QE II Bridge (Metro Bridge)

The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge carries the Tyne and Wear Metro between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead over the River Tyne in North East England. The line is in tunnels on either side of the river and only emerges into open air to cross the bridge.


The bridge was developed as part of the Tyne and Wear Metro system, for which it was purpose-built. It was designed by W. A. Fairhurst and Partners, and constructed by Cementation Construction Ltd. and the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company at a cost of £4.9 million. The two sections of the bridge were built simultaneously from each bank and eventually met in the centre in August 1978. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 6 November 1981, nine days before regular Metro service began. It is similar to Ballachulish Bridge on the A82 which opened in 1975, which was also built by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company.

It was one of two major bridges built specifically for the Tyne and Wear Metro, the other being the Byker Viaduct crossing the Ouseburn valley.

Nocturne artwork

In 2006, Nexus, operators of the Metro, commissioned artist Nayan Kulkarni to install a huge artwork on the bridge. The artwork, Nocturne, sees the bridge painted two distinct tones of blue, while at night, 140 Lumiflood 36 LED lighting units create an ever-changing pattern of colours based on photographs submitted by members of the public.

Nocturne was completed and opened on 26 April 2007 and means that all five main bridges across the Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle have unique lighting schemes.

Description courtesy of Wikipedia.

20th December 2023

From Sussex Street.

30th May 2023

From Hawthorn Square.

4th November 2021

From Hawthorn Square.

A unique view of the bridge spoiled a little by the low autumn sun.

12th August 2021

21st September 2020

16th June 2020

28th May 2020

13th January 2020

27th December 2018

20th July 2018

8th January 2018

20th September 2017

9th July 2014

16th January 2012

10th December 2008

13th September 2008

10th October 2007

25th April 2007

20th January 2006

12th January 2006

20th December 2005

Nocturne artwork

A kaleidoscope of colours was unveiled above the River Tyne as Britain's biggest light artwork shone out. Nocturne, a 360-metre creation by artist Nayan Kulkarni burst into life over Newcastle and Gateshead's historic quaysides.

The £300,000 project, which is longer than three football pitches will illuminate the Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge for at least the next 15 years.

Its low-energy LED lights will never repeat the same combination of colours as pre-programmed barcodes create colours rippling across the structure - rising and falling in intensity and brightness to match the ebb and flow of the tide below.

More Information:
My other photos of bridges on the Tyne:

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