National Railway Museum, Shildon


National Railway Museum Shildon is located in Shildon, County Durham. It is a branch of the National Railway Museum, which has its headquarters in York; major exhibits are rotated between the sites. Shildon was a major railway centre and was the location of Timothy Hackworth's wagon works for the world's first passenger railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, established in 1825. The museum was opened on 22 October 2004 by Tony Blair and was a major redevelopment of the former Timothy Hackworth Victorian Railway Museum.

National Railway Museum Shildon, also known as Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon or Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England. The museum is a branch of the National Railway Museum (NRM), which is part of the Science Museum Group. Shildon acts as an annex, with important exhibits on display in the NRM's headquarters at York, though major exhibits are regularly rotated.

Overview

The museum was opened on 22 October 2004 by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Built at a cost of £11.3 million, it is based on the former "Timothy Hackworth Victorian Railway Museum". The museum is operated in partnership with Durham County Council and was expected to bring 60,000 visitors a year to the small town. However, during its first six months, the museum attracted 94,000 visits. In the 12 months to March 2013, the museum had 230,000 visitors. NRM Shildon was shortlisted as one of the final five contenders in the Gulbenkian Prize, which is the largest arts prize in the United Kingdom.

Site

The museum is sited near Timothy Hackworth's Soho Works on the world's first passenger railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway (opened on 27 September 1825 with a train hauled by Locomotion No 1 which took 2 hours to complete the 12-mile journey from Shildon to Darlington). The town was to become a major centre for British railway engineering thanks to the Shildon wagon works, which closed in 1984.

Shildon station, on the Tees Valley Line was rebuilt and modernised as part of the museum's construction and is actually situated adjacent to the trail and demonstration rail line through the museum site. It is served by all services on the line, operated by Northern Rail.

Museum landmarks

The museum is arranged as stops along the 1 km demonstration line with station direction board signs and information points on the trail between the car parks and the main collection building. The museum has a six-spur apron in front of the main shed and another short length of track for showing off resident locomotives and visiting trains.

The trail starts at the 19th-century welcome building. The original Sans Pareil is on display here.

The second building is Timothy Hackworth's house. It contains several activities about the history of Shildon. Soho is a stone building that was a railway workshop, having originally been an iron merchant’s store. The fourth stop is the former goods shed for the town, with most incoming and outgoing goods being delivered to the railway by horse and cart. The building is built partially from recycled stone sleeper blocks, the old fixing slots being visible in the wall.

As private vehicles are not allowed beyond here for the 750-yard journey to the Collection a courtesy link bus, the Eco Bus, runs from near here on its 15-minute sequence. The railway station's parcel office is the next part of the trail and at the junction, visible across the tracks are the former stables for the early horse-drawn wagonways that linked to the line. The coal drops were a refuelling point for steam locomotives. Wagons were hauled up an incline and the coal 'dropped' down wooden chutes into the tender below. The light engine is an interactive pole that displays colours. You can change the name of the pole if you text in.

The trail passes under the roadway, and the Eco Bus route crosses on to the museum's rail line for a short distance. There is a children's playground for children and a picnics outside the Collection building. The trail ends at the largest building in the museum. It contains the exhibition hall and a conservation workshop with viewing gallery to see the work carried out by volunteers restoring some of the exhibits. Other facilities in the building include interactive games, a cafe and shop.

Eco bus

The eco bus is a courtesy coach that runs from 10:30, and from the Goods shed to the Collection and leaves the buildings every 15 minutes. Its final return trip leaves "Collection" at 16:30 (summer) and 15:30 (winter).

Locomotives

The museum is home to several locomotives from the National Collection, including a replica of Timothy Hackworth's Sans Pareil. The original engine, built to compete in the Rainhill Trials, is also at Shildon. The trials were to decide which engine should operate the passenger railway between Liverpool and Manchester. After a 175 years absence from the town, the locomotive was returned and is displayed in the Welcome building. LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard which is usually displayed in the NRM's York museum was temporarily displayed in the museum from June 2010 to July 2011. In 2014, ahead of the 75th anniversary celebrations for Mallard’s setting the world steam speed record, 8,000 visitors turned up to welcome five sister A4 locomotives including 60008 "Dwight D Eisenhower" and 60010 "Dominion of Canada" that were repatriated from North America, the latter was given a cosmetic overhaul in Shildon's workshop.

The main exhibition building houses most of the collection and includes the sole examples of the prototype APT-E and Deltic units. The museum has a wind turbine which provides power to the National Grid and an on-site biodiesel bus for transporting visitors around the site without harming the environment.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 09/04/2016).
Visit the page: National Railway Museum Shildon for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
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National Rail Museum, Shildon
- Official Website of NRM, with 2 locations: York and Shildon

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Stone marker commemorating opening of Stockton & Darlington Railway, Shildon 29.06.2009 P6300087

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Stockton & Darlington Railway Goods Shed, Shildon

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National Railway Museum

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Shildon Rail Museum

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Shildon Rail Museum

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