Racing Against Time: The Urgent Call to Restore the World’s Oldest Station Before Its Bicentenary

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Urgent Call for Heighington Station Restoration Ahead of Historic Anniversary


Heighington station, the world’s oldest train station located in Durham, is in dire need of refurbishment. This imminent call to revamp the station comes as it approaches its 200th anniversary year in 2025. This iconic establishment along the Stockton & Darlington Railway line, which launched the first journey of the Locomotion No 1, a masterpiece designed by George Stephenson in 1825, demands a sum of £500,000 to undergo restoration efforts. ‘Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway’, an organization of zealous campaigners supporting the cause, have projected that they can gather £400,000 through various grant applications to assist this endeavour.

The Importance of Restoration

The Grade II* listed building, which holds notable historical value and stands amongst the upper eight-percent significant edifices nationwide, has been non-operational since 2017. While the station found a modified utilization as an inn post its initial closure in the 1970s, the significance of its restoration ahead of the planned bicentenary celebration in Durham, Darlington, and Stockton cannot be overstated. As per our source, Historic England, an esteemed organization assigned with the conservation of historic sites, recently appended the station’s name to their ‘Heritage At Risk Register’, shedding light on its degrading condition.

The Vision for Future

The goal of the ‘Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway’ is twofold. They aim not only to revive the old glory of the building but also endeavour to remodel it into a Georgian-styled railway inn. Such a transformation aims to enhance the station’s ambience for visitors and pay tribute to its remarkable heritage.

Rallying Community Support

In a collaborative effort to salvage this historic national treasure from further decay, local MP Paul Howell is joining forces with the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. They are actively seeking communal and fiscal backing to fund the restoration project. The pair point out the potential embarrassment if the building remains dishevelled and neglected during its bicentenary celebration in 2025.

  • The world’s oldest train station, Heighington station, needs urgent restoration
  • The renovation aims to prepare the centurion for its impending 200th anniversary in 2025
  • The preservation of the Grade II* listed building of national importance rests on adequate funding and community backing
  • The ambition is to transform the station into a Georgian-themed railway inn, enriching visitor experience whilst reliving its glorious past
  • Local MP Paul Howell and the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway are rallying for financial support and fostering a sense of community ownership to prevent further decay


The call for preserving and reinvigorating the nation’s oldest railway station, Heighington station, is significant. Beyond a restoration project, it reflects a commitment to honouring and preserving our collective history and heritage. The success of this endeavour hinges on public support, both in spirit and finance and only then can it once again thrive, welcoming visitors from far and near to commemorate the 200th year anniversary in style.