So our shop is called the Railway Station, but the company name is the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Of course we are not the original Stockton & Darlington Railway which came into being in 1818 and opened the railway in 1825. That railway was the start of the modern railway that went on to spread across the country and the world.

If you want to find out more about this Georgian mega project and its impact on the world, then there is a new book being sold by the Friends of the S&DR and was written by us with help from the Friends. ‘The Stockton & Darlington Railway: The Railway that got the World on Track’ is a 40-page booklet designed to set out some key information about the S&DR and why it was so important in world history.

Too often we hear myths repeated about the S&DR being the first steam powered railway, or the first passenger railway, but in fact it is much more than that. It was the start of our modern railway network with a vision from the outset that it would spread across the country and be part of a new publicly available national transport infrastructure hauling anything and anyone for a fee. Through its pioneering phase between 1825-30 it influenced the spread of railways across the world as engineers and financiers came to Darlington and Shildon to see how to run a railway.

Beautifully illustrated with contributions from many of the Friends and a special cover painted by John Wigston, it has been extremely popular. Copies can be purchased from the Friends’ web site for £5 plus p&p here.

In the words of Matthew Pease, great great great grandson of Edward Pease (and who provided a less well-known image of Edward Pease for the book), “What a terrific result! Its wonderful images, clear storyline and concise explanations make it a hugely engaging document which will be bound to spark interest wherever it goes.”