updated 17 April 2017




Stagecoach in Newcastle began the operation of the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead tours under franchise to City Sightseeing Worldwide on Saturday 31st March 2007. The service is based at Slatyford depot.

City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead tours are seasonal and the 2017 timetable commenced on Sunday 9th April 2017, notably later than previous years. As well as a later start, this season has an earlier finish than previous years, with buses operating only to mid-October, rather than mid-December. The operation is scaled back further still in terms of frequency and PVR, with only one bus operating hourly throughout the season apart from July to September when two buses will run.

Fleet Profile

For the 2008 season, 14669 was converted to completely open top, having operated partial open-top (as the rest of the fleet remain) during the 2007 season.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot

For the first ten years of the franchise, the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead operation used H-registered high floor open-top Leyland Olympians. These vehicles started life as closed top Northern Counties bodied deckers with Sunderland Busways but were converted, by Stagecoach, to partial Open Top in early 2007 in preparation for running the City Sightseeing operation. In preparation for the 2008 season, 14669 was converted to fully open top.

For 2017, a batch of five Dennis Tridents have been sourced from Stagecoach Manchester. Four underwent open top conversion in the latter half of 2016 with the fifth intended only as a spare parts donor.

The first of the new batch of vehicles to give service on the route, 17239 X239NNO is pictured on the first day of the 2017 tour season, passing the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Newcastle University.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot

Meet the Fleet

Four Dennis Tridents with Alexander ALX 400 bodies form the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead fleet: 17239 (X239NNO), 17240 (X240NNO), 17643 (W643RND) and 17645 (W645RND).

All four carry the distinctive City Sightseeing livery with NewcastleGateshead branding. A further similar vehicle, 17647 (W647RND) is stored for use as a spare parts donor and is not expected to see service.

Pictured on the first day of service for the 2017 season, 17239 X239NNO is seen at The Sage Gateshead.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot


The Route


Only one route has operated since the 2009 season, whereas two routes the NewcastleGateshead Tour (Red Tour) and the Ouseburn Tour (Blue Tour) were operated in the first two years of the franchise.

The current route is a variation on the former Red Tour, operating as follows:
Central Station • Haymarket • St James Park • Blackett Street • Quayside • Baltic • Sage • Central Station


The tours are seasonal and operate only between April and October (previously March and December), with maximum frequency in Summer months. For further details of service frequency at different times of year, see the timetable below.



Where to go


for Sightings

Fairly obviously, anywhere on the route is a suitable location for sightings. See the map and timetables above to help select a spot. At times when two vehicles are operating, both pass the Pilgrim Street/Market Street junction within minutes of each other.


for Photos

Vehicles look impressive in the midday sun as they travel down Grey Street. Alternative locations could be Central Station, Queen Victoria Road, the Quayside and the Sage.


for Timetables

City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead tour leafets are available on the buses themselves and from timetable racks at the Central Station tour stop.


The City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead fleet are based at Stagecoach in Newcastle's Slatyford depot. For further information on Slatyford, please visit the Stagecoach in Newcastle Operations Profile.


Three of the partial open-top deckers, formerly the mainstay of the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead fleet: 14670, 14673 and 14674.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot




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