Locomotion in Shildon set to reopen its doors after lockdown

Locomotion in Shildon is set to reopen its doors to the public on the July 28 after closing following government guidance.

The site has undergone a few changes including a rigorous cleaning regime prior to reopening and additional site-wide cleaning will continue to take place each day.

A one-way system will be in operation to ensure visitors can observe safe social distancing.

Demonstrations of Rowland Emett’s popular mechanical sculpture ‘A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley’ will increase, to be held hourly.

The main collection building which features more than 40 historic rail vehicles will open from July 28.

The café will also reopen with a limited capacity, serving a reduced menu. The model railway, steam rides and cab access will return at a later date.

The National Railway Museum in York has also reopened its doors on August 4. Both sites will begin a phased reopening, initially on a limited number of days each week, before a gradual return to daily opening.

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum said:

“We know that our sites – with their large, open buildings, outdoor spaces and car parking, can be great places for people to begin to re-engage with culture with confidence.

We are cautiously reopening in stages at both museums, to ensure the safety of our guests and colleagues.

“At Locomotion and the National Railway Museum, we have dramatically enhanced our cleaning processes and introduced practical measures to allow visitors to maintain social distancing whilst enjoying the best of our collection.

“Although visitors may notice a few changes when they return, they can be assured of a warm welcome and the chance to enjoy our unrivalled collection of railway and engineering achievements.”

In a significant change designed to keep the sites safe and comfortable, visitors at both sites will be required to book a timed slot in advance.

Tickets will be free and available from the museum websites, but overall visitor numbers will be limited each day to avoid overcrowding.

Tickets for Locomotion can be booked from July 14, with National Railway Museum tickets available from July 20.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Railway Museum welcomed more than 750,000 visitors each year with Locomotion receiving around 200,000.

The National Railway Museum and Locomotion are part of the Science Museum Group of national museums, which temporarily closed all five sites on March 17 following government advice.

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