Saturday, 31 May 2014


Padarn Bus closes in Gwynedd

A Gwynedd bus firm is to close due to 'financial issues' with the loss of 84 jobs.
Padarn Bus, which runs operates routes from Bangor, Caernarfon, Llanberis and to Beaumaris on Anglesey, said services would cease at midnight on Friday.
The announcement comes a day after a man, 44, and a women, 28 were arrested following allegations of fraud at the company.

A spokesman for the family-run firm, which runs several school services in the county, said the closure was as a result of losing contracts following the announcement of the police inquiry.

Baker Tilly an insolvency firm helping the bus company's directors
Driver William Freeman, who has worked with the firm for six years, said workers were told the news as they turned up for their shifts early on Friday morning.
"We have no idea what happens next, no one has explained anything properly to us because nobody knows anything.
"There's 80 of us and no one knows where we are going to go from here onwards.
"Things are not very good at the moment."
Mr Freeman said some services had been disrupted on Friday morning as some drivers chose not to carry on working.
He and others who are on the road have been advised to tell passengers "as from tonight there is no Padarn", he said.
'Financial issues'
Insolvency firm Baker Tilly said Padarn Bus directors had instructed them to place the company into creditors' voluntary liquidation.
"Throughout the past month the directors together with their advisers have been working closely with all stakeholders including the councils, Finance Wales and the Welsh government to try and find a way to preserve the business, but despite their best efforts this was, ultimately, not possible," a spokesman said.
The Welsh government said on Thursday that it would work with Gwynedd council to minimise any disruption to passengers from any service withdrawals by the company.
Gwynedd council said it was looking for firms to run alternative services and its first priority was to ensure school transport would be provided from Monday.
Information about replacement services will be published on the council's website.
Alternative transport on Anglesey will be provided by Arriva Buses Wales, Gwynfor Coaches and O R Jones Llanfaethlu.
There will be with no changes to bus timetables on Anglesey services and the new operators will accept Padarn Bus season tickets.
Finance Wales, which backs small and medium business in Wales, confirmed it invested in Padarn Bus, but said it could not comment on the details of its investments.
Padarn Bus, set up 25 years ago, is one of the largest bus operators in the county and runs local bus services, school coaches as well as private hire vehicles.
The company also runs the popular Snowdon Sherpa bus routes linking villages around some of the most popular tourist walks around Snowdon.


Edinburgh's trams roll into action

Edinburgh's tram service has taken its first paying customers as the long-awaited route from the airport to the city centre opens to the public.
The first tram services set off at 05:00 BST from the Gyle Centre in the west of the city.
It follows six years of disruption and problems, including a bitter dispute between the council and its contractor.
The Edinburgh tram route cost £776m and covers 14km (8.7 miles) from the New Town to Edinburgh Airport.
Tram works In the decade since the first money was allocated to the project, the price has doubled, the network has halved and it has taken twice as long to build as originally planned.
The project was almost scrapped just weeks before the construction began in 2007 and later ground to a halt for months when the company in charge of the trams fell into a bitter dispute with the main contractor.
The people of Edinburgh suffered six years of disruption as roads were closed for construction and businesses have also complained it caused them to lose trade.

