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.