AboutBritain.com Logo

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum

The Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened on September 27th 1825. Its prime purpose was the transport of coal from collieries around Shildon, West Auckland and Witton Park in South West Durham to the River Tees at Stockton. From there, the coal was shipped to the south of England.

The Stockton & Darlington was by no means the first railway, but its opening in 1825 marked a very significant step in the development of railways by bringing together two features for the first time: the concept of a public railway, available to all, for transport of passengers and goods, and the use of steam locomotives.

The museum collection covers the railways of North-East England, with particular emphasis on the Darlington area. Of greatest significance is Stephenson's 'Locomotion' (1825), which hauled the inaugural train on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Also from the Stockton and Darlington Railway is 'Derwent' (1845) - the earliest surviving Darlington built locomotive - and an 1846 passenger carriage. The North Eastern Railway era is represented by two main-line express locomotives, numbers. 1463 and 910, built in Darlington and Gateshead respectively. In addition, there are examples of industrial locomotives built or used in North-East England.

A range of smaller items including station and lineside signs, locomotive nameplates and number plates are displayed alongside the locomotives, as are several static scale models.

The museums collection of documentary material (photographs, plans, books and periodicals) are housed within the Ken Hoole Study Centre. This collection was bequeathed by Ken Hoole and is supplemented by material from numerous other sources, including the library collection of the North Eastern Railway Association.

Located within the grounds of Darlington Railway Centre are Darlington Railway Preservation Society, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group. There works are only open for viewing on certain days, please check first before travelling.

General Information:

  • Free onsite parking
  • Wheelchair access to most parts of the museum
  • Baby changing facilities
  • On site café
  • Drinks vending machine
  • Gift Shop
  • Guide Dogs Only
  • Special events: Please visit our website


Share this article

More Pictures


By Road:
1 mile from Darlington town centre on the A167 and is well sign-posted from the town centre.

By Rail:
North Road Railway Station is on the Bishop Auckland line, one stop from Darlington's main line station.

By Bus:
A variety of bus services from the town centre or main line railway station.

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum Postcode for SatNav: DL3 6ST


+44 (0)1325 460 532
+44 (0)1325 287 746

North Road Station
Station Road
Tees Valley

Copyright © 1999-2022 Excelsior Information Systems Ltd. All rights reserved.
About Us  Press Room  Terms of Use  Privacy  Link to Us  Index  Site Map  Contact Us

Made with Responsive Grid System by Graham Miller