Sunderland Station - Buildings

Buildings

The current station buildings, which opened after re-building work in November 1965, formed at that time part of a complete rebuilding scheme which involved almost the entire area of the station site which was decked over and developed at street level.

The buildings covered the south end of the station area and a two-storey block of 20 shops, which were built by City and Central Shops Limited, occupies the central area. The old station buildings at the North End, which were retained in use until the new properties were being developed, were closed and demolished. In that area British Railways provided new premises for parcels traffic and Post Office Mails, which were redeveloped with the alterations to the platforms for Metro train services in 2002, and Littlewood's Mail Order Stores Limited (now occupied by Poundland), developed a four-storey department store with a main frontage on to High Street West.

In November 1965, following the withdrawal of local stopping train services on the lines to West Hartlepool, Durham and South Shields, passenger trains were concentrated on one island platform with access to the concourse area by a dual 'one-direction' stairway. The second island platform was given over to the working of parcels traffic as a new parcels office premises was to be built at the North End and brought into use. Prior to this (certainly in 1962/3), the parcels traffic was being dealt with at the North End using the old stables block to the West for deliveries and a similar sized room at the East side for incoming parcels. Parcels traffic at the time included pigeon specials, heavy engineering parts, parcels to Europe, greyhounds to Ireland and the occasional corpse! There was also a parcels clerk at the Brian Mills Mail Order Depot.

Also at that time, the revised station working enabled the running lines and sidings at the south end of the station to be simplified. The consequent reduction in permanent way (i.e. railway track) released areas of land at track level which was available for the erection of support for further street level development between Athenaeum Street and Holmside bridges and also on the south side of Holmeside.

At the time that the modernised buildings opened from 4 November 1965, train services from Sunderland included a half hourly service each weekday to and from Newcastle, and an hourly service to and from West Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, with additional trains at peak periods. There were also then through morning trains to London and to Liverpool, and a sleeping car service to London every night of the week. Good connections were available from Newcastle with all parts of the country.

Read more about this topic:  Sunderland Station

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