Newcastle Central Station


Newcastle Central StationNewcastle Central Station on Neville Street was designed by John Dobson and was opened by Queen Victoria on the 29th August 1850. Replacing three earlier stations, it was jointly funded by the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway and George Hudson’s Newcastle & Darlington Junction and Newcastle & Berwick Railways. The station is a Grade 1 Listed building.

Conception

A scheme for a central station was proposed by Richard Grainger and Thomas Sopwith in 1836 but was not built.

The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway had agreed to relinquish their insistence on exclusively using their Redheugh terminus on the south bank of the River Tyne. They agreed with George Hudson on a general station north of the Tyne, near the Spital. Instead of crossing the Tyne by a low level bridge and climbing to the Spital by a rope-worked incline, they would build an extension crossing at Scotswood and approaching on the north bank. They opened this line and a temporary station at Forth, and passenger trains started using that on 1 March 1847.

Hudson, known as the "Railway King" was concentrating on connecting his portfolio of railways so as to join Edinburgh with the English network. His Newcastle and Berwick Railway obtained its authorising Act of Parliament in 1845, but for the time being it was to use the Newcastle and North Shields Railway's station at Carliol Square. Building a crossing of the Tyne was obviously going to be a lengthy process, so that he gave the construction of the general station a low priority. The Tyne crossing became the High Level Bridge.

In February 1846 the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway exerted pressure for the general station to be built, and the architect John Dobson was appointed by Hudson to design it, in association with the engineer T E Harrison, and Robert Stephenson. By now the general alignment of Hudson's railways was becoming clear: a main line from the south via Gateshead would approach over the High Level Bridge and enter the general station from the east; the Newcastle and Berwick line would be extended from Carliol Square and also enter from the east; through trains from London to Scotland would reverse in the new station. Newcastle and Carlisle Railway trains would of course enter from the west.

A definite design

Dobson produced general plans for the station, now being referred to as the Central station, on a broad curve to front Neville Street so as to accommodate the alignment of the approaching railways at east and west. It was to a "Romano-Italien design with ornamental work of the Doric order". Two through platform lines were shown, with three west end bays and two at the east end. There were to be three trainshed roofs with spans of 60 feet. Extensive offices as well as refreshment facilities were shown, and there was to be a covered carriage drive on the Neville Street side extending from the porte-cochère at each end.

On 7 August 1847 a contract was let for the main part of the work to Mackay and Blackstock, for £92,000. A considerable amount of groundworks was necessary on the large site prior to the actual building work.

The work did not progress speedily, and in 1849 Hudson's collection of railway companies suffered a financial shock. At a time of more difficult trading and a tighter money market, Hudson's personal dealings were exposed as shady. The York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway]] had been formed by merger of the previous smaller companies, and the YN&BR wished to reduce the financial commitment to the Central Station substantially; hotel accommodation and the covered carriage drive were eliminated. One of the through platforms was also removed from the plan.

As built the site covered three acres and the length of the platform faces was 830 yards.

Inaugurated by the Queen

The trainshed proved faster to construct and on 29 August 1850 Queen Victoria visited the station by train and formally opened it. The following day YN&BR trains were diverted into it. The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway transferred its terminal facilities into the new station on 1 January 1851. At this period it was customary to have separate "arrival" and "departure" platforms for terminating trains. The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway used right-hand running, so that conveniently their west-facing departure platform was located against the station buildings, enabling booking and waiting rooms to be located directly adjacent to the departing trains.

The trainshed was, jointly with the Lime Street station in Liverpool, the first to be designed and built in Britain using curved wrought iron ribs to support an arched roof. The large section of the ribs was fabricated using curved web plates specially rolled using bevelled rolls; the novel technique was created by Thomas Charlton of Hawks Crawshay, and was estimated to have saved 14% on the cost of the roof ironwork, compared with cutting rectilinear plates to the curve.

The station was lit by gas; a demonstration of electric arc-lighting was made, but was not at that date a practical possibility for the large station space. The platforms were positioned 15 inches above rail level.

In 1861 the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway had already merged with others to form the North Eastern Railway, and now it was desired to amalgamate with the Newcastle and Berwick Railway too. The Corporation of Newcastle used the opportunity of the necessary Parliamentary Bill for the amalgamation to insist on construction of the abandoned porte-cochère, and this was designed by Thomas Prosser and completed in 1863.

