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 September 27, 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 Landmarks
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 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 the 3rd of May 2010, during a visit to the Museum.

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

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

3: Soho
A small stone cottage building.

4.1: Goods
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. The museums courtesy link bus known as the Eco Bus operates from here.

4.2: Parcel Office
This building was the parcel office at the train station.

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

6: Coal Drops
The Coal drops were a refueling point for the steam locomotives operating on the line. Wagons were hauled up an incline and the coal 'droped' down wodden 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 Engine
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 having to cross onto the museums rail line, for a short distance.

7: Play
A playground for the children and a separate area for picnics and with rest benches. This is located adjacent to the sidings / marshalling area outside the museum building.

8: Collection
The final building in the locomotive museum. It contains The main exhibition hall and a conservation workshop with viewing gallery were 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 at 10.45am.

Eco Bus
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).

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 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.

Building Activity

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