IT is easy to raise an eyebrow at the comments made by Ian Thompson, assistant director of community services at Darlington Borough Council, that their plans for the town's Rail Heritage Quarter is our 'Olympic opportunity' and will put our region on the world map.

They are certainly not short of ambition.

The free museum would use “virtual augmented reality” including holograms of trains coming in and out, busts of rail pioneers George Stephenson and Edward Pease talking to each other, “talking portraits” and “a mirror where you’ll see yourself transported on to Victorian station”.

A Disneyworld or Universal Studios theme park-type ride where groups will be taken through the ages is also being developed.

Some of it may work out, some of it might not.

But after losing some of our region's historic structures in recent weeks, Darlington Borough Council deserve credit for thinking outside the box to find ways that not only keeps our heritage alive but makes it current and appealing for future generations.

Let's hope they pull it off.