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Tynemouth occupies a prominent headland on the north bank of the Tyne, culminating in the picturesque priory ruins. These overlook the breakwaters protecting the mouth of what used to be one of the foremost shipbuilding and coal-shipping rivers in the world. It was, however, the village's role as a popular resort, with the Long Sands sweeping north towards Cullercoats, which led to the creation of the present Tynemouth Station. Opened in 1882, this provides one of the most exuberant displays of High-Victorian ironwork to be found in a medium-scale station anywhere.

Its predecessor,  Tynemouth Old Station, also survives, built by the Newcastle & North Shields Railway, which extended its line to Tynemouth in 1847, having reached North Shields in 1839. This route was absorbed by George Hudson's York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway and so passed to the NER. The second railway to arrive was the Blyth & Tyne, which built a branch from its main line down to North Shields, opened to goods in October 1860 and passengers on 1 April 1861. Their terminus was at the east end of Shields, barely half a mile west of the NER's Tynemouth station, while exactly 4 years later the B&T extended their route to a permanent station just across the road from the NER one. The two companies were thus able to offer rival routes from Newcastle to the coast.

The B&T developed a scheme to re-route their line nearer the coast, in order to serve the growing resorts of Whitley Bay and Cullercoats, but in 1874 they merged with the NER, which carried this through so as to link the new route with their 1847 one. The new line, opened on 3 July 1882, necessarily bypassed the earlier stations and so the present one came into being. Tynemouth developed a dual character, as a resort - particularly for day-visitors, and as a pleasant residence for people working in Newcastle. The latter role was enhanced by the introduction in 1904 of electric trains, following a circular route from the city to the coast and back. This became the nucleus of the present Tyne & Wear Metro system.

1: Tynemouth Old Station, Newcastle & North Shields Ry, opened 31 March 1847; goods station after 1882..

2. North Shields Station, Blyth & Tyne Railway, retained as goods & coal depot until 1971..

3. Tynemouth Station, Blyth & Tyne Railway, opened 1 April 1865, closed 1882 and demolished.

4. Tynemouth Station, NER, opened 3 July 1882.

With the opening of the coast line in 1882, the NER was able to abandon most of the 1860 Blyth & Tyne route from Monkseaton, however they put in a curve at Tynemouth to enable trains to reach the former B&T North Shields terminus. This was retained as a goods and coal depot, complete with its elegant Italianate office building/agent's house, until 1971. The site was subsequently cleared.





© W. Fawcett, 2011