
- 6 Accidents and incidents
- 7 Tyne & Wear Metro
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Construction and opening
A scheme for a central station was proposed by Messrs Richard Grainger and Thomas Sopwith in 1836 but was not built. The station was designed by John Dobson for two companies: the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway (YN&BR) and the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway (N&CR). The YN&BR merged with other companies in 1854 to form the North Eastern Railway (NER), which later absorbed the N&CR in 1862. The station was constructed in collaboration with Robert Stephenson who was responsible for the High Level Bridge, between 1845 and 1850. The opening ceremony, attended by Queen Victoria, took place on 29 August 1850. Originally named Newcastle-on-Tyne Central, the station name was simplified to Newcastle sometime between 1948 and 1953. The building has a neoclassical styled frontage, and its trainshed has a distinctive roof with three curved, arched spans — the first example of its kind, which set the 'house style' for the NER's subsequent main stations, culminating in the last major British example half a century later, the rebuilt and enlarged Hull Paragon in 1904. A porte-cochère, designed by Thomas Prosser, was added to the station entrance in 1863, and the trainshed was extended southwards in the 1890s with a new span designed by William Bell.
An underground station for Tyne and Wear Metro trains was constructed during the late 1970s, and opened in 1981. Part of the porte-cochère was temporarily dismantled while excavation work took place. The metro station sees 5 million passengers a year and is the third busiest station on the system.
Virgin Trains East Coast
Virgin Trains East Coast provides high-speed inter-city services southbound every half hour to London (one fast, one semi-fast) as well as 3 trains per 2 hours continue northbound into Scotland. One service is also provided each evening Monday - Friday from Newcastle to Sunderland.
- northbound to Edinburgh Waverley calling at Berwick-upon-Tweed. Extra services at peak times to Edinburgh only also call at Morpeth, Alnmouth and Dunbar. At weekends, all daytime services arriving from London continue to Edinburgh.
- southbound to London King's Cross;
- 1 semi-fast service calling at Durham, Darlington, Northallerton, York, Doncaster, Newark North Gate, Peterborough and other stations on the ECML at peak times with a journey time of approximately 3 hours 20 minutes.
- 1 fast service calling at Darlington and York only with a journey time of 2 hours 50 minutes.
- Additional services operate between Edinburgh-Newcastle/York and between Newcastle-York.
- early morning service, the Flying Scotsman provided by Virgin Trains East Coast, which runs between Edinburgh Waverley and London King's Cross calling at Newcastle Central only. Arriving at King's Cross at 09.40.
CrossCountry provides a number of services north into Scotland, supplementing Virgin Trains East Coast services, and southbound there are at least 2 trains per hour to the CrossCountry hub at Birmingham from where they are extended towards the South West and South Coast.
- northbound to Glasgow Central and Aberdeen (at alternate hours) via Edinburgh Waverley calling at most stations en route.
- southbound to the South West of England calling at Durham, Darlington, York, Leeds, Wakefield Westgate, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Burton-on-Trent, Birmingham New Street, Cheltenham Spa, Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads. Daytime services may also extend as far as Exeter St Davids, Plymouth or Penzance.
- southbound to Reading calling at Durham, Darlington, York, Doncaster, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham New Street, Leamington Spa, Banbury, Oxford and Reading. Services are extended daily to either Guildford or Southampton Central.
First TransPennine Express
Newcastle is a terminus for First TransPennine Express providing services to Manchester/Liverpool via Leeds (though some services will be extended through to Edinburgh from December 2019 as part of the new TPE franchise agreement).
With the electrification of the Manchester to Liverpool Line, from May 2014 a new timetable was introduced which is made up an hourly express service between Newcastle and Liverpool via Leeds and Manchester reducing journey times to Liverpool to 3 hours as part of the Northern Hub scheme. Services to Manchester Airport now mainly operate in the early morning/late evening (but will become hourly all day from December 2017). Services to Leeds/York are also supplemented by Virgin Trains East Coast and CrossCountry.
- southbound to Liverpool Lime Street calling at Chester-le-Street, Durham, Darlington, Northallerton, York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester Victoria.
- southbound to Manchester Airport calling at Durham, Darlington, Northallerton, York, Leeds, Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Manchester Piccadilly.
Rolling stock used: Class 185 "Pennine" diesel multiple units
- northbound on the East Coast Main Line to Cramlington and Morpeth with services extended to Chathill at peak hours.
- southbound along the Durham Coast Line to Middlesbrough calling at Heworth, Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew, Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby. Extended most hours to Nunthorpe in order to serve the new James Cook University Hospital station in Middlesbrough.
- westbound on the Tyne Valley Line to Carlisle calling at MetroCentre, Prudhoe, Hexham, Haydon Bridge, Haltwhistle, Brampton and others at alternate hours.
