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Newcastle Central railway station


Newcastle Central railway station

This article is about the National Rail station. For the Tyne & Wear Metro station, see Central Station Metro station. For other uses, see Newcastle railway station (disambiguation).
Newcastle Central Station
The imposing exterior of the station
Place Newcastle City Centre
Local authority Newcastle upon Tyne

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
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
2010/11 Increase 7.797 million
2011/12 Increase 8.100 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Tyne and Wear (Nexus)
Zone 1
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 RailUK 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 Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Newcastle railway station (also known as Newcastle Central Station) 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. Newcastle Central has seen strong passenger growth over recent years with just under 8 million passengers using the station annually although passenger figures for the Metro station are not included. Overall passenger usage including both the mainline and Metro station currently numbers under 13 million passengers annually.

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, 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. Ticket barriers were installed in November 2008.

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 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 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 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 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.

Station redevelopment

Plans were revealed on 30 April 2013 for a major redevelopment,[4] including an £8.6 million project to regenerate the inside of the station,[5] and a further £11.4 million to develop the area surrounding the station.[6]

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.[5][7][4][8]
  • 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.[5][9][4]
  • Improved toilet facilities.[5][4][8]
  • Clearer signage.[5][4][8]
  • Increased covered cycle-park space.[5]
  • 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.[5]
  • Sand-blasting of the walls and new lighting to be fitted.[9]
  • The current access points to the station will be moved to make it easier to enter and leave the station.[4]
  • Improved waiting rooms.[8]
  • Alteration to the existing bridge structure.[8]
  • New lifts and escalators.[8]
  • New glazed canopies.[8]

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.[5][9][7]
  • A two-way cycle track at the west end of Neville Street.[9][4]
  • Change of traffic flow patterns to ease congestion.[10]
  • Pedestrian crossings on Neville Street and Grainger Street.[4]
  • Pedestrianisation of the car-park space outside the Centurion Pub.[7][9]
  • Wider footways and pavement cafes outside the station.[4]

The work is due to begin in May 2013 and be completed by April 2014 by Miller Construction.[5] The station will operate as normal throughout the works.[5] The £8.6 million funding for the internal station work has been provided by the Department for Transport's Station Commercial Project Facility Fund.[5] The external works are being jointly funded by NE1, Regional Growth Fund and Newcastle City Council.[6]

Train services

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

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Terminus First ScotRail
First TransPennine Express Terminus
Edinburgh Waverley   East Coast
Flying Scotsman
  London Kings Cross
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
Terminus Northern Rail

Railway infrastructure

Simplified rail network around Newcastle

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.[11] Many post cards were created in the early 1900s with title The Largest Railway Crossing in the World - Post cards such as the Valentine Series[12] and National Series - either photographed from the Castle (towards the station), or from the station towards the castle.

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 bay platforms they operated from on the north side of the station (the land they formerly occupied is now used for car parking), removing the need for such a complex crossing. Much of this work was carried out in 1988-9 as part of the remodelling & resignalling work associated with ECML electrification. A new island platform (on the former goods lines) was also 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.


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 South Shields
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.

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