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Newcastle Central Station
Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Newcastle Central Station
associated engineer
John Dobson
Robert Stephenson
date  1845 - 1850
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Building  |  reference  NZ246638
ICE reference number  HEW 289 + 452
photo  Jane Joyce
One of the first of many major railway stations to use curved iron ribs of considerable span as part of its roof structure. The original roof consists of the three most northerly spans adjoining the station buildings.
Central Station was commissioned by railway entrepreneur George Hudson and built to serve two lines the Newcastle & Carlisle and the York, Newcastle & Berwick both of which terminated there. It was designed by local architect John Dobson and constructed in collaboration with Robert Stephenson, engineer of the bridges on the Berwick line.
The impressive roof is made of iron and glass. It is supported by two lines of of plain cast iron columns at 9.1m centres, with arcades of simple arched girders, which are about 1.5m high where they meet the columns. The arched girders have open spandrels (infills).
The central span sits some 2m higher than the other two. This is achieved by the inclusion of timber and iron longitudinal trusses, the queen posts of which are supported in iron shoes added to the extended-height columns.
The arched roof ribs are set at 3m centres and span 18.9m. The main ribs are made-up plate girders, 241mm deep and 152mm wide with 50mm by 50mm angles.
The station was opened by Queen Victoria in 1850, and a model of the construction was presented at the Great Exhibition the following year.
A portico designed by Thomas Prosser was added to the station facade in 1861. In 1894, the two further spans were added to the south side by architect William Bell. The station is thought to be one of the first to have electric lighting.
Ironwork contractor: Abbot & Co, Gateshead
Building contractor: McKay and Blackstock
Research: MGW
reference sources   CEH North

Newcastle Central Station