Monument Metro Station
Monument is a principal station on the underground section of the Tyne and Wear Metro system and is used by almost 6 million passengers per year. It is named after Grey's Monument, which stands directly above the station. It is the only station on the Tyne and Wear Metro that is situated at a line crossing.
The station opened with services from two of its four platforms (1 and 2) on 15 November 1981, when the Metro was extended south from its temporary terminus at Haymarket to Heworth. The remaining two platforms (3 and 4) came into use when services between St James and Tynemouth commenced on 14 November 1982. Platforms 1 and 2 lie below 3 and 4, at right angles.
It is only one of two stations in the world where the same metro line passes through it twice in a pretzel configuration (the other being Voorweg RandstadRail station on the Randstadrail in The Hague, Netherlands). Trains on the Yellow line from South Shields travel north through the station towards Jesmond, Four Lane Ends and the Coast, and return westwards via Wallsend and Manors towards St James. (A similar situation also existed for 14 years on the Vancouver SkyTrain at Commercial–Broadway station and briefly on the Toronto subway at Bloor–Yonge for six months in 1966.)
The ticket hall has an exit to Fenwick department store, a more indirect underground connection to Eldon Square Shopping Centre, and exits to Blackett Street and Grey Street.
Although trains departing platform 3 state South Shields as their eventual destination, they must first complete an anticlockwise circuit of the coast. The journey time to stations south of Monument is considerably shorter when departing from platform 1.
The station features some art installations. By one of the entrances is a mural, Famous Faces, created by Bob Olley. It features a number of famous people from the North East, looking out of the window of a Metro train. This is mentioned on the song "By the Monument" by the band Maxïmo Park who grew up in the area.
Outside the station, a simple ventilation shaft has been disguised by Parsons Polygon. Created by David Hamilton as a tribute to Sir Charles Parsons. It is made from clay and features abstract designs based on Parsons' engineering drawings. There are also some designs based on circuitry which have been sand blasted into the walls and paving of the entrances to the station. This was installed in 2002 and is entitled Circuit. It was created by Richard Cole.