The 2015 festivities formed part of a weekend of celebrations for Darlington and the region as the town marks the 190th anniversary of the world’s first passenger steam train, which travelled between Stockton and Darlington in 1825.
Stockton & Darlington Railway 1825; The birthplace of the modern railway
On 27th September 1825, large crowds gathered to watch the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway which was generously funded and backed by a group of entrepreneurs, including Edward Pease. With George Stephenson at the controls, Locomotion No. 1 moved forward pulling 30 wagons carrying coal and flour, workmen and guests – including those lucky enough to ride in the railway passenger coach ‘Experiment’.
Locomotion didn’t just pull one single train – it symbolically pulled the world into the mass transport era of the railway age. Here on the 26 miles of track that went through Shildon, Darlington and Stockton, engineering excellence combined with entrepreneurial zeal brought together the components of the modern railway for the first time. The S&DR, where the modern railway was born, provided the model from which all others would take inspiration and spread across the globe.
A host of activities took place throughout September 2015 and particularly around the anniversary weekend of the 26th and 27th September using the celebration title of 2025.
The 2015 Festival of Thrift featured performances, music, sound, playing, making and designing… all celebrating original sustainable transport.