AN exhibition honouring the contribution of the North Eastern Railway and its workers during the First World War has officially opened to the public.

The Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum received £42,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to research the efforts of the railway workers who helped to keep the country moving.

The museum has launched a new exhibition of items relating to the railway workers and their contribution to the war effort, including a plaque honouring those men who served and died and those who lived to return home.

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The project will continue around County Durham, with members of the public urged to contribute.

Volunteers will be given full training and will work with museum staff to collate information from the museum collections to create the database, which will be made available to family and railway historians, as well as schools.

The archive documents will also be digitised to save them for future generations and to reduce the need for them to be handled.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and this is a fitting way for Darlington to commemorate the contribution railway workers made during the First World War.”

A series of events are taking place for people to find out how to get involved in the railways project: Wednesday, August 13 at the Gold Tea Dance, in Darlington Market Square, 10am to 3pm; Saturday, September 13, WW1 Commemoration event on Palace Green, in Durham, 10.30am to 5pm; and Sunday, September 14, WW1 commemoration on Palace Green, in Durham, 9am to 4pm.