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Our Future: Vision 2025

We’re investing in our site to create a better experience for our visitors, a safe environment for our collection of railway vehicles and a sustainable future for our important historic buildings.

We will also enhance our interpretation to better tell the significant story of Shildon and its contribution to the development of railways worldwide. Shildon is the world’s first railway town and the workplace of railway pioneer Timothy Hackworth. We will continue to share and inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators with this story. 

A new collection building for Shildon

Located in the world’s first railway town, Locomotion’s new building will be a key hub in the plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 2025.

The new building and the wider developments here will allow us to tell a coherent story that reveals Shildon’s role in early railway development. By doing this, we will use our collections and buildings to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

A building for the future

Locomotion’s new building is part of Vision 2025, our ambitious plan to transform the museum. It goes way beyond creating a new building, allowing us to tell the exciting and inspirational role played by Shildon and the North-East in the global railway story.

Vision 2025 also allows us to safeguard the collection, diversify our volunteer team and create new jobs. It will allow us to reinvigorate our heritage buildings, provide new green spaces and embed this museum at the heart of the community.

The building 

Locomotion’s new building draws on the aesthetic of an engine shed, linking it back to Shildon’s history as the world’s first railway town. Simple in design and occupying a footprint of 2000m2, the new building will accommodate an additional 45 vehicles from the national collection. These will be displayed on three pairs of tracks allowing visitors to easily see the vehicles and learn about their history and significance.

Take a look at our exhibition to explore our plans for the new building.

Conserving our historic site

We’re committed to repairing our historic buildings and structures—the original reminders of Shildon’s pioneering role in history.

Our redevelopment will see the repair and rejuvenation of Locomotion’s historic buildings including the former home of Timothy Hackworth, the first locomotive superintendent of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. In total, seven buildings will be preserved, including railway cottages, the goods shed and parcel office. The buildings are a fantastic asset and embody the rich history of the area.

The £1.8m repair project started on site in January 2020 and is due to be complete in early 2021. The project to restore Locomotion’s historic buildings is funded by Durham County Council and the Science Museum Group. Read more about progress.


Building: AOC Architecture
Landscape: J&L Gibbons

Part of the Science Museum Group