Tyne and Wear
The Tyne and Wear Metro opened in 1980 representing ‘a new standard in UK urban public transport’. Two lines, totalling 48 miles, run across Tyne and Wear linking Newcastle Airport and South Hylton, St James and South Shields.
The integrated light-rail system adopted existing over-ground railway lines and stations in addition to a massive new infrastructure of underground tunnels and stations.
The use of rolled concrete, white/yellow vitreous enamel-coated panels, black steel and dark glass, and distinctive Calvert font for signage, makes the design of the Metro system very distinctive.
Its stations span a range of architectural periods from Tynemouth’s grade II* Victorian grandeur, 1930s Art Deco at West Monkseaton, post-World War Two design at Longbenton, to the bespoke architecture of later 20th century station developments.
Notable 20th century stations include the cavernous, cathedral-high Gateshead, and Monument, which is wrapped around a central core where foundations for Earl Grey’s precariously-balanced monument had to be built. Jesmond is also noteworthy and possibly the purest expression of Metro’s original aesthetic.
Finally, Ove Arup’s award-winning 1979 Ouseburn Viaduct is also a stunning piece of concrete.