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Useful Notes / Tyne And Wear Metro

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A moderate-sized light rail system in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, extending to Sunderland. Despite being a subway service there are relatively few underground stations, and these are limited mostly to the city centres.

Initially built in the 1980s, it was based primarily on disused tracks in the area, and only connected Tyneside at first. In 2002 Metro services began to run along the Durham Coast Line to Sunderland, where they have to share with Northern services and freight. Once beyond Sunderland the services head to the city's western suburbs using Metro-only track.

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Despite the name, the MetroCentre is not included and the major shopping centre must be accessed by bus or rail connection.

    Central Section 

Both the Yellow and Green line Metros serve the central section, which runs from leafy Newcastle suburbs through the city centre and then over the River Tyne to Gateshead and its blue-collar eastern outskirts. Going from north to south and then east:

  • South Gosforth: The main control centre for the entire Metro system is located here, and this can serve as a terminus at peak times.
  • Ilford Road: Straddles the 55th degree North from the Equator.
  • West Jesmond
  • Jesmond: Along with West Jesmond, these are popular stations with the city's student population, who are heavily concentrated in the trendy area around Jesmond.
  • Haymarket: The first true underground station coming from the north (Jesmond is at the tunnel portal), this is close to both the main universities in the city and also bus interchanges for much of the city suburbs.
  • Monument: The most central of all stations, this station has several entrances from the city centre shopping areas. The station is also the busiest on the network, with around 6 million users every year.
  • Central Station: This station serves the main train station as well as the southern portion of the city centre.
  • Gateshead: Located below the town's main bus interchange, this station gets busy because most of Gateshead does not have a Metro service so many passengers from the town will change here.
  • Gateshead Stadium: The nearest station to Gateshead International Stadium, home of the town's football club. Also the first station to re-emerge from underground.
  • Felling
  • Heworth: There are train and bus links here.
  • Pelaw: Pelaw station can serve as a peak-time terminus and is also where trains to South Shields and Sunderland diverge.

    Airport Branch (Green Line) 

The Airport branch of the Green Line serves many of the outer reaches of Newcastle, and extends all the way to the Airport. Going from west to east:

  • Airport: Serves the city airport.
  • Callerton Parkway
  • Bank Foot: Former terminus of the line until 1991.
  • Kingston Park: Serves a major out-of-town supermarket.
  • Fawdon
  • Wansbeck Road
  • Regent Centre: This is an interchange for buses to as far afield as Ashington and Berwick. The busiest station on the branch by some distance.

The line then goes on to South Gosforth and through to Pelaw and eventually South Hylton.

    Coastal Loop (Yellow Line) 

The Coastal services run in a loop, starting in the west of the city centre and running through the working-class communities of the East End, into North Tyneside and along the coast. The Metro then returns via the rural northern part of North Tyneside and then into the northern suburbs of Newcastle, before joining the central section at South Gosforth.

    South Shields Branch (Yellow Line) 

Extending along the Tyne from Pelaw to South Shields, this branch takes in all the main towns to the south of the river, including Jarrow, Hebburn and South Shields itself.

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    Sunderland Branch(Green Line) 

This branch runs along National Rail lines from just east of Pelaw all the way to Sunderland station. It runs through both small commuter towns like Boldon and Sunderland's northern neighbourhoods. After passing the Stadium of Light, the home ground of Sunderland AFC, the line runs through Sunderland city centre and ends after a short run along the south bank of the Wear in its western outskirts.

    Extensions 
There are several extensions often mooted, but investment is hard to come by in the region. The most likely extension would probably either be Washington (not that one) or Cramlington, with both communities agitating for an extension.
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