- Durham OnAir
Replica of wagon which traveled Stockton and Darlington Railway restored
A replica of a wagon which would have travelled the Stockton and Darlington Railway has been returned to its former glory nearly two centuries after trains started using the line.
The replica Chaldron Wagon at Shildon has been lovingly restored by Durham County Council, ahead of celebrations in 2025 of the 200th anniversary of the opening of the line.
This is also the year County Durham hopes to be UK City of Culture having recently been
shortlisted for the title.
Chaldron wagons were used on the Stockton and Darlington Railway to carry coal and
other minerals from the local coalfields to port facilities at the mouth of the River Tees.
The replica was installed at Cheapside in Shildon, in recognition of the town’s connections
with the railways with the line having passed through the community almost 200 years ago
and it being home to Locomotion museum.
However, in recent years its condition deteriorated and, following requests from Shildon
Town Council, the county council has now invested in its restoration.
The project saw the wagon removed from its plinth last August and painstakingly
refurbished by town company Racebourne Ltd, before being reinstated.
New interpretation panels will be installed at the site ahead of the anniversary, as part of
celebrations being organised by the council and other agencies to mark 200 years since
the line opened in 2025. The celebrations are a key part of the council-led bid for County
Durham to be named UK City of Culture in 2025, which is just one of four left in the
running from 20 initial hopefuls Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said:
“Shildon has a proud association with the railways having been on the route of the
Stockton and Darlington line and as home to Locomotion museum.
“The replica of the wagons which would travel the Stockton and Darlington Railway is
therefore an important part of the town’s heritage and we are delighted to have invested in
returning it to its former glory ahead of the 200 th anniversary of the line opening in 2025.
“We want those celebrations to be part of our year as UK City of Culture and we look
forward to the wagon standing as testament to Shildon’s historic connections with the
railways for many years beyond that.”