- westbound slow service on the Tyne Valley Line to Hexham calling at Dunston, MetroCentre, Blaydon, Wylam, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Riding Mill, Corbridge and terminating at Hexham. Extended to Carlisle at peak hours.
- 1 train per hour operates between Newcastle and Metro Centre calling at Dunston only during the day.
Some services on the Tyne Valley line extend beyond Carlisle, including one service to Whitehaven and three services to Glasgow Central via the Glasgow South Western Line. The Glasgow services are operated using Abellio Scotrail Class 156 trains, but operate as Northern services with Northern crew between Newcastle and Carlisle.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|First TransPennine Express||Terminus|
|Edinburgh Waverley||Virgin Trains East Coast
|London Kings Cross|
|Darlington||Virgin Trains East Coast
|Virgin Trains East Coast
|Darlington||Virgin Trains East Coast
|Durham||Virgin Trains East Coast
Layout and platforms
The National Rail station has 12 platforms. The arrangement is:
- Platform 1 is an east-facing bay platform which handles terminating Northern local services from the south over the High Level Bridge and from the north.
- Platform 2 is the main through platform for Virgin Trains East Coast and CrossCountry services heading northbound to Scotland.
- Platforms 3 and 4 are the main through platforms for southbound Virgin Trains East Coast services to London and for southbound CrossCountry services to Birmingham and the South West. They are also used for inter-city services which terminate at Newcastle including Virgin Trains East Coast services from London, evening Virgin Trains East Coast services from Edinburgh, and some CrossCountry services.
- Platforms 5/6 share the northbound side, and Platforms 7/8 the southbound side, of the newer island platform, and are used mainly by Northern Rail services westbound to Hexham and Carlisle and eastbound to Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
- Platforms 9 to 12 are west-facing bay terminal platforms. Platforms 9 and 10 are used for First TransPennine Express services heading to Manchester and Liverpool and some Northern Rail Tyne Valley trains. CrossCountry services heading to Reading via Doncaster mainly use platform 11. Platform 12 is not in regular use.
Plans were revealed on 30 April 2013 for a major redevelopment, including an £8.6 million project to regenerate the inside of the station, and a further £11.4 million to develop the area surrounding the station. The portico redevelopment was completed in April 2014.
The redevelopment plans contain a number of improvements, including:
- New retail space in the portico area, which will be turned into glazed arches to provide weather protection as well as retail units replacing the existing ticket office and travel centre. This will double the current amount of retail space to make it equivalent to that of the new King's Cross Station.
- The travel centre and ticket office will be reduced in size and relocated to the area beyond where the current Sainsbury's Local store is.
- Improved toilet facilities.
- Clearer signage.
- Increased covered cycle-park space.
- A simpler layout that accentuates the grade one listed architecture including the Castle Keep. The line of sight across the concourse will also be greatly improved.
- Sand-blasting of the walls and new lighting to be fitted.
- The current access points to the station will be moved to make it easier to enter and leave the station.
- Improved waiting rooms.
- Alteration to the existing bridge structure.
- New lifts and escalators.
- New glazed canopies.
The redevelopment plan also includes a number of improvements to the area surrounding the station, including:
- New taxi rank to the east side of the portico.
- A two-way cycle track at the west end of Neville Street.
- Change of traffic flow patterns to ease congestion.
- Pedestrian crossings on Neville Street and Grainger Street.
- Pedestrianisation of the car-park space outside the Centurion Pub.
- Wider footways and pavement cafes outside the station.
The work began in May 2013 and was completed during April 2014 by Miller Construction. The station operated as normal throughout the works. The £8.6 million funding for the internal station work was provided by the Department for Transport's Station Commercial Project Facility Fund. The external works were jointly funded by NE1, Regional Growth Fund and Newcastle City Council.
|Simplified rail network around Newcastle|
Trains cross the River Tyne on one of two bridges. The older High Level Bridge south-east of the station, designed by Robert Stephenson opened on 27 September 1849. Its location meant north-south trains had to reverse in the station to continue their journey. The King Edward VII Bridge south-west of the station opened on 10 July 1906 allowing north-south trains to continue without reversing. The two bridges enable the trackwork north and south of the river to form a complete circle, allowing trains to be turned if necessary. The former Gateshead depot, next to the connecting tracks on the south side of the Tyne, mirrored Newcastle station.
The station was noted for its complex set of diamond crossings to the east of the station which facilitated access to the High Level Bridge and northbound East Coast Main Line and was said to be the greatest such crossing in the world. The crossing was the subject of many early-1900s post cards, titled The Largest Railway Crossing in the World - photographed from the castle (towards the station), or from the station towards the castle.
