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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Museum steams ahead for cash
Train by David Mach
Darlington has a famous railway heritage

The town that gave birth to the first passenger steam trains could be on track for a 2m boost.

An application for funding, which would help transform Darlington's railway museum into a top regional attraction, is being made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In 1825 the world's first commercial railway route came into being, linking Darlington to Stockton.

Now, if the funding application is successful it could lead to lots of new facilities and exhibits at the North Road Station site.

Museum curator John Wilkes said: "We hope to include a display of industrial locomotives, which used to work in Darlington's industries.

'Celebrated railroad'

"It would give us the opportunity to tell the history and story of Darlington's heavy industry, through some of the locomotives which used to work there."

It is also hoped that visitors from around the world will come to learn more about the world's railway history.

A report in The Observer, of 25 April, 1830, said: "The adaption of railways to speed was never, we believe, thought of till the opening, in September, 1825, of the celebrated Stockton and Darlington railroad, a work which will for ever reflect honour on its authors, for the new and striking manner in which it practically demonstrated all the advantages of the invention."

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