National Railway Museum Shildon

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Locomotion - - 157996.jpg
The exterior of the main exhibition hall
EstablishedSeptember 2004 (2004-September)
Coordinates54°37′27″N 1°37′50″W / 54.6243°N 1.6306°W / 54.6243; -1.6306
TypeRailway museum Railway
Transport museum Transportation
Collection Museum Commodity
Children's museum Children
Open-air museum
Visitors185,107 (2018)[1]
DirectorJudith McNicol
Public transit accessShildon railway station
WebsiteMuseum Website

Locomotion, previously known as Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon or Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group.[2]


The museum was opened on 22 October 2004 by Prime Minister and local MP Tony Blair.[3] Built at a cost of £11.3 million, it is based on the former "Timothy Hackworth Victorian Railway Museum". The museum is operated in partnership with Durham County Council and was expected to bring 60,000 visitors a year to the small town. However, during its first six months, the museum attracted 94,000 visits. Locomotion was shortlisted as one of the final five contenders in the Gulbenkian Prize, which is the largest arts prize in the United Kingdom.


The museum is sited near Timothy Hackworth's Soho Works on the world's first public railway, 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). The town was to become a major centre for British railway engineering thanks to the Shildon wagon works, which closed in 1984.[4]

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

Museum landmarks[edit]

The museum is arranged as stops along the 1 km demonstration 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 six-spur apron in front of the main shed and another short length of track for showing off resident locomotives and visiting trains.

The trail starts at the 19th-century welcome building. The original Sans Pareil is on display here. The second building is Timothy Hackworth's house.[5] It contains several activities about the history of Shildon. Soho is a stone building that was a railway workshop, having originally been an iron merchant’s store. The fourth stop is 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.[6]

The railway station's parcel office is the next part of the trail and at the junction, visible across the tracks are the former stables for the early horse-drawn wagonways that linked to the line. The coal drops were a refuelling point for steam locomotives. Wagons were hauled up an incline and the coal 'dropped' down wooden chutes into the tender below.[7][8] The light engine is an interactive pole that displays colours. You can change the name of the pole if you text in.

The trail passes under the roadway. There is a children's playground and a picnic area outside the Collection building. The trail ends at the largest building in the museum. It contains the exhibition hall and a conservation workshop with viewing gallery to see the work carried out by volunteers restoring some of the exhibits. Other facilities in the building include interactive games, a cafe and shop.


The museum is home to several locomotives from the National Collection, including a replica of Timothy Hackworth's Sans Pareil. The original engine, built to compete in the Rainhill Trials, is also at Shildon. The trials were to decide which engine should operate the passenger railway between Liverpool and Manchester. After a 175 years absence from the town, the locomotive was returned and is displayed in the Welcome building.[9] LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard which is usually displayed in the NRM's York museum was temporarily displayed in the museum from June 2010 to July 2011.[10] In 2014, ahead of the 75th anniversary celebrations for Mallard’s setting the world steam speed record, 8,000 visitors turned up to welcome five sister A4 locomotives including 60008 "Dwight D Eisenhower" and 60010 "Dominion of Canada" that were repatriated from North America, the latter was given a cosmetic overhaul in Shildon's workshop.

The main exhibition building houses most of the collection and includes the sole examples of the prototype APT-E and Deltic units.[11] The museum has a wind turbine which provides power to the National Grid and an on-site biodiesel bus for transporting visitors around the site.

The NRM recommends checking with them in advance if going to see a particular exhibit.[12]

Steam Locomotives
Class Number

(and name if applicable)

Livery Image Current


Additional Notes
Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST 3850 Juno Green Juno1.jpg Static New to Stewarts & Lloyds ironstone quarries, Buckminster
SR Battle of Britain Class 34051 Winston Churchill BR Lined Green 34051 at NRM York - DSC07840.JPG Static Hauled Winston Churchill's Funeral Train
LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 5000 LMS Lined Black Stanier class 5MT No 5000 at Rainhill.jpg Static First Black Five in class
Locomotion replica 1 Locomotion Wood lagged
Locomotion Tyseley (1).jpg
Original built for Stockton and Darlington Railway
NER Class C1 65033 BR Black J21 No.65033 at Shildon.jpg Static (awaiting restoration)
LNER Class V2 4771 Green Arrow LNER Apple Green 4771 GREEN ARROW East Lancashire Railway.jpg Static (potential restoration opportunity)
Sans Pareil replica Sans Pareil Green and Yellow painted wood Sans Pareil Replica.jpg Static
Timothy Hackworth entry for Rainhill Trials Sans Pareil Exposed Metal Sans Pareil - - 2532040.jpg Static
LNWR Class G2 49395 BR Black 49395 Super D at Heywood.JPG Static
Hetton colliery railway locomotive Lyon Black Hetton Colliery 0-4-0 (1822 or 1851) Locomotion Shildon 29.06.2009 P6290048 (9989613283).jpg Static
NER Class M1 1621 NER Apple Green North Eastern Railway Class M1 no. 1621 (6684770383).jpg Static
GNR Class C1 (large boiler) 251 GNR Apple Green GNR Atlantic C1 251 (7074588099).jpg Static
LSWR 0298 Class (Beattie well tank) 30587 BR Black C1 KWVR Little Engines Gala 08I07I2017.jpg
South African Class 7A 4-8-0 390 Black Narrow-gauge steamer in hibernation - - 857841.jpg Static Cape Gauge
LNWR Improved Precedent Class 790 Hardwicke LNWR Lined Black 790 HARDWICKE National Railway Museum.jpg Static
Andrew Barclay fireless locomotive Imperial No. 1 Imperial Paper Mills Green ... at Locomotion Shildon ... (3067224169).jpg Static
Diesel & Electric Locomotives
Class Number

