Newcastle railway station

Newcastle railway station
Newcastle National Rail
Newcastle Central Station
The interior of the station
Place Newcastle City Centre
Local authority Newcastle upon Tyne
Coordinates 54°58′07″N 1°37′02″W / 54.9686°N 1.6171°W / 54.9686; -1.6171Coordinates: 54°58′07″N 1°37′02″W / 54.9686°N 1.6171°W / 54.9686; -1.6171
Grid reference NZ246638
Station code NCL
Managed by East Coast
Number of platforms 12
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage
2004/05 * increase 5.728 million
2005/06 * increase 6.108 million
2006/07 * increase 6.230 million
2007/08 * increase 6.447 million
2008/09 * increase 7.099 million
2009/10 * increase 7.445 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Tyne and Wear (Nexus)
Zone 26
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
1890s Extended
after 1948 Renamed Newcastle
National Rail - UK railway stations
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Newcastle from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Please note: methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Newcastle railway station (also known as Newcastle Central Station, or simply Central Station within Tyne & Wear[citation needed]), is the mainline station of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, England and is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line. It opened in 1850 and is a Grade I listed building. The railway station is connected to the adjacent underground Central Station Metro station on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

East Coast is the primary operator at the station providing Inter-city rail services southbound to York, Doncaster and London and northbound to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Other mainline services are operated by CrossCountry southbound to Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Plymouth and Reading and also northbound to Scotland while First TransPennine Express provides services to Liverpool and Manchester via Leeds. Northern Rail operates local and regional services across the North East and Cumbria, notably along the Tyne Valley Line to Carlisle via MetroCentre and Hexham, northbound to Morpeth and southbound to Middlesbrough and Sunderland while East Coast provides services to Durham and Darlington.


Construction and opening

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).[1] 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 (also 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 at some point between 1948 and 1953.[2]

The original 1850 train shed and the 1890s extension on the left.

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 very last major British example half a century later, the rebuilt and enlarged Hull Paragon in 1904. A portico, 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 portico was temporarily dismantled while excavation work for this station took place.[3] The metro station sees 5 million passengers a year and is the third busiest station on the system.


The station exterior, showing the portico added in 1863.

The National Rail station has 12 platforms. The arrangement is:

  • Platform 1 is an east facing bay platform which handles terminating local services and also some terminating long distance CrossCountry services from the south over the High Level Bridge.
  • Platforms 2 & 3 are main through platforms for East Coast Main Line long distance services. They also have train watering equipment so are used for terminating trains that return south.
  • Platform 4 is used mainly for long distance services heading south.
  • 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.
  • Platforms 9 to 12 are west facing bay platforms for various services, including Transpennine Express and some terminating services from the Carlisle direction, and on rare occasions, CrossCountry services. First ScotRail services from Glasgow Central normally use platform 12.

Train services

Newcastle is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line. Passenger services are operated by several companies:

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus First ScotRail
First TransPennine Express Terminus
London Kings Cross   East Coast
The Flying Scotsman
Darlington   East Coast
East Coast Main Line
Durham   East Coast
East Coast Main Line
Northern Rail Terminus
Terminus Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Northern Rail Terminus
Terminus Northern Rail
Tyne Valley Line
Terminus Northern Rail
Tyne Valley Line

Railway infrastructure

[v · d · e]Simplified rail network around Newcastle
Unknown BSicon "CONTu"
East Coast Main Line via Morpeth
Unknown BSicon "ABZld" Non-passenger terminus from right
Heaton Depot
Unknown BSicon "eABZrg" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
North Tyneside Loop via Walkergate
Unknown BSicon "eHST"
Heaton Closed 1980
Unknown BSicon "eABZrg" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Riverside Branch via Byker
Unknown BSicon "exCONTr" Unknown BSicon "eABZlg"
North Tyneside Loop via Jesmond
Stop on track
Unknown BSicon "exKHSTl" Unknown BSicon "eABZrf"
Carliol Square Closed 1850
Tyne Valley Line via Scotswood  
Unknown BSicon "exCONTr" Unknown BSicon "xABZ3rg" Unknown BSicon "HACC" Unknown BSicon "ABZgf"
Newcastle Tyne and Wear Metro
King Edward VII Bridge 
Transverse water Bridge over water Transverse water Bridge over water Transverse water
High Level Bridge River Tyne
Unknown BSicon "ABZld" Transverse track Unknown BSicon "ABZrd"
Tyne Valley Line via Metrocentre 
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "ABZrd" Unknown BSicon "CONTd"
Durham Coast Line via Heworth
East Coast Main Line via Durham 
Unknown BSicon "CONTd"

Trains may cross the River Tyne on one of two bridges. The High Level Bridge, to the south-east of the station, was designed by Robert Stephenson and opened on 27 September 1849, and is the older of the two. Its location meant that north-south trains had to reverse in the station to continue their journey. The King Edward VII Bridge, to the south-west of the station, was opened on 10 July 1906, allowing north-south trains to continue without reversing. With these two bridges, the trackwork north and south of the river forms a complete circle, allowing trains to be turned around if necessary. The former Gateshead depot, situated next to the connecting tracks on the south side of the Tyne, mirrored Newcastle station.

The station was famed for its highly complex diamond crossing to the east of the station. This 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.[4] The crossing has been greatly simplified in recent years, however, as the opening of the Metro brought about the withdrawal of many heavy-rail suburban services and the closure of the platforms they operated from, and removed the need for such a complex crossing. Heaton depot is to the north of the station, on the East Coast Main Line.


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
Yellow line
towards Airport
Green line
towards South Hylton

See also

External links

  • Newcastle Central Station - Part of the 2000 art exhibition "Stephenson's Legacy." Includes old photographs of the station.


  1. ^ Allen, Cecil J. (1974) [1964]. The North Eastern Railway. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 86. ISBN 0 7110 0495 1. 
  2. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 168. ISBN 1 85260 508 1. R508. 
  3. ^ "Odd bits". Timmonet. 2000-12-23. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  4. ^ Guy, Andy (2003). Steam and Speed: Railways of Tyne and Wear. Tyne Bridge Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 1-85795-161-1. 

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