AN eminent railway historian is coming to Darlington on Thursday to speak about the role south Durham’s pioneers had in shaping the railroads of the United States.

Ray State has lectured on both sides of the Atlantic about the early days of the railways and on Thursday he is speaking at an open event to the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway at Bannatyne’s Hotel – which was originally the home of Joseph Pease, one of the leading railway pioneers.

Mr State’s talk is entitled The Hackworth Influence on Early American Locomotives, and is the result of his research into Timothy Hackworth, the founder of modern Shildon who was the pioneer who really made steampower work.

Doors open at 6.30pm for 7pm. Tickets are £5 and may be booked by emailing