Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tyneside Electrics

The North Eastern Railway - one of Britain's most innovative of railway companies - electrified it's suburban routes between Newcastle and the coast to win back customers from the tramways and this was one of our earliest and most successful electrified networks. A lot of the original 1904 rolling stock intoduced by Charles Mertz had quite an American 'inter-urban' feel to it but sadly most of that first generation was destroyed in a depot fire in 1915.

This picture shows some of the last stock built in 1937. None of the rolling stock has survived - incredibly British Rail tore out the whole electrification during the 1960's - but I'm pleased to say that most of the original routes now operate again under electric power as part of the Tyne and Wear Metro network.

I have very happy memories of these trains. My girlfriend used to live out at Whitley Bay and I'd catch these services every weekend to go and see her. Thinking about it - in retrospect maybe my time would have been better spent on the platforms of Newcastle Central! Or maybe not ...!


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