Heighington
(originally Aycliffe Lane)

Heighington Station, 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 platforms are one each side of the level crossing. The original station building is left of picture.

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.


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