tram map
Edinburgh has 27 trams in its fleet, although only about half of these will be in service at any one time, because the council bought sufficient trams to cover the original route to Leith.
Tram vehicles, each costing about £2m, can take 250 passengers - 78 seated, 170 standing and two dedicated wheelchair spaces.
The full journey from the airport to York Place in the city centre should take about 35 minutes.
The 14km route has 15 stops along the way, three of which connect with rail and bus services.
The tram services will run seven days a week, with a reduced timetable on Sundays.
During the week, the first trams will run from the Gyle in the west of the city at 05:00 and from the airport at 06:15.
Trams will run from York Place to the airport from 05:29.
At peak times, the trams will runs every 8-10 minutes.
The last trams to travel the full route will leave from Edinburgh airport at 22:45 and from York Place at 23:08.
Tickets cost £1.50 for a single in the city zone and £5 for a single if you want to go to or from the airport.
Operators warned passengers should get a ticket before getting on the tram as there will be a £10 fine for anyone travelling without a ticket.
It had been hoped the tram fleet would offer free wi-fi, but it is understood most carriages will be installed with internet access in the weeks and months following the launch date.
Original plans to take the tram line to Leith were scrapped but could still be implemented in the future.
Edinburgh City Council transport convener Lesley Hinds said: "You can't underestimate the amount of money over-budget and the time it's been over as well. Obviously that has been extremely frustrating and I think it's been damaging to the city of Edinburgh.
"Our purpose over the last two years has been to get passengers on the tram from the airport to York Place.
"We do have enough trams to go down Leith and we have the rails because that was all bought before.
"There will be a report at the end of the year to see how people are taking to the system and it will suggest how we might want to further invest in public transport and the trams come under that."
There have been calls for a public inquiry into the trams fiasco but Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said there are no immediate plans for one.
"We've said let's wait until the system is up and running and then look at lessons to be learned," Mr Brown said.
"I've spoken to the council already about this and will speak to them in future because the council has a number of legal actions ongoing and we can't have inquiries which cut across that.
"A total of £776m has now been spent on the system so let's make as much money as we can and get people on as many trams as we can to help repay that cost."

Friday, 30 May 2014


Was it not Henry Ford who stated "...any colour as long as it is black"? 
Well now it appears that in London, black is the new red, as the first of twenty New Routemasters (or New Bus for London), in an allover black livery commence operation. The first are to be found on route 38 (Clapton Pond & Victoria Station), the very first route to have the new bus type appear nigh on two years ago.

Mark Lyons has supplied three images of LTs 184 and 209 taken on the 25th May in Islington. All are coloured thus, along with text and images for Adidas to promote the football World Cup that is about to commence in South America.
It is allegedly said in some quarters, that this sort of allover advertisement is more financially rewarding than the revenue generated from the passengers. Perhaps that is why there is a proliferation of highly colourful buses running around on central London routes.

However, this is not the first time that a bus has appeared in a black base livery on route 38, as illustrated below.

During 2001, long Routemaster RML 2716 sported the colour along with promotional advertising for Amnesty International. The bus is shown here as it prepares to depart the bus station adjacent to Victoria railway station on the long haul via the West End and the inner North London suburbs to its home garage at Clapton in the London Borough of Hackney.

Almost 30-years earlier though, an AEC Merlin makes the identical manouevre at virtually the same spot in Victoria in September 1972. Not quite as black as the others though, the base colour sported a variety of other bright colours in order to promote the Chappells record store in the West End. Indeed the bus would passed by regularly as the Red Arrow route 500 ran along most of Oxford Street wherein the store was located. Later after some alleged complaints that it could not be distinguished from other vehicles, the front of the bus was repainted red.

By the 1990s London's bus companies were privatised which allowed a little bit of commercial flexibility. Here one of the MCW Metrobuses in the London General fleet in this livery to promote the 'Jolson' musical at the Victoria Palace. M1432 shows off the result in the green surroundings of the 1995 Showbus event at Duxford. 

Into the 2000s now but still with London General. Here one of their large fleet of Volvo B7TLs passes along Whitehall by Horse Guards Parade when on route 11. According to the ultimate blind display it appears to be turning short at nearby Trafalgar Square. WVL 149 a Wrightbus bodied version, here promotes the English National Opera at the London Coliseum (Dave Stewart)

Around the same time one of London United's Alexander bodied Dennis Tridents passes along South Parade in Acton in May 2004. Still with the operatic theme, this one promotes another musical 'The Phantom of the Opera'.

But finally we close with another look at the 'real' Routemaster, as opposed to one of the 'new' versions. RML 2716 shows both near and offside aspects in the sunshine at the annual bus rally on the North Weald airfield.

Not quite ended though. The black livery is not confined just to London. Other operators in the United Kingdom have in the past and even now, run buses and coaches in black based liveries. A few of these such as below, can now be viewed here  on the Focus Flickr site. 

