Rail Heritage Centre
On the lower ground floor of the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum, visitors can explore Doncaster’s fascinating rail history. This area is home to the Rail Heritage Centre, featuring some of the Doncaster Grammar School Rail Collection.
The school, now Hall Cross Academy, set up a railway society in the 1930s and have been collecting railway memorabilia ever since. Public access to the massive collection of around 10,000 artefacts was previously very limited. The display of the collection in the Danum’s Rail Heritage Centre marks an exciting new chapter in the Society and in the significant role of the railways in Doncater’s history.
Alongside the objects on display are two Doncaster-built locomotives which have returned home to take centre stage in the Danum. They are on loan as part of a partnership between Heritage Doncaster and the National Railway Museum.
No. 251 ‘Atlantic’ Locomotive
Built at Doncaster Plant in 1902, the No.251 ‘Atlantic’ locomotive was built for the Great Northern Railway. The design of this class of locomotive meant it was able to pull very heavy passenger trains at considerable speed. No. 251 pulled passenger trains along the East Coast Mainline until it was retired in 1947. It is the only one of its class to survive. The locomotive was restored in 1953 to celebrate the centenary of the Doncaster Plant Works.
The Green Arrow was built in 1936 at Doncaster Plant Works. It was the first of the V2 class of locomotive to be built at the works. V2 class locomotives have a hard-earned reputation as powerful locomotives. The Green Arrow was withdrawn from British Railways service in 1962 and is the last surviving British 2-6-2 tender locomotive.
The Rail Heritage Centre also features objects from Heritage Doncaster’s collection which showcase Doncaster’s key role in the railway industry.