(originally Aycliffe Lane)
situated five miles from Darlington, was where George Stephenson’s Locomotion No. 1 was first put on the rails of the famous Stockton
& Darlington Railway in September 1825.
Adjacent to the old
station buildings (now a public house and appropriately named Locomotion One) is a small cobbled area, which is said to be part of the
original platform of the S & DR.
To light the fire in
the locomotive, the men used the suns rays concentrated on a piece of glass. This is depicted on the back of the current £5.00 note. With
steam up, the engine made for Shildon and on the 26th September 1825 it carried out a trial run to Darlington, hauling passengers
for the first time in railway history. The line was officially opened the next day.
There were long
platforms and shelters to both sides of the line, which owed their existence to a Royal Ordnance factory, which was set up during the Second
World War. Heighington was one of three stations which served the factory. Some twenty trains per day brought 12000 workers to and from the
factory. Teesside people came into Demons Bridge, Bishop Auckland into Simpasture, and Darlington people into Heighington. There are still
small traces of the factory today, which is encompassed in the Aycliffe industrial estate.
The station received an
upgrade in 1999 where the original brick shelters were replaced by modern polycarbonate type. The signal box still survives, controlling the
section between Darlington Parkgate and Shildon.