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Flying Scotsman returns to Locomotion for summer festival

Locomotion will host a spectacular six-week summer festival, including a four-week visit from iconic locomotive Flying Scotsman.

  • Locomotion railway museum in Shildon to host Flying Scotsman for four-week summer stay 
  • Steam rides, carriage tours and footplate access available to book 
  • Host of other family-friendly entertainment on offer during special six-week summer festival  

Locomotion will host a spectacular six-week summer festival, including a four-week visit from iconic locomotive Flying Scotsman.   

Summer at Locomotion will take place from 20 July to 1 September, with Flying Scotsman in residence from 20 July to 18 August.  

Flying Scotsman steam rides are now available to book, including an exclusive cab ride experience, the chance to ride in a brake van hauled by the world-famous locomotive and behind-the-scenes tours of the support coach. 

Steam rides with a replica of the seminal Stephenson’s Rocket or the dependable 08 Diesel Shunter will also run, as well as an opportunity to view Flying Scotsman on static display and climb aboard the cab.  

A ‘Shildon-by-the-Sea’ pop-up beach, street food stalls and a host of make-and-do kids’ activities will also be on offer to guarantee an unmissable summer day out.   

Lead sponsor Hornby will display a special model railway layout at the museum during the festival, running the steam ‘Flying Scotsman’ model locomotive. CrossCountry have also sponsored the event. 

The availability of experiences varies across the festival according to the date of visit. Free general admission booking is essential to guarantee entry. Full dates, details and booking information are available now on the Locomotion website. 

Special curator-led evening tours of Flying Scotsman are also on offer, while photographers can beat the crowds with exclusive early access to the museum’s incredible collection of vehicles and objects. 

Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, said: “Locomotion is now bigger and better than ever, so now is the perfect time for a summer-long celebration! 

“Whether you want to take a once-in-a-lifetime ride on Flying Scotsman, view our incredible collection or just treat the family to a fabulous day out at the North East’s best kept secret, Locomotion is the place to be this summer.” 

Locomotion now boasts the largest undercover collection of historic rail vehicles in Europe, with over 100 vehicles on display. A new 47-vehicle collections building was added in May 2024, alongside other improvements to the site.      

Highlights of the collection include Locomotion No.1, which hauled the world’s first passenger train on the Stockton and Darlington railway in 1825. Rocket and Sans Pareil are also on display— together again after they faced off in the historic 1829 Rainhill Trials.  

As the school holidays wind down, Locomotion will host a boredom-busting week of Lego themed activities, with model displays, brick pits and workshops. A model railway weekend in association with Locomotion Models will also take place, including a large-scale model railway layout in front of the museum’s Main Hall.  

Hornby Marketing Manager Catherine Dunning said: "We are thrilled to be the lead sponsor of Summer at Locomotion. This partnership highlights our dedication to celebrating railway history and inspiring future generations of train enthusiasts.  

“At Hornby, we believe in the magic of railways and their ability to inspire, educate, and entertain. We look forward to celebrating the history and excitement of rail and we hope this event will inspire and captivate railway enthusiasts of all ages." 

Ben Simkin, Director of CrossCountry’s North East & Scotland Region, said: “We’re pleased to support Summer and Locomotion and hope that as many visitors as possible can make it to Shildon over the holidays. While Flying Scotsman is sure to be a scene-stealer, it’s great to be able to enjoy such a range of railway heritage whilst also educating young people on the history and contribution of the railway in Britain.” 

Early-morning sessions for visitors with sensory needs who wish to explore the museum in a quieter environment are also available. Locomotion has recently been fitted with an accessible ‘changing places’ facility for visitors with additional access needs.
 

For more information, visit www.locomotion.org.uk  

ENDS 

For more information, please contact James Rose, Press and PR Manager 01904 929517 / james.rose@railwaymuseum.org.uk  

NOTES TO EDITORS     

ABOUT LOCOMOTION 

  • Admission to Locomotion is free. Rides and some experiences are chargeable and must be booked. Availability of rides and experiences varies according to the date of visit. Details are available at: www.locomotion.org.uk    
  • Locomotion offers visitors the chance to see highlights of the national collection of railway vehicles in Shildon - the world’s first railway town   
  • Locomotion forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in York   
  • Locomotion is a partnership between the Science Museum Group and Durham County Council, which is a major funder of the museum   

ABOUT HORNBY 

  • First introduced in 1920, Hornby has become the brand leader of '00' Gauge model railways in Britain. Throughout its long history, Hornby has produced iconic sets, highly detailed locomotives and more. With model railways making their way into modern life, Hornby continues to innovate and keep the hobby relevant for the experienced modeller as well as the new generation of young railway enthusiasts. 

ABOUT CROSSCOUNTRY

  • CrossCountry is a long-distance passenger train operator, with a network stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff and calling at over 100 stations. Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of Britain’s 10 largest cities and delivers 240 services every weekday, equating to over 42 million passenger journeys each year. For further information on CrossCountry services, visit crosscountrytrains.co.uk, or visit @crosscountryuk on X or facebook.com/crosscountrytrains on Facebook.