The last of this trio shown here at the Derbyshire town of Bakewell back in August 1985, is somewhat pertinent to the present day. In the light of pressure placed on today's bus operations, especially those in the more rural areas, perhaps another campaign as was in evidence during the mid 1980s may be required.

Thursday, 29 May 2014




The organisers are pleased to once again bring you a fantastic day out filled with beer, cider, music and food!

There are 14 venues taking part ranging from suburban community pubs, town centre bars, classic country hostelries and a brewery on a farm. All will offer a selection of real ales with many other attractions also featuring.
Once again this year there will be no admission charges to any festival venue, even those with live music, meaning its a great value for money day out.
Most venues will be open 12:00-23:00, however some pubs will open early and/or close later – please check with individual venues.

The venues for 2014 are:

Barlow Brewery at Barlow
Castle Inn at Bradway
Coach & Horses at Dronfield
Dronfield Arms at Dronfield
Green Dragon at Dronfield
Hyde Park Inn at Dronfield Hill Top

Jolly Farmer at Dronfield Woodhouse
Miners Arms at Dronfield Woodhouse
Royal Oak at Coal Aston
Talbot Arms at Dronfield Woodhouse
Three Tuns at Dronfield Hallowes
Travellers Rest at Apperknowle
Victoria Inn at Dronfield
White Swan at Dronfield

3 Valleys Map



Free Festival Service

Our free bus service will run regularly between all the venues and Dronfield railway station throughout the afternoon and evening from midday until 11pm. You can use these buses to hop between the festival venues and experience what each location has to offer!
There are also some feeder buses before the festival service commences – these run from Eckington bus station, Bradway bus terminus and the Doubletree hotel at Meadowhead.

Focus Transport comment:
It is understood that the buses are to be provided by Linburg, in the shape of six double-deckers, on two routes that will operate every 30-minutes connecting at Dronfield Station every 15-minutes. If that is the case then maybe the following buses might be in use

Route A 
Apperknowle-Coal Aston-Dronfield-Bradway (Click A for timetable)
Route B
Dronfield-Barlow (Click B for timetable)
Please note this is a free bus service funded by the participating venues, we make no promises of seat availability or operation according to the timetable, we reserve the right to alter or withdraw the service as we feel necessary – if you are relying on this service to make connections etc please ensure you allow extra time in case of any problems on the day. We also ask you respect the buses and drivers and do not take food & drink on board.

3 Valley bus map 2014

Local Commercial Services

There are a number of regular local buses operating through Three Valleys land that may be useful to festival goers, a fare is payable on these services. Note if you are making multiple trips a day ticket may prove good value.

Stagecoach routes

  • 43 Sheffield-Woodseats-Meadowhead-Dronfield-Dronfield Woodhouse-Unstone-Whittington Moor-Chesterfield (serves Coach & Horses, Victoria, Talbot Arms, Jolly Farmer and Three Tuns)
  • 43A Sheffield-Woodseats-Meadowhead-Dronfield-Dronfield Woodhouse-Gosforth (serves Coach & Horses, Talbot Arms and Miners Arms)
  • 44 Sheffield-Woodseats-Meadowhead-Batemoor-Coal Aston-Dronfield-Unstone-Whittington Moor-Chesterfield (serves Royal Oak, Dronfield Arms and Three Tuns)

TM Travel routes

  • 14 Dronfield Civic Centre-Dronfield Station-Coal Aston-Apperknowle-Hundall-Unstone-Whittington Moor-Chesterfield (serves Travellers Rest , Royal Oak and Victoria)
  • 15 Dronfield Civic Centre-Dronfield Station-Coal Aston-Apperknowle-Marsh Lane (serves Travellers Rest and Victoria)
  • 16 Dronfield Civic Centre-Dronfield Woodhouse-Holmesfield-Barlow-Chesterfield-Broomfield (serves Victoria, Talbot Arms, Miners Arms and Barlow Brewery)
  • 16A Dronfield Civic Centre-Dronfield Woodhouse-Holmesfield-Barlow-Chesterfield-Broomfield (serves Jolly Farmer, Miners Arms and Barlow Brewery)
  • M17 Dore-Totley Brook-Totley-Bradway-Low Edges-Greenhill-Jordanthorpe (serves Castle Inn)


