Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England. The museum is a division of the National Railway Museum (NRM), which is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI). Shildon acts as an annex, with the most important exhibits on display in the NRM's headquarters at York, though exhibits are regularly rotated.
The museum was built during 2004
at a cost of £11.3 million, and is based on the former "Timothy Hackworth Victorian Railway Museum". The museum was expected to bring 60,000 visitors a year to the small County Durham town. However, during its first six months, the museum attracted a staggering 94,000 visitors, this including rail enthusiasts. It was shortlisted as one of the final five contenders in The Gulbenkian Prize
which is "the largest arts prize in the United Kingdom
It is home to 60 locomotives
from the National Collection, including a replica of Timothy Hackworth
's Sans Pareil
. The original engine was built to compete in the Rainhill Trials
. These trials were to decide which engine was used to operate the intercity passenger railway between Liverpool
. After 175 years of absence from the town, residents were delighted at her return. Sans Pareil
now sits proudly at the entrance of Locomotion. It is the first locomotive visitors see.
The main building is home to the majority of the collection and includes the sole examples of the prototype APT-E and Deltic units. The museum has a wind turbine which also provides power to the National Grid and an on-site biodiesel bus for transporting visitors around the site without harming the environment.
The Locomotion Museum is sited near Timothy Hackworth's Soho Works
on the Stockton and Darlington Railway
(opened on September 27 1825
with a train hauled by Locomotion No 1
which took 2 hours to complete the 12 mile journey from Shildon to Darlington
Shildon railway station, on the Darlington to Bishop Auckland Tees Valley Line was rebuilt and modernised as part of the museum's construction and is actually situated partway through the museum itself. It is served by all services on the line, operated by Northern Rail.