top of page

No. 3267

  • Builder: North Eastern Railway, York

  • Built in: 1904

  • Worked for: North Eastern Railway

  • Current Status: Static Exhibit


The North Eastern Railway absorbed the Blyth and Tyne railway in 1894, by doing so it not only removed a thorn from its side, but it also gained a second route to Tynemouth. The former B&T was connected to the NER and a new station added at Tynemouth as well as various other upgrades. By 1900 however electric trains had drawn traffic away from the railway and receipts were dropping.


The NER agreed to electrify the Tyneside loop (Newcastle to the coast, plus the Riverside branch) using the electrified rail or third rail method. This opened in 1904 becoming the first electrified passenger service in Britain (despite claims by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, which actually opened a month later). 


The service was a huge success, winning back considerable traffic. 1918 saw a devastating fire at the car sheds, damaging much of the fleet, so replacement vehicles were built by the NER. In 1938 the line to South Shields was electrified by the LNER. The original stock was replaced with newer units by the LNER (none of which survive) and finally, British Rail brought in the third generation. 


These units lasted just 12 years, with the decision in 1963 to abandon the electric trains due to increased running costs. South Shields went over to diesel in 1963, the rest in 1967. This again saw a huge decline in passenger numbers. Leasing to the creation of the Metro in 1971.


Of the Tyneside electrics there are just two surviving units. One British rail unit is currently under restoration at the Battlefield Line, in the care of the Suburban Electric Railway Association. The other is No.3267, a Motor Parcel Van built-in 1904, the last original unit. This van was used for moving parcels and light goods (including fish from the Cullercoats fishwives) to Newcastle. 


Our van, No.3267, was built at York and was known as a Motor Luggage Van. It was designed to move freight at the same speed as the electric passenger trains and avoid delaying the services. It was withdrawn in August 1937 and converted into a de-icing van. It used compressed air to feed de-icer onto the electric third rail, they were pushed by a loco at 15mph and carried enough solution to complete the 90 mile circuit. 


She continued in this role until March 1966, when as the last surviving NER electric from the Tyneside loop, she was preserved as part of the national collection. Before moving first on loan to Monkwearmouth, then Middle Engine Lane where it is still based.

A red and cream electric train with old fashioned Percy Main destination sign on the top screen. Rectangle and circle windows at the front. It sits inside the museum. Photo by Stephen Thornton

Electric Locomotives

bottom of page