Expansion of the station

In the 1860s the passenger train service was increasing considerably, especially as branch lines opened, and an additional through island platform was provided in 1871, occupying space formerly in use for stabling carnages. Increase in traffic continued, as also increasing train lengths and it was clear that a major extension of the station was essential. Newcastle had been given city status in 1882 and was supportive of the work, seeing it as a civic improvement. Forth Street was displaced southwards and two new trainshed roofs covered a southward extension of the station; in addition a large expansion to the east took place, with additional bay platforms there on the north side of the former bays. The original through track was blocked to form east and west bays, so that there were still only three through platform lines. This work was completed in 1894.

The new group of bay platforms at the east end had their own concourse quadrangle, known at the time as the "Tynemouth Square". There was a separate booking hall for those local services. At this stage the roof covered seven and a half acres in area; there were fifteen platforms with a length of 3,000 yards.

Puffing Billy

In 1901 an early steam locomotive was on display at the station; :

[The station] is further graced by a pedestal on which stands a curious old locomotive rejoicing in the name of "Billy". The true early history of "Billy" is well-nigh veiled in the mists of antiquity, and it was only by diligent enquiry that Mr Holliday, the Station Master, was able to learn a little of her antecedents. That "she" was constructed as far back as 1824 – 1826 is however certain, and on that score alone she is entitled to an introduction to such of the readers of the Railway Magazine as have until now been unaware of her existence. For about fifty-five years (until 1879) she performed good service, first at the Springwell, and latterly at the Killingworth colliery, from which place she actually steamed into Newcastle in 1881 to celebrate George Stephenson’s Centenary.

An image of the locomotive in Bywell's article is captioned "Puffing billy" but it is not Puffing Billy of 1814, which is currently on display at the Science Museum in London.

The locomotive in Bywell's article is known simply as Billy. It was presented to Newcastle upon Tyne Corporation for preservation in 1881. Initially it was displayed on a plinth at the north end of the High Level Bridge, but was moved to the interior of Newcastle Central station in 1896; it remained there until 1945, when it was moved to the city's Museum of Science and Industry; it was moved again in 1981 to the Stephenson Railway Museum in nearby North Shields, where it is still on display.

The early history of the locomotive is uncertain; it is probably a George Stephenson locomotive, and was probably built at Killingworth Colliery workshops around 1815-1820.

The twentieth century

In 1900 the North Eastern Railway started replacing the gas lighting in the station with electric arc equipment. Further use of electricity came from 1904 when electric trains were introduced, using Central station from 1 July 1904.

The Metro system opened in 1980, taking over and improving many of the Tyneside suburban routes that had declined under British Railways management. The Metro system was a considerable success; it had its own subterranean station below the main line Central station. Many conventional rail services were transferred there, and several of the east end bays were closed and converted to car parking and other usage. The Carlisle line was diverted to enter Newcastle over the King Edward Bridge of 1906, and a large out-of-town shopping development, the "Metro Centre", was opened with a station on that line. The changing pattern of railway services meant that terminating trains were significantly fewer and through trains had increased. The emphasis on bay platforms at the station was no longer appropriate.

The opportunity was taken in conjunction with the East Coast Main Line electrification scheme, inaugurated in 1991, to extend the station southwards to provide more through platforms; this encroached on to land occupied by through tracks earlier used by goods trains but seeing little of that class of traffic by now. A new island platform was provided encompassing the southern wall of the station; the two platform faces are divided so as to provide four numbered platforms, 5 to 8, generally used for local trains.

Metro station

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.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 15/04/2016).
Visit the page: Newcastle railway station for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
008802:Central Station Newcastle upon Tyne 1863

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
016982:Central Station Newcastle Upon Tyne circa 1905

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
003704:Central Station Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. 1900

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
023616:Central Station Neville St. Newcastle upon Tyne C.1890.

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
063860:Central Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
037093:Central Station Newcastle upon Tyne unknown c1930

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
010443:Signal box, Central Station, Newcastle upon Tyne, c.1930

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
008731:Central Station Newcastle upon Tyne C.1900

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
011463:Neville Street Newcastle upon Tyne Unknown c.1900

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
030298:Newcastle Central station C.1920

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
715818:Neville Street Newcastle upon Tyne Unknown c.1904

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
037573:Neville Street Newcastle upon Tyne Bertram Robert S. 1914

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
003731:Neville Street Newcastle upon Tyne 1887

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from http://www.railwayarchitect...
Newcastle Central Station - Railway Architecture of North East England
- Information and photographs as part of the 'Railway Architecture of North East England' Website by Dr. Bill Fawcett.

