A new campaign has been launched in October 2020 to keep George Stephenson’s Locomotion No.1 in Darlington.

Built by pioneering railway engineers George and Robert Stephenson, Locomotion No.1 was the first steam locomotive to haul a passenger-carrying train on a public railway, making its inaugural journey in 1825 between Stockton and Darlington.

For more than 160 years, the locomotive has been looked after by the people of Darlington, and since 1975, it has been on permanent display at the Head of Steam, Darlington’s railway museum. As a national asset, Locomotion No.1 is part of the National Collection and is therefore under the control of the National Railway Museum (NRM), part of the Science Museum Group. Now, the NRM has revealed plans to move it out of town.

With the 200th anniversary of the world-famous Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025, and ambitious plans for a new rail heritage quarter in Darlington including a redeveloped free-to-visit museum, the loss of Locomotion No.1 would be a major blow to the town. Darlington Borough Council, with support from rail heritage experts and a cross-party group of politicians, has launched a campaign to ‘Keep the Loco in Darlo’.