Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Yorkshire  /  North Yorkshire  /  York  /  National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum, York

4.7
#1 of 3,471 in Things to do in Yorkshire
Must see · History Museum · Specialty Museum
Create an itinerary including National Railway Museum
At National Railway Museum, learn about the history of trains and their effect on British society. This engaging museum, which won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2001, houses 100 locomotives and almost 200 items of rolling stock that either ran on British rails or that British manufacturers produced. Wander through the massive halls and board all types of trains, from the opulent Royal Train to a futuristic Japanese bullet train. Observe engineers working at their craft in the workshop and take a ride on the miniature railway outside. Guides are available to give children a fun education on Britain's rail history. Plan to visit National Railway Museum during your York vacation using our convenient York trip planner.
Create a full itinerary - for free!

National Railway Museum reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
18,797 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Really interesting collection - helps you understand all the many and varied uses of trains and their history in a very accessible way that would be interesting for everyone 
    Really interesting collection - helps you understand all the many and varied uses of trains and their history in a very accessible way that would be interesting for everyone  more »
  • Interesting for everyone. If you are an engine or a train nerd you are going to love it, if you not then you will still like it. As well as some amazing engines they have interesting things like the.....  more
    Interesting for everyone. If you are an engine or a train nerd you are going to love it, if you not then you will still like it. As well as some amazing engines they have interesting things like the.....  more »
Google
  • A must visit for any train enthusiast, but also interesting for anyone who has an interest in social history or 'days gone by.' The trains really are the centre piece, but there are also lots of items from railway stations displayed around the trains: trolleys with luggage, posters advertising destinations for holidays and many enamelled advertising and information signs. These items create a context for the trains and this helps to bring them to life, it's easy to imagine who would be travelling and what their experience would have been when you see earthenware ginger beer bottles left on a seat or a sack barrow with suitcases and tennis rackets on the platform. The turntable in the second hall is a good reminder that the site of the museum was a working maintenance shed. The archive hall is full of items associated the all aspects of trains, railways and stations. Some are quirky - the packaging from the last microwave cheese burger served - and other show how railway staff were trained or equipped. Everything you could possibly imagine associated with railways can probably be found here. There is almost too much to take in in one visit. The site is wheel chair accessible although one life was out of use when we visited. There is one lot of toilets located near to the entrance, these are modern, clean and well maintained. As a non-train enthusiast engineer, I found plenty to look at and found the hall housing the railway associated items really fascinating. We spent four hours here, but I can imagine those who are truly interested in trains could easily spend a whole day taking it all in. Small children and teenagers may not find much to engage them as the displays are factual with little to interact with or try out. There are cafes in both of the train display halls and they offer a nice choice of snacks and more substantial meals and the prices are not overly expensive. Book ahead as the number of people that can enter is limited by time slots and just turning up may result in a wait before you can enter.
  • Overall a good museum, plenty to see here if you've an interest in trains or just need ti keep the family entertained for a couple of hours. In June 22, it was still advisable to book online so as to regulate how crowded it gets. Whilst you can get free tickets on the website, it seems to ask for a donation ticket price of £5/adult. It is a big space and split into three main halls. One an old station layout with a cafe & plenty of seating. Interesting to see the old royal carriages and some eclectic rolling stock. In another hall (short walk), there are a range of nationally important & impressive engines including a Bullet train, The Evening Star and Mallard. There is also a steam engine here with massive sections cut away & painted so you can see how it works. Sadly there is no real meaningful explanation. Indeed explanation sheets/boards are minimal throughout the museum, which kind of lets down the whole experience somewhat. A 3rd hall has a really impressive load of old junk (memorabilia) all catalogued and stacked onto shelves. Again this could have more explanation of what has been collected/displayed. This is after all a National railway museum.

Plan your trip to York

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.