To Dronfield

Dronfield is between Sheffield and Chesterfield and the railway station is located in the town centre with fast food outlets and a cash machine close by. The principle train service is operated by Northern Rail on their Leeds-Nottingham route with some additional train services provided by calls on East Midlands Trains’ Liverpool-Norwich service at certain times of day. For information on train times and fares visit National Rail.
Our festival buses will pick up from the station turning circle (alongside the southbound platform) every 15 minutes.
Alternatively it is just 2 minutes walk to the Dronfield Arms and White Swan from the station.

To Dore & Totley

Our festival buses will not be serving Dore & Totley station, however it is an alternative rail route into Three Valleys land being just 10 minutes walk from the Castle Inn. When you walk off the station platform follow the footpath to the left then turn left up Twentywell Lane. Walk up the hill until the junction with Twentywell Road and you will see the pub on your right.
Dore & Totley station is served by Northern Rail trains on the Sheffield to Manchester Piccadilly line which run hourly most of the day, additionally at certain times the station is also served by East Midlands Trains on the Liverpool-Norwich route and First Transpennine Express trains on the Manchester Airport-Cleethorpes route.
For train times visit National Rail.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014



New buses arrive in Malta

45 new buses to enter service in coming weeks

Eleven new buses arrive in Malta this morning (16th May).
They will form part of a complement of 45 new buses leased by Malta Public Transport for one year to increase capacity, particularly in summer, and improve the overall experience for customers from a safety, comfort and accessibility point of view.
The buses that arrived this morning are five 12-metre Volvos and six nine-metre Optare Solo buses.

All are brand new, low-floor and air-conditioned, with Euro 5 standard engines. The Volvos are capable of carrying up to 90 passengers whilst the Optare can carry 45 passengers.
Over the coming days, they will be fitted with the necessary equipment for the provision of public transport services, including passenger information, ticketing machines, GPS-tracking systems, and CCTV cameras. They will be put into service by the first week of June.
Malta Public Transport will at the same time be carrying out familiarisation sessions for drivers and engineering personnel.
Over the coming weeks, more of the 45 new buses will be arriving in Malta in separate shipments.
The company is committed to have all the new buses in service by the end of June in time for the change over to the summer bus schedules and the peak of passenger demand.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Prince of Wales P2 steam locomotive construction starts

The new locomotive will be based on designs by Sir Nigel Gresley, famous for such engines as The Flying Scotsman.
Work to build what will be only the second mainline steam locomotive to be constructed in Britain since 1960 has begun in North Lincolnshire.
Frames which will form the 170-tonne locomotive's chassis have been cut at Tata Steel's works in Scunthorpe.
The engine, the Prince of Wales, will be built by the P2 Steam Loco Company which also built the Tornado steam engine which went into service in 2008.
Costing £5m, it is expected to take about seven years to complete.
The engine will be a P2 class locomotive, originally designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s.
Sir Nigel was the man behind some of Britain's most famous steam locomotives such as Flying Scotsman and Mallard.
'Quite a start' Mark Allatt, from the Darlington-based P2 Steam Loco Company, said the engine would be entirely funded by contributions from members of the public.
"We launched the project formally in September, with a target of raising £5m from people to help us do that over seven years.
"We've already got pledges of £750,000 towards it so we've a long way to go, but it's quite a start."
The company's previous locomotive, the Tornado, an A1 class locomotive, was built from scratch at a cost of about £3m.

