Newcastle Central railway station


Newcastle Central railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Central Station, Newcastle


caption = A southbound "Mallard" train arriving at platform 3 on 30 September 2005. This picture clearly shows the difference between the original 1850 trainshed and the 1890s extension.
manager = National Express East Coast
locale = Newcastle City Centre
borough = Newcastle upon Tyne
code = NCL
pte = Tyne and Wear (Nexus)
zone = 26
events = Opened
Extended
years = 1850
1890s
platforms = 12
usage0405 = 5.728
usage0506 = 6.108
usage0607 = 6.230
latitude = 54.9686
longitude = -1.6171

Newcastle Central railway station is the mainline railway station in 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 station also has its own entrance to the adjacent Tyne and Wear Metro station.

Mainline services are operated by CrossCountry south to Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Plymouth and Reading. National Express East Coast operates south to York, Doncaster and London. Both of these companies also run services to Edinburgh and Glasgow. First TransPennine Express provides services to Manchester and Northern Rail operates local and regional services across the North East and Cumbria.

Construction and opening

The station was designed by John Dobson for the "York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway" company (which subsequently became the North Eastern Railway (NER) following a merger with other companies in 1854) and the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway (which was later absorbed by NER in 1862). It 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.

The building has a classical 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. [cite web
title = Odd bits
work = Timmonet
url = http://home.freeuk.com/timarchive/html/nland_street_misc.htm
date = 2000-12-23
accessdate = 2008-04-25
]

Layout

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 and 4 are the main through platforms for East Coast Main Line long distance services.
* Platforms 5/6 share the north side, and Platforms 7/8 the south side, of the newer island platform, and are used mainly by local services.
* Platforms 9 to 12 are west facing bay platforms for various services, including Transpennine Express and some terminating services from the Carlisle direction.

Train services

Newcastle is a key stop on the East Coast Main Line. Passenger services are operated by several companies:
* National Express East Coast trains run south to London King's Cross via York, Doncaster and Peterborough; and north to Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Aberdeen and Inverness.
* CrossCountry services run south to their Birmingham New Street hub via York, Leeds/Doncaster and Derby and onwards to Bournemouth via Oxford and Reading; Plymouth, Penzance or Cardiff Central via Cheltenham Spa and Bristol Temple Meads; and north to Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central and Aberdeen.
* First TransPennine Express trains run to Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street via York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester Piccadilly.
* First ScotRail operates daily services to Glasgow Central and Stranraer along the Tyne Valley and Glasgow South Western Lines via Carlisle and Dumfries.
* Northern Rail operates local and regional services; north along the East Coast Main Line to Morpeth and Chathill; south along the Durham Coast Line to Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Nunthorpe (plus a limited service via the East Coast Main Line to Darlington and onwards along the Tees Valley Line to Middlesbrough and Saltburn); and west along the Tyne Valley Line to MetroCentre, Hexham, Carlisle and Whitehaven.

Railway infrastructure

Trains may cross the River Tyne on one of two bridges, the oldest is the High Level Bridge designed by Robert Stephenson and opened on 27 September 1849, which is to the south-east of the station. Its location meant that north-south trains had to reverse in the station to continue their journey. The King Edward VII Bridge opened 10 July 1906 and is located to the south-west of the station - this allowed north-south trains to continue without reversing. The trackwork north and south of the river forms a complete circle with these two bridges, allowing trains to be turned around if necessary. The former Gateshead depot is situated, next to the connecting tracks, on the opposite side of the Tyne, mirroring the 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. [cite book
last = Guy
first = Andy
title = Steam and Speed: Railways of Tyne and Wear
publisher = Tyne Bridge Publishing
date = 2003
pages = p 80
isbn = 1-85795-161-1
] 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.

ee also

*Blyth & Tyne Railway
*Central Station Metro station
*Newcastle & North Shields Railway
*North Tyneside Loop
*Tyneside Electric

External links

* [http://www.newcastle-arts-centre.co.uk/Exhibition__Preview.htm Newcastle Central Station] - Part of the 2000 art exhibition "Stephenson's Legacy." Includes old photographs of the station.

References


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