The National Railway Museum in York is the world’s largest railway museum and attracts around a million visitors a year. Before it became a museum, the building and surrounding area used to be a steam locomotive depot. When it was designated as a national museum in 1975, it instantly became one of England’s largest museums.
When Jonathan mentioned during our visit to York that we should visit the railway museum, I have to say I wasn’t really that enthused at first. However, I really enjoyed it and judging by the way Jonathan was running around with his camera, he was having quite a good time too.
What Is There To See At The Museum?
Trains, trains and more trains. The National Railway Museum is home to many amazingly preserved iconic trains and locomotives and spans more than 300 years of railway history.
Flicking through our photos, it appears we were rather impressed with all the steam locomotives, such as the fastest steam train in the world, the Mallard.
And the Evening Star, the last steam locomotive built by British Railways.
And here’s the Duchess of Hamilton, another steam locomotive; this one was built back in 1939.
You can also see Queen Victoria’s very elaborate railway carriage and step inside a Japanese Bullet Train and learn the history of high-speed trains.
There are talks and presentations held throughout the day. Train carriages to climb in and on and a room packed with train memorabilia.
For up-to-date information on events and what’s happening at the National Railway Museum, check out their website here.
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There’s a cafe in the Great Hall, a restaurant in the Station Hall and an outdoor cafe in the courtyard. Prices are quite reasonable. A mug of tea is just £2.50.
It’s also possible to enjoy a cream tea with scones and finger sandwiches on board a beautifully restored train carriage, the ‘Countess of York’. But alas, the venue was full that day, but bookings can be made online in advance. Note: From 19 February 2023, the Countess of York dining experience will close for roughly 18 months for renovation.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit the National Railway Museum?
It’s free to enter the National Railway Museum, but donations are gratefully received.
What Are The Opening Times For The York National Railway Museum?
The National Railway Museum in York is open Wednesday to Sunday except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
10.00–17.00 during the winter
10.00–18.00 during the summer
Note: Not actually sure when winter turns into summer, I guess from April.
How To Get To The National Railway Museum In York
Walking – The museum is just a ten-minute walk from the centre of York, and the route is very well signposted.
By train – The museum is just a few minutes’ walk from York Railway station, and the way is clearly marked.
By bus – The number 10 bus stops close to the museum.
By bicycle – Follow signs to the museum. There are a few bicycle racks at each entrance.
By road train – Take the road train from next to The York Minster straight to the museum.
By car – Follow the signs to the museum that are all over York. It currently costs £10 a day to park in the visitor car park at the National Railway Museum In York.
Visiting this amazing museum is a must for any train enthusiast and trust me, even the not so enthusiastic will have a fun time too.
What’s the best/worst museum you have ever visited? Tell us in the comments below.