The Tornado, Britain's first mainline steam engine in 50 years, cost £3m and took 18 years to complete
It took more than 18 years to build with donations from enthusiasts and first took to the rails in 2008 - Britain's first mainline steam engine in 50 years.
British Railways' final steam locomotive, Evening Star, was completed in 1960, ending 130 continuous years of steam engine building for Britain's mainline railways.
Ceremonially starting the steel cutting machine to begin production of the new locomotive, Sir Nigel's grandson, Ben Godfrey, said his grandfather would have been "very excited" to think that another of the engines he had designed was on the production line.

Monday, 26 May 2014


1.   Mayor sets out plan for 22-mile ring-road tunnel under London

Plans to transform central London with a 22-mile-long underground ring road were revealed recently. 

Costing £30 billion to construct, it would remove tens of thousands of cars from the crowded streets above. The Inner Orbital Tunnel would be one of the most ambitious infrastructure schemes ever seen in the city, with subterranean dual carriageways linking key routes, from the A40 Westway to the A12 in the east, and the A1 route north to the A2 running south. 

It would mean quieter neighbourhoods and cleaner air for millions of families living in the centre and along  overcrowded arteries like the South Circular. Motorists would enjoy faster trips, with bottlenecks like the Earl’s Court one-way system given relief. 

Tower Bridge would be closed to all traffic except buses and bicycles, with the new tunnel creating two new crossings beneath the Thames. Boris Johnson, who commissioned work to develop the idea, believes it could dramatically improve quality of life for residents. He said: “I would love the views of Evening Standard readers on this. There are big arguments in favour.  There are obviously arguments against.” Transport for London is working on the concept, which could avert traffic gridlock. It forecasts a 60 per cent surge in congestion in the central zone by 2031 if nothing is done, while outer areas would suffer increases in congestion of 15 to 25 per cent. 

The proposed route runs from Camden to Highbury, curving south under Whitechapel to cross the Thames at Wapping. It then sweeps south of Elephant and Castle, goes under the Oval and Battersea Park, and crosses the Thames again at Chelsea. From there it heads through Earls Court to link with the A40 near White City, then east to St John’s Wood and under Regent’s Park. A spur under Dalston and Hackney would connect the circuit to the A12. Some of the cost would be met by freeing up development sites worth billions of pounds that are currently hemmed in by traffic, such as the area around the Vauxhall interchange. Isabel Dedring, 

Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “We are at the very early stage in exploring the potential. Cities such as Paris, Oslo and Boston have undertaken these kinds of ambitious projects and have seen dramatic results. “This is not about creating a motorway through the centre of London. It’s about freeing up capacity on the city surface, improving air quality, and reclaiming space for public parks, pedestrians and cyclists.”

2.   Elephant & Castle to be transformed as £4bn budget for road improvements announced

London’s most notorious gyratory system will be transformed into an attractive high street under plans for the future of London’s roads published by the mayor today.
The roundabout at Elephant & Castle in south east London will become a green and more liveable “peninsula” for the area which is already earmarked for 5,000 new homes and 4,000 new jobs. 
With work beginning next year, the existing gyratory will be turned into a two-way road which will smooth traffic flows and reduce speeds at an accident blackspot that critics say has become a racetrack.
Plans for Elephant & Castle unveiled today following a summit of the mayor’s Roads Task Force which was set up by the mayor and draws on a £4bn capital budget for the biggest improvement to London’s roads in a generation.
A similar approach will be adopted the Waterloo “IMAX” roundabout and Vauxhall Cross as one of the gateways to the new Battersea Power station/Nine Elms development zone.
The IMAX roundabout at Waterloo will be redeveloped, creating better interchange facilities at Waterloo station as well as improved facilities for cyclists

Spending spree: the plan is part of a £4bn capital budget for improvements to London’s roads

Boris Johnson, said: “Smarter design of our roads and public spaces, exemplified by our radical plans for Elephant & Castle, will play a key role in ensuring that London remains the best big city to live, work and invest. We’ve been hard at work putting the bold and imaginative blueprint of the Road’s Task Force into practice and we’re now seeing the fruits of that labour at key locations across the capital.”

