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We’re planning to invest 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 also plan to enhance our interpretation to better tell the significant story of Shildon and its contribution to the development of railways worldwide. We will engage our visitors with the important role that Shildon played, as the world’s first railway town and the workplace of railway pioneer Timothy Hackworth.

Conserving our historic buildings

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

Durham County Council are already progressing on the repair and stabilisation of the Grade II-listed historic coal drops. The Science Museum Group has appointed a Project Manager with a heritage background to deliver the work to the other buildings. Following ecological surveys and the appointment of an architect, we hope to tender for building contractors for the works in autumn 2018.

The coal drops at Locomotion with scaffolding for conservation work to take place.
Stabilisation work is already being carried out on the coal drops

Towards a Masterplan for Locomotion

We are currently exploring ideas for how we can achieve our vision for Locomotion, supported by Jura Consultants. Once we have decided on an overall approach, we will undertake more work to develop a Masterplan for the site in more detail.

Our emerging proposals are outlined below and we currently have a display at the museum with more information. Please visit us and pop your comments on our display boards, or get in touch with us at

Map of proposed development at the Locomotion site.

We will provide more updates here as our proposals develop.

Header image: Artist's impression of what the redisplayed Collection Building at Locomotion might look like