There are few more important places in the history of railway engineering than Darlington – or ‘Darlo’ to the locals.
To rail enthusiasts, Darlington is more than a market town and former industrial centre in the North-East – it’s intimately associated with the very genesis of mass locomotion: a place to celebrate the world’s first commercial steam railway.
As a key stop on the East Coast Main Line , Darlington is served by regular train services between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh (and stations to the north of Scotland). You can also get here on local services on the Tees Valley Line provided by Northern Rail , to Newcastle and Liverpool on the First Transpennine Express and on the CrossCountry route to York and beyond.
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Victorian architecture (and the influence of local Quakers) is much in evidence in the town centre, which is newly pedestrianised and a joy to get around on foot. Darlington is also a handy jumping off point for further exploration of the Tees Valley, Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors.
Aside from the Grade II listed mainline station itself, a visit to the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum – which also goes by the name Head of Steam – is a must, for a glimpse not only of three surviving 1830s railway buildings, but the original Locomotion Number One and Derwent locos. It’s also worth a special trip just to see David Mach’s towering brick sculpture of an LNER Class A4 locomotive, near the A66 just outside town.
Darlington Station - http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/dar/details.html
Darlington DL1 1XA