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Stockton & Darlington Railway


The Stockton & Darlington Railway was conceived by Edward Pease, a prominent Darlington Quaker, and engineer George Stephenson. It was the world's first public railway to use steam locomotives and connected the collieries at Witton Park with Darlington and Stockton. It was officially opened on 27 September 1825 and will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2025.

Historic Environment Audits

A report for the 1825 Stockton & Darlington Railway (S&DR) was produced by Archaeo-Environment Ltd in 2016 and updated in 2019 (see documents on the left or below, depending on your device). It arose from a project jointly commissioned by the three local authorities of Darlington Borough Council, Durham County Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, which have within their boundaries the remains of the S&DR. The report:

  • identifies why the S&DR is important in the history of railways and sets out its significance and unique selling point
  • provides an action plan and makes recommendations for the conservation, interpretation and management of this world-class heritage so that it can take centre stage in a programme of heritage-led economic and social regeneration by 2025 and the bicentenary of the opening of the line

A report on the Croft Line branch of the S&DR, which opened on 27 October 1829, was also produced by Archaeo-Environment Ltd in 2019. It:

  • looks at the history of the Croft branch line and provides an audit of what survives of the original 1829 line and its condition
  • assesses the significance of the line and any remaining structures associated with it
  • assesses the potential for future enhanced access, conservation and interpretation of the branch line in advance of the Stockton & Darlington Railway’s 200th anniversary in 2025


In addition, the Council's Conservation Areas section provides information regarding the Northgate Conservation Area (under 'Conservation areas documents' drop-down link), which includes a number of structures associated with the S&DR, including its 'birthplace' (i.e. the home of Edward Pease where he met with George Stephenson). The 2007 Northgate Conservation Area character appraisal [PDF] is currently being revised. 

This page was last updated in January 2024.

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