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Tyne and Wear Metro : Routes : North Tyneside Loop


The line from St. James through North Shields and Tynemouth, which returns to central Newcastle through South Gosforth, is known as the North Tyneside Loop. The line was previously used by mainline trains which started and finished at Newcastle Central. When converted to Metro operation, new tunnel was built from St. James through Newcastle city centre to Manors, with a new alignment as far as Heaton.

Yellow line (St. James–South Shields via the Tyne Coast) services run every 12 minutes. In peak hours this is supplemented by short workings from Monkseaton via South Gosforth to Pelaw. The line is double track throughout.

Some of the stations on the overground sections of this route are converted from former main line railway stations, including Walkergate, Wallsend, Howdon, Percy Main, North Shields, Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, West Monkseaton, Benton and Longbenton. Other stations were constructed for the Metro, including Byker, Chillingham Road, Hadrian Road, Meadow Well, Shiremoor, Northumberland Park, Palmersvillel, Four Lane Ends and the underground stations at St. James, Monument and Manors.

map of North Tyne Loop route

St. James–Chillingham Road

overrun tunnel at St. James Byker Viaduct Byker Viaduct

Yellow Line services start at St. James, which is underneath Newcastle United's St. James' Park stadium. There are short overruns on each track to the west. Trains run in tunnel through Monument station to Manors. Just before Manors station, the stock line from Jesmond joins from the north. A short distance after Manors, the line emerges from tunnel alongside the East Coast Main Line railway from Newcastle Central (heading north to Edinburgh). Byker Viaduct, built for the Metro, runs parallel to the mainline and carries the Metro over Ouseburn Valley and into Byker. The line parts company with the main line railway to reach Byker station, after which the line enters Byker tunnel. This brings the line up to Chillingham Road station, next to Heaton TMD (mainline railway depot), at which point was the original junction between the East Coast Main Line and the North Tyneside Loop.

Chillingham Road–North Shields

East from Chillingham Road, the line uses the former railway route to North Shields, running on a fairly straight east north east alignment through stations at Walkergate, Wallsend, Hadrian Road, Howdon, Percy Main and Meadow Well. Just after Meadow Well the line turns north east to reach North Shields station.

Between Percy Main and Meadow Well the line crosses over another railway line. A former waggonway, now home to the North Tyneside Steam Railway, part of this line was used during the construction of the Tyne and Wear Metro to test the prototype Metro cars.

North Shields–South Gosforth

From North Shields, the line is in tunnel as far as Tynemouth station, and veers north to follow the coast to Cullercoats. Just before Whitley Bay station the line turns inland, initially heading north west for Monkseaton station before turning south west for West Monkseaton and the journey back to Newcastle.

After Shiremoor, there is a new (2005) station at Northumberland Park. Immediately before Northumberland Park, Network Rail's Blyth and Tyne freight line joins the Metro alignment from the north, and the two lines run alongside each other through this station and Palmersville. They swap sides, with Metro trains crossing the Blyth and Tyne on a bridge, before the freight line curves south to join the East Coast Main Line (ECML). The Metro line continues south west, crossing over the ECML on a bridge. A former north–west curve from the ECML to the North Tyneside Loop is now used as a stabling point for trains (Benton sidings). There are further stations at Benton, Four Lane Ends and Longbenton, before the line reaches Gosforth East Junction. Here the passenger lines curve south to reach South Gosforth, where it joins the line from the Airport. There is also a double track connection to Gosforth Depot, with a single track depot avoiding line skirting around the northern perimeter of the depot to Regent Centre.

Airport route South Gosforth station Gosforth depot Longbenton station Four Lane Ends station Benton station Palmersville station Northumberland Park station Shiremoor station West Monkseaton station Monkseaton station Whitley Bay station Cullercoats station Tynemouth station North Shields station Meadow Well station Percy Main station Howdon station Hadrian Road station Wallsend station Walkergate station Chillingham Road station Byker station Manors station Monument station St. James station Gosforth–Pelaw route Gosforth–Pelaw route

[select a station for pictures]

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