I like the Metro. No not the one in Paris but the Geordie one that circles the coast through Whitley Bay before diving back under the city and the River Tyne before it heads out to Sunderland and beyond.
Apart from the two tunnels under the city the rest of the route is made up of converted rail lines which had reached the end of their days and were threatened with closure before someone had the genius idea of converting them to a rapid transit system. It’s a similar story with Manchester’s Metrolink system.
The rolling stock is still the original oddly boxy and square tram cars, though replacements are now about to start arriving. They do have the look of a child’s train set as they buzz busily around the city and they’re certainly well used.
Like the Merseyrail system there’s the underground section which then bursts out into the open air, for me one of the best spots for this is the Metro bridge that crosses the Tyne, especially in the evening when you can see the boxy profile of tram set bustling to a fro as the sun settles away for another day and the evening comes on duty.
This shot was taken at the Monument station in the city centre. The train (tram?) coming in was a service out to the coast through Tynemouth with its spectacular cliff top priory and Whitley Bay for beaches, ice cream and candy floss. A personal pleasure is hearing the announcements in the sing song Geordie accent.
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