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I think the system BRITHO is recalling was the Hardon system on the south bank of the Tyne, which lasted into the late 80s , with small elderly steeplecab Bo-Bo locos running off overhead. It ran north /south and crossed (under) the Tyne and Wear Metro a stop or two before S.Shields. I think there's even a chapter on it in John Glover's Eastern Electric (though I'm away from my books and speaking from memory)

The Tyne Commission Quay branch was on the north side of the Tyne, not the south . This was part of the ex NER 3rd rail electric system on Tyneside , using 750V dc 3rd rail in the long steep tunnel down to the quay and overhead at both ends (exchange sidings and on the quay). One of the two Bo-Bo locos (LNER class ES1) is preserved at York. I believe the reason for electrification was the bad conditions in the tunnel coupled to the severe gradient

Judith Edge do an etched brass kit for the ES1
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