Skerne Bridge, Stockton Darlington Railway
Skerne Bridge, Stockton Darlington Railway © Darlington Council
Skerne Bridge, Stockton Darlington Railway © Darlington Council

Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone

The Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) has been established to help rejuvenate and restore the 26 mile stretch of historic railway, and to help realise its potential to become a major heritage attraction and visitor destination in the build up to its 2025 bicentenary.

The Heritage Action Zone, which will run over a 5 year period, covers the 26 miles of railway from Witton Park in County Durham, through Shildon, Darlington and Stockton. The Railway operated along this route from 1825, and was the birthplace of the modern railway system, using innovative technology to become a valuable passenger and freight network.

The Heritage Action Zone sets out an ambitious programme of research and designations, which will include aerial surveys, archaeology and building assessments. It will tackle heritage at risk and urgent repairs to historic structures, while ensuring better long term conservation and management. Through developing the line as a visitor attraction, it is hoped that this Heritage Action Zone will help to bring about long term change for this important piece of our history.

The Heritage Action Zone programme will be delivered in partnership with:-

  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Durham County Council
  • Stockton Borough Council
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority
  • Friends of Stockton and Darlington Railway
  • Science Museum Group (Locomotion)
  • A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
  • Network Rail
  • Northern Rail
  • Virgin Trains
  • Hitachi
  • Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership

The partnership will work with local people to encourage long term economic growth by developing heritage skills, heritage schools resources, training and tourism, as well as providing opportunities for health and recreation, and community events.

Researching the railway from the air

To help better understand the heritage of the Stockton and Darlington railway, we have analysed thousands of aerial photographs of the line and its surrounding features. You can see a summary of this aerial mapping of the railway in in our research report.

Get involved

We're calling on you to help us prepare for the 2025 bicentenary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway by adding your stories and photographs of the area.

Contribute to the Missing Pieces Project

North East Office

  • Address

    Bessie Surtees House,
    41 - 44 Sandhill,
    Newcastle upon Tyne,

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