OUR first “wide-eye” panorama picture in Memories 500 featured an amazing view of Newcastle station from atop the castle in August 1965.

The station was built in 1850 in a joint effort by three companies – the Newcastle & Carlisle, the Newcas-tle & Darlington Junction, and the Newcastle & Berwick – and it replaced their three existing stations. De-signed by John Dobson, it is one of only six stations in the country which is Grade I listed, and it is re-garded as a “cathedral station”.

Because it handled both mainline and local trains, the station is said to have had a unique claim to fame.

“I’ve read quite a few railway books that agree with you that it had the world’s largest convergence of lines,” says John Rusby of Bishop Auckland.

“As a young schoolboy in the 1950s, I spent many Saturdays trainspotting on the station, and I remem-ber well the complex trackwork.”

In the picture of the east end of the station, the lines to the right head off north while the lines crossing over them and heading left are bound for the High Level Bridge over the Tyne.

“As a young schoolboy in the 1950s, I spent many Saturdays trainspotting on the station and remember well the complex trackwork. I also remember a Gresley V2 Pacific locomotive being derailed after a colli-sion on this track.”

This may have been on April 19, 1955, when Pacific No 60968 was in a collision with a Fairburn tank en-gine in the station and were both derailed.

“One other great memory of Newcastle station was the buffet,” says John. “You could never have been served a more tastier bowl of vegetable soup anywhere else in the country.”