Today also marks the completion of a major project to transform Euston Circus, one of London’s biggest and busiest road junctions, a joint project by TfL,  Camden Council and developer British Land. The overhaul, which will make the junction safer for cyclists and pedestrians as well as significantly increase space for urban realm, is the first major project in the capital to be delivered using the recommendations set out by the Roads Task Force.
Alongside the transformation of 33 of London’s road junctions announced last week as part of the Mayor’s cycling programme, there will also be more than £200m of additional far-reaching improvements at 17 major locations across the capital, including at; Croydon Fiveways;  Balham High Road; Brent Cross; Charlie Brown’s Roundabout; Euston Road; Lombard Roundabout; London Road Roundabout; Malden Rushett; Mill Hill Circus; Purley Cross Gyratory; Barking Riverside; Seven Sisters Road; Stoke Newington Gyratory; Thornton Heath Ponds; Trinity Road; Tulse Hill Gyratory and Victoria Circus. Funding for these schemes would be covered by the TfL Business Plan and through third party contributions.
Chair of Living Streets Jeremy Leach said the changes meant Elephant & Castle could now be restored as the Piccadilly Circus of south London.
He said: "The plan to remove the northern roundabout at the Elephant & Castle is extremely welcome and will help encourage thousands more people to walk and cycle through the area every day. For 50 years pedestrians and cyclists have been intimidated by fast moving traffic which pushed them to the margins of what used to be the thriving Piccadilly Circus of the south and left them as an after thought. As well as removing the roundabout it is great that TfL is also thinking about creating a high quality place for those on foot with an emphasis on greenery and places to sit."

Sunday, 25 May 2014


New rail franchising deal set to transform passenger services across London and south east

DfT has announced its intention to award the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise to Govia Thameslink Railway Limited.
Three new state-of-the-art electric train fleets will mean more services and seats, faster journeys and better connections across many of the busiest rail routes in London and the south east after the government announced today (23 May 2014) its intention to award the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise to Govia Thameslink Railway Limited.
The 7 year franchise – the largest ever let in terms of passenger numbers – will help deliver the government’s multi-billion pound investment in the region’s rail network, opening up new routes across London and improving services to scores of destinations, including:
  • Brighton
  • King’s Lynn
  • Peterborough
  • Cambridge
  • Bedford
  • Luton
  • Gatwick Airports
  • Moorgate
Nearly 1,400 new electric carriages will be rolled out across the new franchise, providing 50% more capacity and 10,000 extra seats every weekday into central London during the morning peak by the end of 2018, and delivering quicker, cleaner and more reliable journeys for passengers and businesses.
In addition, the new franchise will see millions invested in improving stations and staffing, a simplified ticketing structure and tough new targets for Govia to improve punctuality by reducing delays by around a fifth and improve cleanliness.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said:
A world class railway is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. New state-of-the-art trains, more seats, better connections and improved stations will transform travel across London and the south east. That’s great news for businesses and the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use these vital services every day.
The TSGN franchise will play a crucial role in delivering the government’s £6.5 billion Thameslink programme – a major programme of infrastructure work that is helping create 8,000 jobs and will allow 24 trains per hour to travel in each direction from Blackfriars to St Pancras. New tunnels will link Peterborough and Cambridge to the existing Thameslink route providing easy access across London via St Pancras to Gatwick and Brighton.
The franchise will introduce 1,140 new carriages – already under construction - on the Thameslink network, improving services to scores of destinations, including the introduction of new cross capital services and a connection at Farringdon to London’s newest railway - Crossrail.
In addition, Govia will order a new fleet of 108 carriages for the Gatwick Express service, replacing the current 25-year-old trains with a fleet better suited to the needs of airport passengers. It will also secure 150 new carriages to replace the 40-year-old trains currently operating on the route between Moorgate, north London and Hertfordshire.
That means the total number of carriages in service will grow to 2,631 by 2019 – an increase of 27%. It will also release some existing electric carriages to be used elsewhere in the country.
Govia will invest significantly in improving stations, including free wi-fi at more than 100 stations, better retail and catering facilities and improvements to customer information systems. Staffing hours will also be extended so that at more than 100 of the largest stations there will be staff available from the first train in the morning to the last train at night.
Demanding contractual obligations on the operator will deliver cleaner and more spacious trains and improve passenger satisfaction. Tough new benchmarks for performance, train and station cleanliness and customer service information have also been agreed.
The operator will also develop website, smartphone and tablet apps that will make door-to-door travel easier for customers, including planning journeys, buying tickets and booking onward taxis.
The TSGN franchise will replace the existing Thameslink and Great Northern franchise (operated as First Capital Connect) from 14 September 2014 and will include the South Central franchise (operated as Southern and Gatwick Express) when it expires on 26 July 2015. A small number of services and stations will also transfer from the South Eastern franchise by 21 December 2014. The current franchises provide around 273 million passenger journeys annually.
Following the announcement, and in accordance with usual procurement practice, there will be a standstill period of 10 days before the department will be a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award to the successful tenderer.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Tyne & Wear Metro to Celebrate 175th Anniversary with Steam Trains

