Coordinates: 54°37′27″N 1°37′50″W / 54.6243°N 1.6306°W / 54.6243; -1.6306
Locomotion - The National Railway Museum at Shildon
NRM - Locomotion at Shildon - IMG 1253.jpg
The exterior of the main exhibition hall at Locomotion NRM, Shildon
Established September 2004
Location Shildon, County Durham

Railway museum Museum icon Railway
Transport museum Museum icon Transportation
Collection Museum Museum icon Commodity
Children's museum Museum icon Children

Open-air museum
Visitor figures 94,000 (in the first six months of opening)(update)
President Dr George Muirhead
Public transit access Shildon railway station
Website Museum Website

Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England. The museum is a branch of the National Railway Museum (NRM), which is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI). Shildon acts as an annex, with the most important exhibits on display in the NRM's headquarters at York, though exhibits are regularly rotated.


The museum was built during 2004 at a cost of £11.3 million, and is based on the former "Timothy Hackworth Victorian Railway Museum". The museum was expected to bring 60,000 visitors a year to the small County Durham town. However, during its first six months, the museum attracted 94,000 visitors. It was shortlisted as one of the final five contenders in The Gulbenkian Prize which is "the largest arts prize in the United Kingdom".


The Locomotion Museum is sited near Timothy Hackworth's Soho Works on the Stockton and Darlington Railway (opened on 27 September 1825 with a train hauled by Locomotion No 1 which took 2 hours to complete the 12 mile journey from Shildon to Darlington).

Shildon railway station, on the Darlington to Bishop Auckland Tees Valley Line was rebuilt and modernised as part of the museum's construction and is actually situated adjacent to the trail & demonstration railline through the museum site. It is served by all services on the line, operated by Northern Rail.

Museum landmarksEdit

The museum is arranged as stops along the 'line' with station direction board signs and information points on the trail between the car parks and the main collection building. The Museum has a short length of track that is used to operate some of the operational resident locomotives and visiting trains. The New A1 locomotive Tornado was operating on the line on 3 May 2010, during a visit to the Museum.

1: WelcomeEdit

The welcome building is the building starting the trail up to 'Collection'. The original Sans Pareil is on display here.

2: HackworthEdit

This building is Timothy Hackworth's house. It contains several activities about the history of Shildon.

3: SohoEdit

A small stone cottage building.

4.1: GoodsEdit

This building was the former goods shed for the town, with most incoming and outgoing goods being delivered to the railway by horse and cart. The building is built partially from recycled stone sleeper blocks, the old fixing slots being visible in the wall.

Since private vehicles are not allowed beyond here for the 750-yard journey to the Collection—see 8), the museum's courtesy link bus, known as the Eco Bus, runs from near here on its 15-minute sequence. The first bus normally leaves at 10.30 am.

4.2: Parcel officeEdit

This building was the parcel office at the railway station.

5: JunctionEdit

Visible over the tracks are former stables for the early horse-drawn wagonways that linked to the line.

6: Coal dropsEdit

The coal drops were a refuelling point for the steam locomotives operating on the line. Wagons were hauled up an incline and the coal 'dropped' down wooden chutes into the tender below.

The current Shildon Railway Station can be reached from here—a short walk across the track, just after the Coal Drops.

L: Light engineEdit

The light engine is an interactive pole that displays colours. You can change the name of the pole if you text in.

The trail then passes under the roadway, with the Eco Bus route crossing on to the museum's rail line for a short distance.

7: PlayEdit

There is a playground for children and a separate area for picnics with rest benches. This is located adjacent to the sidings / marshalling area outside the Collection building.

8: CollectionEdit

The final and largest building in the locomotive museum contains the main exhibition hall and a conservation workshop with viewing gallery where visitors can see the work carried out by volunteers to restore some of the exhibits. Other facilities in the building include interactive games, a cafe and a shop. The courtesy Eco Bus first leaves here, back to the Goods building (see 4.1), from 10.45am.

Eco busEdit

The eco bus is a courtesy coach that runs from 10.30am, and from Goods to Collection and leaves the buildings every 15 minutes. Its final return trip leaves "Collection" at 4.30pm (summer) and 3.30pm (winter) (when operating).


Steam Train at Shildon

London and South Western Railway Class T3 No. 563 preserved in the museum. This loco has now left Shildon to be used in a theatre production of The Railway Children in Canada.

It is home to several locomotives from the National Collection, including a replica of Timothy Hackworth's Sans Pareil. The original engine was built to compete in the Rainhill Trials, and is also at Shildon. These trials were to decide which engine was used to operate the intercity passenger railway between Liverpool and Manchester. After 175 years of absence from the town, residents were delighted at her return. The original Sans Pareil now sits proudly in the Locomotion "Welcome" building. The Mallard which is regularly displayed in the NRM's main site in York was temporarily on display in the museum from June 2010 to July 2011 before returning to its original location.

The main building is home to the majority of the collection and includes the sole examples of the prototype APT-E and Deltic units. The museum has a wind turbine which also provides power to the National Grid and an on-site biodiesel bus for transporting visitors around the site without harming the environment.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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Coordinates: 54°37′27″N 1°37′50″W / 54.6243°N 1.6306°W / 54.6243; -1.6306

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