Newcastle Central Station’s portico, which has accommodated taxis and cars for decades, is to be pedestrianized and the inside of the station upgraded. The work will see pavements widened and pedestrian access improved, as well as the addition of a two-way cycle track. Work is expected to be completed by summer 2014. The station will operate as normal throughout. Taxis will no longer be able to enter the portico and will operate from Orchard Street. The Grade I-listed station was designed by John Dobson, and Queen Victoria attended its official opening in 1850. The station is managed by East Coast and the building is owned by Network Rail. The work is being funding with the help of regional growth fund NE1 and Newcastle City Council. More than 7.5m passengers use the station every year.
Newcastle – a Nostalgia
Newcastle Central Station is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line and Cross Country Route. Opened in 1850 by Queen Victoria, it was the first covered railway station in the world and was much copied across the UK. It has a neoclassical facade, originally designed by the architect John Dobson, and was constructed in collaboration with Robert Stephenson. The first services were operated by the North Eastern Railway company. The city’s other mainline station, Manors, is to the east of the city centre.
Train operator East Coast provides a half-hourly frequency of trains to London King’s Cross, with a journey time of about three hours. Other destinations on the East Coast Main Line include to the south; Durham, Darlington, York, Doncaster and Peterborough and north to Scotland with all trains calling at Edinburgh and some extended to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. CrossCountry trains serve destinations in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South West including Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Derby, Leeds, Plymouth, Sheffield and Reading. First TransPennine Express operates services to Manchester and Liverpool. Northern Rail provides local and regional services to Carlisle, Hexham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Morpeth.