The crossing has been simplified in recent years as the opening of the Metro brought about the withdrawal of many heavy-rail suburban services and the closure of the bay platforms they operated from on the north side of the station removing the need for such a complex crossing. Much of this work was carried out in 1988-9 as part of remodelling and resignalling work associated with ECML electrification. A new island platform on the former goods lines was commissioned as part of this work, with signalling control relocated to the Tyneside IECC on the opposite side of the river. Heaton depot is to the north of the station, on the East Coast Main Line.
Accidents and incidents
- On 17 August 1951, two electric multiple units were in a head-on collision after one of them departed against a danger signal. Two people were killed.
- On 19 April 1955, a collision occurred between V2 locomotive 60968 and Fairburn tank locomotive No. 42085 on the diamond crossings. Both locomotives were derailed.
Tyne & Wear Metro
Newcastle station is located above Central metro station on the Tyne and Wear Metro, one of five underground stations serving the city centre. Central is an interchange between the Yellow and Green lines, and is the last stop prior to crossing the River Tyne towards Gateshead.
|Preceding station||Tyne and Wear Metro||Following station|
towards St James via the Coast
towards South Shields
towards South Hylton
- Blyth & Tyne Railway
- Central Station Metro station
- Newcastle & North Shields Railway
- North Tyneside Loop
- Tyneside Electrics
- "Newcastle Central Station". thejournal.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- "ORR Station Usage Estimates".
- A Proposal for Concentrating the Termini of the Newcastle & Carlisle, Great North of England & proposed Edinburgh Railways by Richard Grainger, 1836. A short pamphlet plus fold-out map. The original from which reference has been made is in the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. It is reference Tracts vol 57 p200ff
- Allen, Cecil J. (1974) . The North Eastern Railway. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 86. ISBN 0-7110-0495-1.
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 168. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
- "Odd bits". Timmonet. 23 December 2000. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
- GB eNRT 2015-16 Edition Table 26
- GB eNRT 2015-16, Table 51
- TPE Franchise Improvements - Newcastle (DfT)
- GB eNRT, Table 39
- GB eNRT 2015-16, Tables 44 & 48
- "Exciting plans for Central Station" (Press release). Newcastle City Council. 30 April 2013.
- "New Era for Newcastle Central Station". East Coast. 2013.
- Daunt, Joe (30 April 2013). "Revamping Newcastle Central Station: Multi-Million Plans Revealed to Public". Sky News Tyne and Wear.
- Lognonne, Ruth (7 April 2014). "Newcastle Central Station's new look is unveiled". The Journal (thejournal.co.uk). Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Pearson, Adrian (12 March 2013). "Businesses welcome plans to revamp Newcastle's Central Station". Evening Chronicle (Newcastle).
- "Newcastle Central Station to Benefit from an £8.6million Investment". Network Rail. 2011.
- Pearson, Adrian (11 March 2013). "Newcastle's Central station set for radical £8 million makeover". Evening Chronicle (Newcastle).
- Pearson, Adrian (20 April 2013). "Radical Plans for Newcastle Central Station are Revealed". The Journal (Newcastle).
- Guy, Andy (2003). Steam and Speed: Railways of Tyne and Wear. Tyne Bridge Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 1-85795-161-1.
- "Old Postcards And Photographs Of Newcastle upon Tyne", www.picturesofgateshead.co.uk
- Hoole, Ken (1983). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 4. Truro: Atlantic Books. p. 17. ISBN 0-906899-07-9.
- Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 38. ISBN 0-906899 03 6.
- "Property History : (004510030492) Newcastle Central Station, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne". Newcastle City Council.
- Addyman, John; Fawcett, Bill (1999). The High Level Bridge and Newcastle Central Station. North Eastern Railway Association. ISBN 1 873513 28 3.
- Addyman, John, ed. (2011). A History of the Newcastle & Berwick Railway. North Eastern Railway Association. ISBN 978 1 873513 75 0.
- Dobson, John (1848). "The Central Railway Station, Newcastle-upon-Tyne". The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 11. pp.353-4, plate XIII.
- Dobson, John (1849). "The Central Railway Station, Newcastle-upon-Tyne". The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 12. p.97, plate VI.
- Grainger, Richard (1836). A Proposal for Concentrating the Termini of the Newcastle & Carlisle, Great North of England & proposed Edinburgh Railways. Hodgson. A short pamphlet plus fold-out map. The original from which reference has been made is in the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. It is reference Tracts vol 57 p200ff This contains contemporary information about the early period of railway activity in Newcastle/Gateshead.
- Historic England. "Central Railway Station; Passenger Buildings and Train Shed with Platforms (1355291)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Motorail Terminal, Neville Street (1326654)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "1, Neville Street (1024814)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Irving House (1121977)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Station Hotel (1104900)". National Heritage List for England.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Newcastle railway station.|
- Newcastle Central Station - Part of the 2000 art exhibition "Stephenson's Legacy." Includes old photographs of the station.