(and name if applicable)

Livery Image Current


Additional Notes
LNER Class ES1 Electric Shunter 1 NER Lined Green ... at Locomotion Shildon ... (3068486866) (2).jpg Static
British Rail Class 03 Shunter D2090 (03090) BR Green Class 03 0-6-0DM 03090 (D2090 1960) Locomotion Shildon 29.06.2009 P6290014 (9989486495).jpg Operational
British Rail Class 08 Shunter 08911 Matey BR Blue with NRM branding 08911 at National Railway Museum.jpg Operational
English Electric DP1 DP1 DELTIC Blue with grey lining NRM Locomotion MMB 21 APT-E DP1 4468.jpg Static Prototype Deltic
British Rail Class 41 41001 Reverse BR Blue & Grey 41001 At York Front.jpg Static (awaiting inspection) Prototype HST power car
British Rail Class 71 71001 Undergoing repaint to BR Blue E5001 at Doncaster Works.JPG Static (under restoration)
British Rail APT-E APT-E Reverse BR Blue & Grey British Rail APT-E at Shildon Locomotion Museum.jpg Static Gas Turbine
Sentinel Diesel-hydraulic Shunter H001 RMS Locotec Blue Static New to Bass Brewery; rebuilt for CEGB, Haverton Hill
Wickham Trolley 960209 BR Brown Exhibit, Locomotion Shildon, 28 April 2010 (3).JPG Static
Southern Railway Waterloo & City line Shunter (1898) 75S L&SWR Salmon Waterloo & City 3rd rail Bo No 75S (1898) Locomotion Shildon 29.06.2009 P6290050 (9989609633).jpg Static
Diesel & Electric Multiple Units
Class Number

(and name if applicable)

Livery Image Current


Additional Notes
British Rail Class 306 306017 BR Green with yellow warning panel Class 306 Green.jpg Static (awaiting restoration) Two cars on apron, remaining car behind workshop covered by white tarpaulin.
British Rail Class 142 142001 Unbranded Northern 142001 at Blackburn station.jpg Operational
British Rail Class 414 4308 Network SouthEast on one side, BR Blue and Grey the other 414308 undergoing restoration at the NRM Shildon.jpg Static
British Rail Class 401 2090 BR Green BR Class 401 2-BIL EMU no. 2090, London Waterloo, 24 October 1987.jpg Static
Hauled Rolling Stock & Wagons
Class Number

(and name if applicable)

Livery Image Additional Notes
British Railways Mark 1 Brake Corridor Composite Coach 21274 BR InterCity ... at Locomotion Shildon ... (3068061586).jpg
BR ZZA Snow Plough ADB 965232 Network Rail Black
SR "Queen Mary" brake van B56283 BR Brown Guard carriage. - panoramio.jpg Used at museum for carrying passengers
BR merry-go-round train HAA coal hopper wagon 350000 BR Grey HAA hopper 350000 at the NRM Shildon.jpg First built HAA wagon (prototype built at Darlington)
BR merry-go-round train HAA coal hopper wagon 368459 Last built of 10,702 HAA wagons (built at Shildon)
NER Snow Plough Snow Plough No. 12 NER Brown 1891 NER snow plow NRM Object Number 1978-7123.jpg
Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits Night Ferry Sleeping Car 3972 CIWL Blue Sleeper Night Ferry 1.JPG
High Speed Freight Vehicle HSFV1 Grey British Rail HSFVI RDB 511023.jpg Basis for Class 142 chassis
Stockton and Darlington Railway Composite Coach (1847) 59 S&DR Brown Stockton and Darlington Railway carriage.jpg
Stockton and Darlington Railway Composite Coach (1846) 31 S&DR Brown Stockton and Darlington Railway carriage (14035032105).jpg Formerly displayed at Stockton station.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Science Museum Group". Science Museum Group. Archived from the original on 13 December 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Prime Minister opens Shildon Locomotion museum" The Railway Magazine issue 1244 December 2004 page 5
  4. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 3
  5. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 27
  6. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 38
  7. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 5
  8. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 23
  9. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 5
  10. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 18
  11. ^ Coulls 2012, p. 52
  12. ^ "Objects and stories". Locomotion. Retrieved 8 February 2020.


External links[edit]

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