On Sunday 7 March Locomotion No.1, probably one of the world’s most famous railway locomotives, was moved from the Head of Steam Museum, North Road Station, Darlington, to the Locomotion Museum in Shildon.
The Science Museum Group (SMG) and Darlington Borough Council (DBC) have reached an agreement that will see the historic engine move to Locomotion in Shildon, with a 6-month return to Head of Steam in the first half of 2025 – the bicentenary year for the Stockton & Darlington Railway. The agreement also allows for two further loans of Locomotion No.1 to Darlington (totalling 12 months) between 2026 and 2030.
It has also been agreed that both DBC and SMG will actively seek opportunities for Locomotion No.1 to go on loan to the council beyond 2030 – for up to two periods of 12 months, or one period of 24 months, in each five-year period.
Signalling the determination of both organisations to work together for the best possible outcome for the region, SMG will renew 28 other loans to Head of Steam from the National Collection. These include Derwent, the oldest surviving locomotive built in Darlington, 2-4-0 No. 1463, the T3 0-8-0 and a number of smaller items which help to illustrate the incredibly rich and significant railway history of the town.