The north east of England was the cradle of Britain's railways in the 19th Century. It was here George and Robert Stephenson would shape the steam locomotive. Then in the early 20th Century a second transport revolution took place around Newcastle when the suburban lines from the city to the coast were electrified in response to competition from the electric trams. What was created became the blueprint for modern day commuting. This book tells the story behind the creation of that network, the trains that served it. The narrative goes through the success and expansion years and ultimately the troubles that led to its demise. Our story comes full circle with the creation of the Tyne & Wear Metro, a ground breaking transport system that, like the electrified lines nearly 80 years earlier, set a new standard for suburban rail that would be the inspiration for schemes in many other parts of the country.