The replica of Locomotion No 1 will be the "star of the show" at the forthcoming railway bicentenary celebrations.

Plans are underway to restore the replica of the iconic steam engine for the 200th anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 2025, with the prospect of recreating the original's inaugural crossing of Skerne Bridge.

The plans are running alongside the creation of the £35m Rail Heritage Quarter, a “national visitor destination” will be created to celebrate Darlington’s railway heritage.

Council officers are also looking into using green technology to showcase old and new technology working together.

Read more: Darlington to have replica Locomotion No 1 on display

Ian Thompson, the council's assistant director of resources, told councillors: "We acquired the replica of Loco No 1 from Beamish a little while ago, with the intention to restore it back to full operational capabilities.

"We've now had that assessment carried out. Work will start soon and will be completed by autumn 2024."

He said the council's cabinet had set aside £500,000 for the restoration and a report would follow in September to request the funds.

It was hoped a train of chaldron wagons would be added in an authentic re-creation of the first train on the line of the world’s first modern railway.

Read more: Searching for the truth about Locomotion No 1

Mr Thompson added: "We are continuing to work with Beamish in terms of the production of the chaldron wagons, which are the coal wagons in effect, and we need to produce the director's coach which is the vehicle people will be able to travel in behind No 1.

"They have the chaldron wagons and need to refurbish them and bring them up to operational capacity.

"For 2025 the key element is that on the celebration weekend Loco No 1 with the chaldron wagons and director's coach will be the star of the show travelling across Skerne Bridge with other engines behind that or in front of that.

"After that we will retain Loco No 1 and will retain the chaldron wagons and the director's coach. That will be used on a regular basis at the Rail Heritage Quarter.

Read more: "This is a momentous day for Darlington" – getting rolling on the Railway Heritage Quarter

"We will get the replica back in 2024. We may well use that through the back end of 2024 on occasions and also into early 2025 and through the celebrations at the Rail Heritage Quarter, providing the opportunity for people to ride behind it in the director's coach.

"We are still researching options to operate Loco No 1 with green technology as well as fired under coal, which would showcase how the oldest designs can now operate with green technologies.

"That may not be ready for 2025 but we are continuing to pursue that as that is an option that would be beneficial to all as we move forward into 2026 and onwards."

Darlington Borough Council agreed a deal with Beamish museum last year to take on the replica, which was built to commemorate the railway's 150th anniversary in 1975.

Read next:

Plans updated for ambitious Darlington Head of Steam Museum

'Disneyworld' Darlington railway heritage attraction progresses

Plans for Rail Heritage Quarter in Darlington revealed

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