Darlington is a town in county Durham with a population of 97,800 people. The town enjoys its well deserved reputation as the birth place of the railways in the United Kingdom. The very first rail journey to carry passengers took place through the town of Darlington in the year 1825. The journey went from the town of Shildon to Stockton-on-Tees on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. One wonders whether the participants realized how historic their journey was, and whether they could imagine that one day in the future railways with fantastic high speed trains would span the world, covering thousands and thousands of miles in almost every country under the sun.
Darlington's a strong association with the origins of railway technology is fully documented and portrayed in the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum, where numerous interesting exhibits piece together the imagery and technology of the times. The museum is certainly worth a visit if you are only a little bit interested in the history of the railways.
As you would expect, Darlington has a well developed rail network. Local rail services are available from North Road railway station which is a short distance from the centre of the town. Darlington Railway Centre and Museum is also linked to the rail network and is served by local rail services too. Darlington railway station is part of the famous East Coast Main Line, which stretches from Kings Cross station in London all the way up to Edinburgh and beyond.
Darlington railway station is also known as Darlington Bank Top station. It has an enormous clock tower that was constructed in Victorian times and can be seen clearly from all parts of the town, rather like the way that the Canary Wharf tower in London can be seen from many miles away. As part of the East Coast Main Line, Darlington station is the place for local people to start their journeys to places in the north east of the United Kingdom like Newcastle. The North West is also accessible, particularly major stations like Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and Leeds City station. For those going further north, Edinburgh Waverley in Scotland is a popular destination. Travellers who wish to head south can use the station to access Wakefield Westgate and London Kings Cross.
To commemorate the contribution of the town to the birth of the railways, there is a large sculpture in Darlington of a steaming locomotive train coming out of a tunnel. The steam train, the steam coming out of its chimney and the mouth of the tunnel from which the train is emerging are built entirely out of bricks, totaling some 185,000 in number. The sculpture, called "Train", was created in the year 1997 by the illustrious artist David Mach, who is also known for creating a full-sized sculpture of a submarine, built entirely out of car tyres. The train sculpture is reported to have cost 760,000 and is beside the A66 road, close to the historic Stockton-Darlington railway. Although David Mach is a controversial sculptor, this piece is much loved by the local community and his peers in the art world as well.