A PROJECT celebrating Darlington’s rail heritage – and to highlight the 200th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington railway – will come to an end in the spring.

A private celebration event of the three-year Heritage on Track project will be held tomorrow. The scheme has been helping local communities to learn more about the region’s rail heritage and to promote and highlight the importance of the 1825 Stockton and Darlington railway.

It is part of the Great Place Tees Valley Programme, led by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, which is supported by a Heritage Lottery and Arts Council grant of £1.5m. Organisations including Groundwork North East, Creative Darlington, Darlington Council and Tees Valley Arts to make the project successful. Over the last three years, sessions have been delivered with local performing artists, who were selected through a community pitch.

Locomotive Rhythm developed a performance, based on the railway, mostly held in schools and some community sessions, designed to engage and inspire people about their local railway heritage. The project has also delivered community engagement days including a guided history walk, another event linked with partners from one of the other Great Places projects, in the Red Hall area of Darlington in the summer.

The celebration tomorrow will be the third, and final, event. Stephen Wiper, Creative Darlington manager, said: “The Heritage on Track project is fantastic for Darlington and the wider Tees Valley. It celebrates how our region was central to connecting the world with the first passenger railway, highlighting a history our communities can be proud of. This is just one of many inspiring activities that is making the Tees Valley even more vibrant leading up to the 200th celebrations of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025.

“We are really looking forward to the event and hope the local community can get involved with the railway in the future.”

2025 marks the bi-centenary of the first railway passenger journey on Locomotive No.1 on the railway.

The Heritage on Track programme has explored the importance of rail heritage within communities close to the track bed of the Stockton and Darlington railways, such as Red Hall, communities around North Road, and Middleton St George.