Metro, Newcastle upon Tyne
After a week in England while waiting for the Metro in Newcastle I suddenly felt like being in a big city again ;)
Looks like the city has quite a good underground system connecting Newcastle with Gateshead and Sunderland.
We still could have walked faster though...
The Metro provides a useful means of transport around the Newcastle locality. There are relatively few stations centrally, but then the city centre is compact, so it doesn't cause a problem.
The Metro runs out to the coast (Whitley Bay & Tynemouth), and to the airport (takes about 40 minutes from the centre). A recent extension means that you can now get to Sunderland too.
The trains are clean (usually....) and safe to use. Fares are a bit expensive over short distances, but longer journeys are better value for money. Stations are indicated by a big black "M" on a yellow background.
'The Metro' - officially called 'The Tyne & Wear Metro' it has taken over 20 years for it to finally reach Wearside. The Metro covers Central Newcastle, Central Gateshead, both banks of the Tyne heading out to the coast, the Northern suburbs of Newcastle and the Airport. It does not head West and in particular does not actually go to 'The Metro Centre', one of the largest shopping and liesure complexes in Europe. To get here you must take a bus or a train (destination Carlisle). The extension to Sunderland will open at the end of 2001, all being well.
You buy your tickets from machines before passing through the barriers to board the train. The trains are quite comfortable and they do get you around rather quickly. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes during the daytime and every 15 mins Evenings & Sundays.
In central Newcastle it's almost as easy to just walk everywhere, as it's a fairly compact city centre.
Just get a day ticket for the metro & you will be fine - its quick, clean and normally has plenty of space - Try a trip out to Tynemouth to see the sea!
It's somewhat surprising that a city of the moderate size of Newcastle should have an efficient and well-run subway system. It's inexpensive and easy to navigate.