© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 The NRM annexe at Shildon - "Locomotion" - is a development I'd been aware of for a little while. It was built with a two-fold purpose - to extend the museum based around the remains of the historic Shildon works (parts of which date back to the earliest days of steam railways) and to provide decent accommodation for some of the NRM's "overspill". I'd hoped there might be some action on this high summer Sunday - but there wasn't. The "Locomotive Steamings" card, handed out at the "Welcome" exhibit (where Hackworth's original "Sans Pareil" lives), suggested there would be none in July. I later discovered that the regular locomotive, and its borrowed-in substitute, had both suffered tube failures - but whether the two are linked I cannot say. The site encompasses a number of identified exhibits - the main one "Collection" being some distance from the main entrance (we took advantage of the free "eco-friendly" bus to get there - but walked back). Close by "Welcome", there are "Hackworth" and "Soho" (where we found the remarkable survivor "Bradyll", another Hackworth built in 1835), of considerable historic importance. "Parcel Office" was closed due to an infestation of masonry bees! The nearby "Goods" contained another ancient locomotive, Robert Heath's No.6 of 1885, normally resident at Foxfield. And so to "Collection", housed in the magnificent purpose-built centre. This is an interesting selection of rolling stock, with several very significant rarities as well as some very familiar and well-represented types. Particular examples of the rarities would be the North Staffs 0-6-2T and 1' 10¾" gauge "Elidir", Avonside 2071 of 1933, which began its career in County Durham, then worked on the Dinorwic Quarries lines in North Wales, before being shipped to Canada in 1966. Other than being kept safe, secure and (presumably) dry, nothing was done to the loco. Very recently returned to the UK, it is thus in more-or-less the condition it was in when its working life ended. Another narrow gauge rarity, standing outside the museum, was Hunslet 4-6-0T 1215 of 1916 built for service in the First World War, and recently repatriated from near Brisbane, Australia. After a light lunch in the "Platform Seven Café" we headed back towards the car, pausing only to photograph some of the locomotives outside the building (we decided to give "Play" a miss). We had enjoyed our visit - "Locomotion" is well worth putting on the itinerary - it's excellent value (it's free!), and still excellent value if one makes the suggested donation. I did wonder whether "Locomotion" is a misnomer - given that both the original (1830) and replica (1980) "Sans Pareil" are both present, and the slightly better-known "Locomotion" is not (although both original and replica are in the same county) perhaps "Sans Pareil" might be a more appropriate name... Link: Locomotion Sans Pareil (1829) Hackworth's Soho Cottage "Bradyll" (1835) "Elidir" AE 2071 of 1933 ex-GNR 0-6-0ST, J52 no. 68846 75S  1898 Siemens-built electric locomotive LSWR 4-4-0 no.563, built 1893 No 1 ex-NER electric locomotive, built 1905 Q: What's this doing here? A: It's Tom Rolt's Alvis. 'Nuff said! 901 - ex-NER T3 (LNER Q7) 3-cyl 0-8-0 Sans Pareil - the 1980 replica Cornwall - ex-LNWR 2-2-2 no. 3020, built 1858 NSR 0-6-2T No 2 of 1923 Hunslet 4-6-0T 1215 of 1916 D2090 and RH 441934 of 1960 - "Rowntree No 3" No 6 - R Heath of 1885