North Tyneside Steam Railway
INFORMATION FOR THE VISITOR
The North Tyneside Steam Railway and Stephenson Steam Railway is a visitor attraction in North Tyneside, about 6 miles from Newcastle City Centre. The museum and railway workshops share a building on Middle Engine Lane adjacent to the Silverlink Retail Park. The railway runs south for 2 miles from the Museum to Percy Main, where it connects with nearby Metro services. The Museum is managed by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums on behalf of North Tyneside Council, and is free to enter. It is dedicated to the famous railway pioneers, George Stephenson and his son, Robert. The railway is operated by the North Tyneside Steam Railway Association, running along one of the oldest stretches of railway in the country, being formerly a wagonway established as early as 1755. Trains run on most Sundays and bank holidays and occasional weekdays, especially during school holidays.
Happening This Month: June 2023
Museum open & trains running each Sunday.
Also Thursday 1 June and Sat 17 June.
Key Facts (where and when)
Extent of Railway (where to where):
Middle Engine Lane (next to Silverlink Retail Park) to Percy Main
Principal Visitor Centre:
Museum at Middle Engine Lane (NE29 8DX)
Period of Operation*
- Museum: March to October (Weekends and selected days)
- Railway: April to October (Selected Saturdays and Sundays)
- December (Special event trains)
[* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days]
Key Facts (what you’ll see)
Services usually steam or diesel?
Can be steam or diesel
Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:
Small industrial steam or diesel locomotives
Length of Line:
Time taken for a round trip:
About 30 minutes
Number of trains per day:
4 per day
Number of Stations:
Adult: £8. Seniors and Students: £6
Time to allow for Visit:
2 to 3 hours
Car Park Facilities:
Has own car park next to the museum entrance (free)
Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)
- None advertised
- Elf Express: December
- Winter Warmers: Post Xmas December
Telephone: (0191) 277 7135
Social Media: www.facebook.com/stephensonrailway
Also on Twitter and YouTube
INFORMATION FOR THE ENTHUSIAST
Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation
The railway runs along part of one of the oldest railway systems in the country. When much of the Northumberland coal seams near the River Tyne became exhausted, mines were sunk further inland to many collieries running ultimately as far as Blyth. With Newcastle being 10 miles inland from the sea along the River Tyne, a more convenient transhipment location, and one that worked well with the geography of the area, was the northern Tyne riverbank approximately 2 miles inland from the sea, opposite to High Shields on the south bank. Waggonways were laid from that part of the Tyne in a northerly direction ultimately serving dozens of collieries. A corridor for these colliery lines ran from Middle Engine Lane (where the Stephenson Steam Railway Museum now exists) down to Percy Main, where the lines diverged to the river bank to the staithes connected with the various collieries. The route was opened in 1755 on a line from Shiremoor to Hayhole staithes, soon followed by many more. By the 1820s the route was being used to transfer coal from pits further north in Seghill, Backworth and Cramlington, and by the 1840s from Blyth and Bedlington. During the twentieth century coal volumes declined and collieries closed, and the last Percy Main staithes closed in 1971. This led to closure of the National Coal Board lines, but British Rail retained the track from the Museum to Percy Main for use by the Tyne and Wear Metro Test Centre, with a 1.5-mile test track running from both north and south from Middle Engine Lane. When the Metro system opened in 1979, the test centre closed leaving only the shed. The final connection, Percy Main to Backworth, was closed in 1983. The North Tyneside Council then acquired the test sheds to form the base of a transport museum, later expanded in concept to include a steam hauled heritage passenger railway. A preservation society was then formed and further assistance came from the Monkwearmouth Station Museum Association which relocated to Middle Engine Lane. In 1987 the relaying of track from the Museum to Percy Main commenced, and the first heritage passenger trains started running in 1991.
Steam Operational Locomotives:
- Bagnall 0-6-0ST - No.401 'Sir Thomas Burt'
Diesel Operational Locomotives:
(1) BR Class 03 - 03078
(2) BR Class 08 - 08915
Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:
(1) Peckett 0-6-0 saddle tank - Ashington No.5 'Jackie Milburn'
(2) Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST - No. 69
Inside the Museum (Static Display)
(1) George Stephenson (1826) - ‘Billy’
(2) RSH 0-6-0T - No. 1 'Ted Garret JP MP'
(3) Kitson 0-6-0 side tank - ‘A.No.5’
(4) Siemans Harton Electric E4
(5) Diesel 0-6-0 shunter locomotive - No. 10
INFORMATION ON THE SUPPORT GROUP
Name of Support Group:
North Tyneside Steam Railway Association
Annual membership fee:
Adult: £15. Senior: £12..Junior £8. Family: £35
Benefits of membership: Members of the Association are entitled to participate in the running of the railway.
How to Join: Go to www.stephensonsteamrailway.org.uk/about/friends
What They Say About Volunteering:
Become a member of the North Tyneside Steam Railway Association and help keep the North Tyneside steam railway alive. Association members operate the locomotives and railway, with roles as diverse as driver, firemen, guard, shunter, operations controller and engineer. Volunteers also provide support with administration and customer service. All training is provided so if you’re interested in gaining work experience in a friendly environment, learning new skills and gaining confidence, get in touch - email email@example.com
How to Volunteer: Go to www.stephensonsteamrailway.org.uk/about/friends
How to Donate: Go to www.twmuseums.org.uk/donatestephenson
WHY JOIN: Help to run this historical museum and railway.
INFORMATION ON OTHER SOCIETIES WITH RELATED INTEREST
Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this
Traditional Railway Societies:
- Industrial Railway Society
- North Eastern Railway Society
- RCTS (North East branch)
- Stephenson Locomotive Society (Newcastle branch)
Model Railway Clubs:
- Newcastle & District Model Railway Society
- Blyth & Tyne Model Railway Society
- A19 Model Railway Club
- Jarrow Model Railway Club