In 1825 George Stephenson’s Locomotion No.1 hauled the world’s first passenger train along the Stockton and Darlington railway. People had never travelled so fast or in such numbers and the public came from all over the country to witness this first journey marking the beginning of what we recognise as the railway.
As the network grew it connected people and communities and drove the growth of new towns and cities. Rail travel has since become part of everyday life for most of us. Whether it’s the Orient Express or the Hogwarts Express many of us have a treasured memory or a story that involves a rail journey, either fictional or real.
2025 marks two hundred years since this first journey. In celebration of this anniversary the rail industry has come together to develop Railway 200, a year-long programme of fun, educational, inspiring, and sometimes unexpected, events and activities for people of all ages. It is our aim to use the anniversary to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and encourage young people to choose a career in rail’s exciting, digital, green, future.
We are also working closely with partners in Stockton and Darlington who are planning their own exciting regional celebrations.
We’re currently working with partners to develop industry plans but we also want to support and empower individuals, organisations, and communities, around the country to deliver their own anniversary projects in 2025 and beyond.
You might be a youth group, an art gallery, a museum, a civic society, or just an individual who wants to do something to support the celebrations. We particularly want to work with organisations who might be able to reach non-traditional audiences, talk about interesting subjects or themes, or who want to deliver great local experiences.
Please get in touch to find out how we can support you to be part of Railway 200 and keep an eye on this website for further updates and information about what we’re planning and opportunities for you to be involved.