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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
PM opens national railway museum
Tony Blair's reflection in the side of a locomotive
Mr Blair toured the new railway museum
Tony Blair has opened a new national railway museum on the site from which the first public steam train departed almost 180 years ago.

Locomotion: The National Railway Museum in Shildon is based at the first departure point for the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825.

A large police presence kept around 30 pro-hunt supporters away from the prime minister during the ceremony.

Mr Blair also posed for pictures in the world famous Flying Scotsman.

He said: "They have done a magnificent job and it is fitting that it should be in Shildon. It would not have been done without the support of local people.

"This area has gone through a huge change in recent years and to try and build something new which also includes our history, is a wonderful thing to do."

Mr Blair was taken on a tour of the museum, which has opened in partnership with the existing National Railway Museum in York.

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