Tyne & Wear Metro and museum bosses have teamed up to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of suburban railways on Tyneside – among the oldest in the world.
June 2014 marks 175 years since the opening of a line which still forms part of the modern day Tyne and Wear Metro system – the Newcastle and North Shields Railway.
To celebrate the occasion on 1 June the Stephenson Railway Museum is due to run special steam trains from the little-used platforms at Percy Main as well as from the main museum, linking in with Metro services.
The family day will see historical re-enactors  dressed as figures from 1839 welcoming passengers to Percy Main and talking about early North East railway history, and souvenir tickets for those taking the steam train.
A brass band will also be playing at North Shields Metro station, the original terminus of the Newcastle and North Shields Railway, where a plaque is being unveiled on 1 June to mark the anniversary, before VIP guests travel on to the museum by Metro and steam train.
Huw Lewis, Head of Communications at Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, said:  “This was the earliest railway built first and foremost to carry people from emerging suburbs to the centre of a city – what we recognise now as a Metro system.
“North East England led the way in the development of the early railways and we are delighted to be marking this anniversary with events at North Shields and at the Stephenson Museum to help tell that story.”
Robin Gibson of the Stephenson Museum, said “Families can catch a Metro to Percy Main, then change to a heritage engine for a train ride to the museum at our station, as well as meeting some characters from history along the way.”
The museum will be selling souvenir tickets on the day for steam train rides, between 11am and 2:30pm on Sunday, 1 June.
The Stephenson Museum, on Middle Engine Lane, North Tyneside, is free to enter and contains a wealth of North East railway history.
Train rides along the line, which was used by Metro as its ‘test track’ in the 1970s, cost £3.50 for adults and £2.50 for concessions, with a family ticket £8.  Metro travel is not included.
Trains run from 11:30am then every hour until 2:30pm from the museum, and from 11:45am then every hour until 2:45pm from Percy Main (last return train departs Percy Main 1.45pm)
For more information on prices and times go to the what’s on section of the Tyne and Wear Museums website .
The Newcastle and North Shields Railway opened in June 1839 between a terminus in Carliol Square in the city centre and North Shields.
Metro still uses the same line between Chillingham Road station and North Shields, where the station remains on its original site, making it the oldest purpose-built suburban railway in the world.
Some elements of the original infrastructure, including the stone piers of the Howdon Viaduct over Willington Gut, remain visible today.
Nexus has recently renewed and modernised the route and refurbished stations along the whole route as part of the £389m Metro: all change modernisation programme, ensuring it will be in use for decades to come.
The same year saw the Brandling Junction railway open lines between Gateshead, Boldon, South Shields and Sunderland, parts of which also remain in use by Metro today.
Nexus, which owns and manages the Metro, is launching a new history website, this month, telling the 175-year story of the suburban railways in North East England.
Note: The Stephenson Museum will endeavour to run steam trains throughout the day but these cannot be guaranteed as they are heritage items and it may deem it necessary to substitute steam for another type of engine.