Skerne Railway Bridge

Skerne Bridge

The Skerne Railway Bridge holds the distinction of being the oldest railway bridge in the world in continuous use.

It is a lasting symbol of the birth of the railways, connecting towns and cities for the first time and ushering in the Industrial Revolution.

Built in 1825 by George Stephenson, it carried Locomotion No.1 on the day the Stockton and Darlington Railway opened and still serves the Bishop Line today.

Spanning the River Skerne, the bridge was built from local stone and was designed by Ignatius Bonomi.

The bridge is perhaps most famous for appearing on the Five Pound Note in the early 1990s.

It has been recognised as a key cultural asset for the nation by Historic England and has been named as one of the nation’s 100 Places – a list of irreplaceable places, buildings and historic sites that have had a remarkable impact on England’s history.

More information on the Skerne Railway Bridge, and its place on the Historic England 100 Places list, is available at the  Historic England Website [external link]

In recent months access to the bridge and interpretation celebrating the history of this highly significant railway landmark has been greatly improved within Northgate Conservation Area. This is thanks to funding from Darlington's Local Transport and the Department of Transport.

A new walking and cycle route has also been established as part of the scheme, opening up access to the bridge from John Street and Albert Road.

The improvements offer a safe, well-lit route for cyclists and walkers and also opens up the historic area to visitors arriving at the nearby North Road station or the Head of Steam Museum.