2025 Celebrations

Stockton & Darlington Railway 1825; The birthplace of the modern railway

On 27th September 1825, large crowds gathered to watch the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway which was generously funded and backed by a group of entrepreneurs, including Edward Pease. With George Stephenson at the controls, Locomotion No. 1 moved forward pulling 30 wagons carrying coal and flour, workmen and guests - including those lucky enough to ride in the railway passenger coach ‘Experiment’. Locomotion didn’t just pull one single train - it symbolically pulled the world into the mass transport era of the railway age. Here on the 26 miles of track that went through Shildon, Darlington and Stockton, engineering excellence combined with entrepreneurial zeal brought together the components of the modern railway for the first time. The S&DR, where the modern railway was born, provided the model from which all others would take inspiration and spread across the globe.

Bi-centenary celebrations

2025 will see the 200th year anniversary of this momentous occasion and offers an exciting opportunity for the region and the UK as a whole to celebrate this world changing event on a global scale.

Representatives from Darlington Borough Council, Stockton Borough Council and Durham County Council (the three Local Authority areas in which the Stockton to Darlington rail track enters); along with representatives from the National Railway Museum and the Friends of Darlington to Stockton Railway, have committed to working together to plan activities and events to mark this 200th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

We will keep this webpage up to date with developments in 2025 preparations and events in the run-up.