Exploring Locomotion

During our short trip to Co Durham we stayed in a hotel just a stone’s throw from Shildon. Husband picked up a leaflet about a railway museum – Locomotion – in the town and we couldn’t leave without checking it out. We did in fact visit twice. The first time was on the morning we went to Beamish. It was pouring with rain, we figured we could delay arriving in Beamish a bit and this museum would be a good place to wander for an hour or so. Keeping dry and free entrance were the deciding factors.

The museum is a partnership between Durham Council and the National Railway Museum at York. We all love that place so figured we couldn’t go wrong at Locomotion. They have about 60 vehicles on display from the national collection and a host of interesting hands on stuff too. I planned an hour maximum, we actually really liked it, realised we couldn’t do it justice in an hour so had a quick look around and then came back for an hour or so on the morning we were leaving.

It is very much like the Railway Museum in York but on a smaller scale. Again here, you do not have to be a train buff to enjoy the exhibits. I am most definitely not one of those but I still thought it was a great way to spend our last morning.

Unlike in York you can’t climb on board any of the trains here – looking through the windows has to suffice.

Husband, Son and I now tend to split up when we visit a museum like this. We explore and read about what interests us most. It worked well.

We all were impressed by the Sans Pareil locomotive, built in Shildon in 1829 it competed against Stephensons Rocket in the Rainhill Trials. The original and replica are on display side by side.

One of my highlights was the engine and carriages which formed part of Queen Alexandra’s (wife of King Edward VII) royal train – check out those fancy lion trims.

A video was playing on loop showing the funeral of Winston Churchill. They have the carriage and engine here which took his coffin to its burial site.

A snow plough train was a bit unusual and like nothing I’d ever seen before.

We finished our morning off with coffee in the little cafe before heading off on the next stage of our trip – direction Yorkshire.

24 thoughts on “Exploring Locomotion

  1. I’ve heard of Locomotion from visiting the rail museum in York but haven’t been though my husband has expressed an interest. I’m certain we would enjoy a visit there. You packed lots of fun activities into your weekend in Co. Durham Joy, that’s exactly as I like to do it and you selected great locations. Now looking forward to reading about your Yorkshire explorations. Hope you have a good weekend.

    • We enjoyed it Marion – there is plenty to see and it is very much like the York museum albeit on a much smaller scale, also you can’t go on the trains but we were fine with that. We did have such a great time in Durham, I know you like to pack as much in to your trips as you can and we are exactly the same. Yorkshire was great too – weather wasn’t so great but we did still enjoy it. Enjoyed the sunshine here today too – could do with more of that over the weekend. Hope you have a lovely one too.

  2. I love the Railway Museum in York, Joy so would love to see this museum too. Pity you can’t climb on board the trains but there’s obviously plenty to keep everyone interested. Some lovely family photos too! 🙂

    • I didn’t realise how interesting trains can be Pam!! So many different carriages and engines and so many different stories about each one, I loved it. He is definitely shooting up – I’m the shortest in our house now!

  3. Some epic locomotives there Joy! (It looks like Son has overtaken you, height-wise? Don’t worry: we have four, and my wife is now the smallest of the family).

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