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.

191st Anniversary celebrations

The 27 September this year marks the 191st Anniversary of the birth of the modern railway.

Exciting family friendly events are planned to celebrate Locomotion No.1’s 191st birthday across Darlington, Durham and Stockton.

an image of the Locomotion number 1 with some ballons celebrating the 190th anniversery

Come along and join the party!

The events being planned are as follows:

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum

Details: Come along to Head of Steam and enjoy a Victorian themed family fun day, activities include children’s entertainer, flea circus, Punch and Judy, face painter, mini train ride, arts and crafts and a Victorian themed trail.

Date: Sunday 25th September 2016. 10am-4pm
Cost: £1 per person entrance fee while family members go free
Social Media Links: Facebook Twitter

National Railway Museum

Details: Join us for a grand exhibition of Victorian locomotive contraptions!  Get on board cabs of selected steam locomotives, take a steam train ride behind Furness Railway No. 20, and browse the excellent selection of steampunk trade stands!

Date: Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September. 10am-5pm
Cost: Free admission and parking
Location: Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, Shildon.
Social Media Links: Facebook Twitter

Festival of Thrift, Redcar

Details: Track is an environmental work and moveable participatory installation by Graeme Miller that throws landscape through 90 degrees and sets it in motion. Face-up and camera-style, the viewer is gently pushed by their individual ‘grip’ on a slow journey along a 100 metre length of dolly track and invited to gaze upwards.

For the participant, the work creates a total shift in relationship with whichever environment it is installed, whether built or natural, indoor or outdoor. For the onlooker, that space is transformed by the vanishing tracks and the continuous, hypnotic motion of the viewers and the people pushing them.

Date: Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September
Cost: It’s frugal, inspiring and FREE!
Location: Kirkleatham, Redcar
Social Media links: Facebook Twitter

191st Programme supported by:

Headofsteam SmallNRM Small     DBC Small Locomotionsmall Festival Of Thrift Logo Yellow