Various plans for tunnels between North and South Shields have been made. A scheme for a railway tunnel with a fast shuttle service of electric trains between Bedford Street in North Shields and Mile End Road in South Shields was put forward in 1902, getting Parliamentary approval but the idea was abandoned. It surfaced again some years later with a slighly different route, but again was not proceeded with at a time when the First World War was in progress.
The Kearney scheme was another railway link proposal dating from 1922 and was an idea for another tube railway (a monorail) between the two towns. It would be fast and frequent and while support from South Shields council was forthcoming, Tynemouth council's support was less enthusiastic, despite some progress in Parliament. Mr Kearney, an Australian engineer, made a further attempt in 1934 for a railway and road tunnel but this also foundered on lack of support, this time from both councils, because the proposal also involved the railway company's acquisition of the ferry. A 1930 idea for a tunnel east of Newcastle produced four designs for a Shields tunnel but the government did not support the scheme and it too foundered. The new road tunnel at Howdon/Jarrow will make further tunnel proposals unlikely for the forseeable future.