Locomotion’s new £8m collections building to open this week

New Hall at Locomotion (Locomotion)

The railway museum will display over 100 vehicles in its new building as it aims to attract 250,000 visitors a year

A brand new £8m collections building is set to open this weekend at Locomotion railway museum in County Durham, giving visitors a chance to see over 100 vehicles.

New Hall is thought to be the largest undercover collection of historic rail vehicles in Europe, and opens as the museum aims to attract 250,000 visitors a year to the region.

It is the more recent step in a wider £95m masterplan project across Locomotion and the National Railway Museum in York. Locomotion is a partnership between the Science Museum Group and Durham County Council, which is a major funder of the museum .

The master will  regenerate both museums with new galleries, spaces and conservation work.

The New Hall’s collection includes historically significant vehicles built at the Shildon works, two snowploughs, two cranes, and the Hetton Colliery Lyon steam locomotive, built in 1851.


New Hall being loaded (Owen Humphreys / Press Association)

Oral histories from former Shildon’s rail workers are used alongside historic film clips and graphics that bring the collection to life and highlight the significance of coal, industry and freight transportation – and how the North East’s industry and innovation influenced the world.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council and North East Combined Authority Cabinet member for culture, creative, tourism and sport, said: “It’s fitting that New Hall opens ahead of the exciting celebrations of 20 years of Locomotion and 200 years of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, on which the first ever steam-locomotive powered passenger journey set out from right here at Shildon.