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
666797g:View of Neville Street Newcastle upon Tyne Unknown c.1910

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
060700:Neville Street Central Newcastle upon Tyne Trevor Ermel January 1995

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from TWAM (flickr)
Central Station, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1956

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central Station Water Tank

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Plaque commemorating the opening by Queen Victoria on 29th August 1850

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
IMGP1807

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
IMGP1805

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
IMGP1753

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle railway station (1)

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
NEWCASTLE stationroof / platform ballet

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Keep_15

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Train driver hero worship

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Gorsaf Newcastle Canolog

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Deltic 55022 Royal Scots Grey

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Train Station - Tiltshift + HDR

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
DSC00041

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
DSC00038

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Offices and water tank at Newcastle Central station

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
CrossCountry liveried Voyager, 220 034, at Newcastle Central Station.

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central station

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central Station

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central Station, from Central Square

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central station

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Class 91s at Newcastle Central

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
82224, an East Coast Railways Mark 4 Driving Brake Van.

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Central Station

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Voyager at Newcastle Central 15-08-07

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Travel Centre, Newcastle Central Station opened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh K.G., K.T. on 5 December 1985

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
ENGLISH WELSH AND SCOTTISH CLASS 67 LOCOMOTIVE AT NEWCASTLE CENTRAL STATION NOV 2013

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Central Station

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Central Station, Newcastle, April 2009 (2)

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Three Painted Figures

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle station from the castle. 22.1.05

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Station Pub

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
The Centurion Newcastle

Pinned by Peter Smith
from http://www.twsitelines.info...
Tyne and Wear HER(4130): Newcastle, Central Station
- "Newcastle Central Station was designed by John Dobson and built mainly in 1850. The massive portico designed by Thomas Prosser was added in 1863. Expansion in 1893 included construction of ...

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Rail entrance to Newcastle Central Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Portico, Newcastle Central Station, Neville Street

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
East end of Newcastle Central Station from Castle Keep, with northbound empties

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
The panorama at the east end of Newcastle Central Station from the Castle, with the 'North Briton' express leaving for Edinburgh

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from https://historicengland.org...
Central Railway Station; passenger buildings and train shed with platforms
- "Railway station. 1845-50 by John Dobson for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company; portico 1860 by Prosser for North Eastern Railway Company; extended c.1890 by W. Bell. Sandstone ...

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from TWAM (flickr)
Newcastle Central Station junction, 1963

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
Central Station, Newcastle upon Tyne

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
Central Station and Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
023377:Central Station Newcastle upon Tyne 1975

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
053579:National Railway Strike 1911

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
Newcastle Central Station, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Newcastle libraries (flickr)
053573:No Title available

Pinned by Pat Thomson
  Co-Curate Page
Railway Arch, St Nicholas' Street
- Overview Map Street View The arch which carries the railway over St Nicholas Street in Newcastle was built in 1848 by Abbot and Co. of Gateshead.[1] The arch is 300 metres ...
from TWAM (flickr)
Central Station area, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1963

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Geograph (geograph)
Bas relief of Queen Victoria, Newcastle Central station main exit

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Geograph (geograph)
Bas relief of the future Edward VII, Newcastle Central station main exit

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central railway station

Pinned by Pat Thomson
  Co-Curate Page
Metro Central Station - Newcastle
- Central is a station of the Tyne & Wear Metro, which can be accessed from Newcastle Central Station (railway) or via a subway at the bottom of Grainger Street. The ...
  Co-Curate Page
Newcastle and Berwick Railway
- Overview About the N&BR Railway The Newcastle and Berwick Railway (N&BR) was authorised by an Act of Parliament on 31 July 1845, it was one of a number of competing ...
from Flickr (flickr)
Inside Newcastle Central Station, 1948

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Flickr (flickr)
Newcastle Central Station

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Platform 2 and new retail units, Newcastle Central Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central station, platforms 4 and 5/6

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Lamps in Newcastle Central station (2)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Bas relief of Prince Albert, Newcastle Central station main exit

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Watching over Central Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Clock in Newcastle Central station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central Railway Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Newcastle Central Station

Pinned by Simon Cotterill

Comments

Add a comment or share a memory.

Login to add a comment. Sign-up if you don't already have an account.

ABOUT US

Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.

LATEST SHARED RESOURCES