Newcastle Central: View along platform 3 (platform 9 to those of a certain generation) at Newcastle Central on 18 August 2010.
Colin Alexander 18/08/2010

Newcastle Central

Location type

Major station

Name and dates

Newcastle Central (1850-)

Station code: National Rail
Where: North East England, England
Opened on the Newcastle and Berwick Railway.
Opened on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway.


This magnificent through station is covered by three long curved trainsheds 60 ft wide designed by architect John Dobson with subsequent additional coverage. Dobson was responsible (with builder Richard Grainger) for the reconstruction and expansion of large areas of Newcastle in the 1830s and 40s. The station is on the East Coast Main Line and serves other lines such as those to Carlisle, Sunderland and North Shields.

The station was paid for by the Newcastle and Berwick Railway (York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway by the time the station opened) and the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway.

The High Level Bridge and Newcastle East Junction opened in 1848, until the station opened trains reversed at the east end of what would become Newcastle Central.

The station site straddles the site of a west part of the town wall and Hadrian's Wall. The mid to east end were the Spital fields and west end the site of The Forth. It replaced the terminii Newcastle Carliol Square (in 1850) to the east and Newcastle [Forth] (in 1851) immediately to the west with a through station. The original station had bay platforms at either end and a single through platform on the south side, with carriage sidings parallel to the south. Station offices, waiting rooms and a hotel were on the north side, completed after official opening in 1850. A colonnade was originally planned for the north side and a massive portico was added instead (1863).

The clean lines of this original design were altered with the addition of an island platform, on the site of the carriage sidings, in 1871. The sidings were moved to the west end and the original goods shed from Forth Banks Goods was moved here to become a carriage shed in 1873.

Platform alterations continued and by 1894 two further trainsheds and further suburban platforms had been added at the east end creating what was at the time the largest railway crossing in the World, Newcastle East Junction (overlooked by the castle keep). The suburban platforms were electrified in 1904.

There was further modification at the west end with the opening of the King Edward Bridge and formation of Newcastle West Junction in 1906. This finally ended the practise of having East Coast Main Line trains reverse in the station to continue their journey.

Most of the east end bays were removed with the creation of the Tyne and Wear Metro in the 1980s, the area becoming a car park. The east junction was rationalised as was the west junction with the closure of the route via Scotswood, a short portion of which is now a long siding.

The portico formerly provided a covered road at the main entrance. This was converted into an additional glazed area in 2013, with shops and cafes.


Royal Station Hotel



External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

Chronology Dates

  /  /1864Border Counties RailwayNewcastle and Carlisle Railway
First train runs from Newcastle Central to Riccarton Junction.
  /  /1866Settle and Carlisle Line (Midland Railway)
Bill for the line presented with support from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, Glasgow and South Western Railway and the North British Railway (who did not have a partner other than the North Eastern Railway route to Newcastle Central for taking traffic from the Border Union Railway (North British Railway) (Waverley Route) at Carlisle).

News items

22/08/2023Train Travel Keeps Me Young, Says 93-Year-Old Retired Rail Manager At Launch Of LNER Photo Exhibition [Forbes]
06/03/2023Historic Northumberland Line to reopen next summer [GOV.UK]
10/10/2022Futureproof: £4.5m Newcastle track upgrade completed [Network Rail]
21/09/2022Passengers reminded to plan ahead as major upgrades are set for Newcastle Central station [Network Rail]
01/09/2022All change at Newcastle: Passengers urged to plan ahead in September and October as major upgrades take place at Newcastle Central station [Network Rail]
09/11/2021Prince Charles visits Newcastle to celebrate Metro 40th Anniversary [Evening Chronicle]
24/08/2021Next phase of Newcastle Central Station transformation due to begin in September [Network Rail]
23/06/2020Green light for Newcastle Central Station [Network Rail]
28/11/2011Funding approved for transformation of Newcastle Central station [Network Rail]
28/03/2007Improvements at Newcastle [Railway Strategies]


A History of North Eastern Railway Architecture: A Mature Art v. 2

A History of North Eastern Railway Architecture: Pioneers v. 1

A History of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, 1824 - 1870: The First Line Across Britain

A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North-east v. 4 (A regional history of the railways of Great Britain)

A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North-east v. 4 (A regional history of the railways of Great Britain)

An Illustrated History of Carlisle's Railways

Hexham to Carlisle: Including the Alston and the Brampton Branches (Eastern Main Lines)

Newcastle (Rail Centres)

Newcastle (Rail Centres)

Newcastle To Alnmouth.: and the Amble Branch. (Eastern Main Lines.)

Newcastle to Hexham: Including the Allendale Branch (Eastern Main Lines)

North Eastern Railway: Historical Maps

The Border Counties Railway Steam Memories 1950's-1960's: Newcastle to Reedsmouth No. 68, pt. 1