Interesting Facts

  • The tunnels opened in 1951 as Tyneside‚Äôs contribution to the Festival of Britain. The reopening, in early 2019, will coincide with the Great Exhibition of the North.
  • The 85ft rise of the escalators is the same height as the Angel of the North
  • The 200ft length of the escalator is nearly as long as the wingspan of a 747 jet airliner
  • The pedestrian tunnel is 3.2 meters (10 feet 6 inches) in diameter
  • The cyclist tunnel is 3.7 metres (12 feet) in diameter
  • The tunnels lie 40 feet below the river bed at their deepest point
  • The retained escalators weigh circa 45 tonnes each

Refurbishment Facts

  • There has been around 2,500 meters of cable and 210 lengths of design plan trunking fitted. The Connections to fitted lights are around 60% completed this includes over 3,000 connections so far.
  • There have been 28,000 ceramic tiles replaced with 1250m2 of Formica panels and 1,900m of aluminium trims fitted, 3,630 paving flags have been lifted and relayed including 1978 new paving flags being manufactured.
  • Once fully reopened, there will be two ways of entering and exiting the tunnels. The new glass-sided inclined lifts will take just over a minute between the top and bottom of the shaft. They will be able to take up to six people with bikes at any one time. The vertical lifts will also be available to the public. They can comfortably take two people with bikes.