Construction has started on a new building at the Locomotion railway museum in Shildon.
The new collection building will expand the visitor attraction and create one of the world’s biggest collection of historic railway vehicles. The 2,000 square metre ‘New Hall’ will house an additional 46 vehicles including carriages, wagons and locomotives. The North East’s role in the development of the railways will also be celebrated.
Building work is due to be completed in October 2023. The exact vehicle layout hasn’t been finalised but the historic rail vehicles will be displayed on three pairs of tracks. The vehicles and objects chosen will highlight the significance of coal and many will have strong connections to the North East.
The new building will play a role in plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025.
Dr Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, said: “After a lot of thought and effort spent at the planning and design stages, I’m delighted to mark the start of building work on our New Hall. We’re investing in the museum to create a better experience for our visitors and to tell the exciting and inspirational role played by Shildon and the North East in the global railway story. I look forward to welcoming people through our doors later this year.”
Locomotion is a partnership between the Science Museum Group, who also operate the railway museum in York, and Durham County Council.
The museum will be open as usual to the public during the construction work. New Hall will be built on the brownfield ‘Ashfields’ site near the existing collection building. New gardens around the building will be designed to encourage the flora and fauna commonly found on railway embankments.