Locomotion in Shildon has a fun-filled, activity-packed summer holiday programme planned with six weeks of special events taking place.
The museum is home to some of the most influential locomotives the railway industry has ever seen, with the original Stephenson’s Rocket, winner of the Rainhill Trials, Locomotion No. 1, the first locomotive to haul a passenger service on the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1825, record-breaking HST Power Car ‘The Journey Shrinker’, and many more on display.
Each week will feature a range of free fun, science-packed activities looking at a different area on the theme of ‘Move It!’. Paid-for steam passenger rides on the museum’s replica Stephenson’s Rocket are also scheduled to run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the holidays.
From Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 July, join us for ‘Moving Goods’. Get creative with our LEGO activity with Bricks McGee and a bubble workshop and hovercraft balloons from Same Difference Arts. Join our Explainer team as our Locomotion Futures sessions look at bridges on Thursday 27 July.
In the second week, focus switches to ‘Moving People’. South Durham Model Engineers will be operating miniature railway rides, and there’ll be storytelling with Elizabeth Baker and a bubble workshop with Same Difference Arts. Kinetic energy is this week’s topic being explored in our Locomotion Futures sessions.
From Monday 7 August, the theme is ‘Moving Forward’. Same Difference Arts will be running a Save the Planet Walkabout, there’ll be a chance to get hands on in our junk modelling session with Dawn Belshaw, and the Explainer team will be looking at magnetic levitation in the latest Locomotion Futures session.
The popular Bricks McGee LEGO sessions return from Monday 14 August for another ‘Moving Goods’ week along with Same Difference Arts and their hovercraft balloons. Winding engines will be explored in our Locomotion Futures sessions.
Visitors have another chance to ride on South Durham Model Engineers’ miniature railway in week five for ‘Moving People’, and Elizabeth Baker returns with more storytelling sessions. This week’s Locomotion Futures sessions will be focused on track making.
For the final week, ‘Moving Forward’ returns with more junk modelling sessions with Dawn Belshaw and Save the Planet Walkabouts with Same Difference Arts. The museum’s final Locomotion Futures sessions will look at solar energy.
In addition each week, there will also be a variety of self-led activities including make and take sessions, bridge building, poster competitions, and much more.
From December 16 until 2 January 2024, the world’s most famous steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman, will celebrate the culmination of its centenary programme at the museum, with special events and activities to take place during the festive period. Visitors will have the chance to get up close to the locomotive, which will be in light steam, and explore the footplate.
In early 2024, Locomotion’s New Hall will also open—a new 2,000sqm collection building that will house up to 50 rail vehicles from the national collection. When opened, it will mean that Locomotion will boast the largest under cover collection of historic rail vehicles anywhere in the world.
Locomotion will also be heavily involved in celebrating the bicentenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 2025. The line was the first passenger railway to use steam locomotives along its route, and the original Locomotion No. 1, the first steam locomotive to be used on the route for passenger service, is on display in the museum today.
For full details on dates and timings for the ‘Move It!’ summer programme at Locomotion, visit the museum’s website at: www.locomotion.org.uk.
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- 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
- The museum will host a series of exhibitions and events throughout the year, culminating in a visit from Flying Scotsman to celebrate the world-famous locomotive’s 100th birthday. The Centenary Festival will take place at Locomotion from 16 December – 2 January.
- Admission to Locomotion is free – visit www.locomotion.org.uk/home for more information