Heritage Locations

Locomotion, Soho House Shildon

Impressive annexe to The National Railway Museum, sited on Timothy Hackworth's Soho Works on the Stockton and Darlington Railway.


Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

The National Railway Museum at Shildon, Shildon, Co Durham DL4 1PQ


Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

Locomotion - the National Railway Museum at Shildon - is an impressive monument to the birthplace of the railway, sited on Timothy Hackworth's Soho Works on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Appropriately, George Stephenson's Locomotion No 1 - which hauled the first train on the Stockton and Darlington on September 27, 1825 - is a key exhibit.

The working museum houses some sixty locomotives from the National Collection. Another key exhibit is Sans Pareil, built by Timothy Hackworth for the Rainhill Trials, which decided which engine was used to be used for hauling passengers between Liverpool and Manchester. The locomotive dominates the entrance of the museum.

Hackworth became the first locomotive superintendent of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the museum was constructed in 2004 on the site of the former Timothy Hackworth Victorian Railway Museum. Built at a cost of £11.3 million, the museum was soon shortlisted for the prestigous Gulbenkian Prize.

As part of this ambitious project, Shildon railway station was rebuilt as part of the museum's construction. It is located within the museum, yet is part of the Darlington to Bishop Auckland Tees Valley Line.


Ahrons, E. L., The British Steam Locomotive 1825-1925, Ian Allan, (reprint of 1927 ed.) (1966)

Bartholemew, Ed & Blakemore, M, Railways in Focus, photographs from the National Railway Museum, Atlantic Transport Publishers, ASIN: B001MWHMII (1998)

Burton, Anthony, The Rainhill Story: The Great Locomotive Trial, BBC, ASIN: B0014DQI6C (1980)

Coliey, John, Rocket to Eurostar: National Railway Museum in Camera, Atlantic Transport Publishers, ISBN-10: 0906899702 (1996)

Davies, Hunter, George Stephenson: The Remarkable Life of the Founder of the Railway, The History Press, ISBN-10: 0750937955 (2004)

Dendy Marshall, C. F., The Rainhill Locomotive Trials of 1829. From the Transactions of the Newcomen Society Vol 9 (1929)

Dickinson, Florence, A History of Transport Through Rainhill, Rainhill Civic Society, ASIN: B0019RL82M (1979)

Kirby, M. W., The Origins of Railway Enterprise: The Stockton and Darlington Railway 1821-1863, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-10: 0521892805 (2002)

McGowan, Christopher, The Rainhill Trials: The Birth of Commercial Rail, Little, Brown, ISBN-10: 0316724807 (2004) 

Marsden, Colin, Motive Power Recognition :1 - Locomotives. Ian Allen, ISBN 0 7110 1109 5 (1981)

Office of Population Censuses & Surveys, Visiting Museums: A Report of a Survey of Visitors to the Victoria and Albert, Science and National Railway Museums, Stationery Office Books, ISBN-10: 0116910968 (1984)

Robbins, Michael, George and Robert Stephenson (National Railway Museum, York/Science Museum, London series, Stationery Office Books, ISBN-10: 0112903428 (1981)

Smiles, Samuel, The Story of the Life of George Stephenson, Adamant Media, ISBN-10: 0543742377 (2000)

Young, Robert, Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive, The Book Guild, (reprint of 1923 ed.) (2000)

Opening Times:
Open daily. Visit website

How To Find:

By road: From J 58 of A1M take A68 and A6072 to Shildon and follow brown heritage signs.

By rail: Regular services from Darlington Station to Shildon Station.

By foot: ten-minute walk from Shildon town centre.


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