Tyne Valley Line
|Tyne Valley Line|
| Principal stations (from east to west)|
The Tyne Valley Line, also known as the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway (N&CR), is a railway line in northern England. The 60 mile (96 km) line was built in the 1830s, and links the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne and Wear with Carlisle in Cumbria.
Passenger services on the Tyne Valley Line are operated by Northern Rail and First ScotRail. The line is also heavily used for freight, and is an important diversionary route during East Coast Main Line closures.
Immediately after crossing the Tyne from Newcastle, the Tyne Valley Line diverges from the southbound East Coast Main Line and passes west through Gateshead, with stations at Dunston, Metro Centre and Blaydon.
Past Blaydon, the line enters Northumberland and passes Wylam station. The station house at Wylam was built in 1835, and is Grade II* listed. Other principal stops in Northumberland include Prudhoe, Corbridge, Hexham and Haltwhistle.
The full list of towns and villages served by the line are listed below.
- Metro Centre
- Riding Mill
- Haydon Bridge
- Bardon Mill
The railway was built by the Newcastle-on-Tyne and Carlisle Railroad Company, gaining Royal Assent on 22 May 1829. The line was built in sections from 1834 onwards; the entire route between Carlisle London Road station and Redheugh in Gateshead was formally opened to passengers on 18 June 1838. A temporary Tyne bridge was built at Scotswood to allow trains to reach a terminus in Newcastle – this opened on 21 October 1839. N&CR trains first used Newcastle Central Station on 1 January 1851.
The N&CR was absorbed by the North Eastern Railway on 17 July 1862. From 1864, trains ran to Carlisle Citadel station, and the old London Road station was closed. In 1870, the temporary bridge at Scotswood was removed – a new iron bridge, the Scotswood Bridge, was built to replace it.
A north Tyne route – the North Wylam loop – was constructed for colliery and passenger traffic in the mid-1870s. It diverged from the original S&CR at Scotswood, ran along the north bank of the Tyne, and crossed the river at Wylam where it joined the S&CR again. Stations were built at Newburn, Lemington and North Wylam. The North Wylam loop fell under the Beeching Axe in the 1960s, and closed to passengers on 11 March 1968.
On 4 October 1982, British Rail closed the Scotswood Bridge, which had become uneconomical to maintain. Tyne Valley trains from Newcastle were diverted to use the present route, crossing the King Edward Bridge south-west of Newcastle Central Station, and running via Dunston to Blaydon.
The line is not an electrified route; passenger services are therefore operated by diesel multiple units, typically Class 142 "Pacers" and Class 156 "Super Sprinters" which were introduced in the late 1980s. Prior to this, Metro-Cammell Class 101 units were used.