National Railway Museum, York


For a fantastic free day out in York visit the award winning National Railway Museum – the largest railway museum in the world, responsible for the conservation and interpretation of the British national collection of historically significant railway vehicles and other artefacts.

The Museum houses an unrivalled collection of locomotives, rolling stock, railway equipment, documents and records and offers a fantastic free day out for all the family.  The Museum also hosts an exciting programme of exhibitions running throughout the year that is guaranteed to appeal to all of the family.

The Museum has three giant halls packed with railway legends including the Chinese locomotive, one of the largest steam engines ever built in Britain, the Mallard- the world’s fastest steam locomotive and the iconic Japanese Bullet Train. With daily demonstrations, interactive exhibits and a special event programme, this free museum is an action-packed day out for all.


Things to see:


  • Mallard – the fastest steam train in the world, take a seat on the futuristic Bullet Train, see the replica of Stephenson’s Rocket or step aboard the footplate of the Chinese locomotive – the largest locomotive in our collection.
  • The Royal Trains – including a carriage used by Queen Victoria herself.  Experience the luxury of Victorian travel and the silks, satins and gold of Queen Victoria’s favourite carriage.
  • The Flying Scotsman – the Museum is home to the nation’s favourite locomotive. She is currently undergoing a full restoration at sites around the country but you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the restoration work in the Workshop.
  • Mallard – the legendary engine still holds the record as the fastest steam locomotive. Don’t miss the chance to access the cab and find out more about this amazing locomotive on the daily Explainer tour.
  • Stephenson’s Rocket – see the locomotive that sparked a revolution! All the world’s steam locomotives trace their origins back to Rocket and our replica provides a vivid impression of what this 1829 masterpiece would have looked like and how it would have worked.
  • Chinese Locomotive – the giant locomotive is the largest in the National Collection – see why it is so big and what the Chinese writing inside the cab means.
  • Japanese Bullet Train/Shinkansen – climb on board the only Japanese Bullet Train outside Japan. This unique train is part of the world’s fastest passenger rail network.


Explore and see:

  • Explore the open store – home to over 750,000 objects covering every aspect of railway history from dinner services and station signs, to 20th century burger boxes. The Warehouse is also home to the Flying Scotsman Story, a permanent exhibition telling the tale of the nation’s favourite locomotive.
  • Watch engineers at work in our real railway workshop where we maintain and conserve locomotives, carriages and wagons.
  • Explore the model railway located in the Great Hall and witness our model engines whizzing around the tracks from a different perspective!
  • Experience the luxury of rail travel in days gone by in a nostalgic setting.
  • Younger visitors will love letting off steam in our railway-themed outdoor play area. Plus, take a ride on the nearby miniature railway to enjoy the scenery. Rides cost 50p.
  • Visit the interactive gallery offers a live link to York station’s electronic signal box and the chance to catch a glimpse of trains on the real railway from the special viewing balcony.
  • Enjoy a thrilling ride on our fabulous Simulator in the Great Hall. Choose from a selection of exciting rides including the London to Brighton in just four minutes! Only £3.00 per person. Last ride at 17.30.


Opening times:
10.00 – 18.00
The Museum is open every day except 24 – 26 December

Entry is free

Where do we go?
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ (Map)
Telephone 08448 153139

How to get there:

By train:
York is half way between London (Kings Cross station) and Edinburgh. It takes less than two hours to travel to York from London with trains every half hour, at least 25 direct trains each week day.  There is a rail link to and from Manchester International Airport with trains leaving every hour during the day. Direct rail services also run to York from many of the UK’s regional centres.

The Museum is only a few minutes walk from York railway station. Turn left on leaving the station, pass the Le Meridien Hotel then turn left into Leeman Road. Continue through the underpass to the City Entrance situated on the left as you exit. The route is signposted from the station.  There is also a direct route to the museum via the station footbridge (please note that this is not suitable for the disabled or pushchairs).

By car:
For visitors traveling by road York is conveniently located just 20 minutes from the A1(M) motorway and 40 minutes from Leeds/Bradford Airport. The Museum is clearly signposted from all approaches to the city.

The Rawcliffe Park and Ride bus services picks up and drops off just outside the Museum. For further information please visit First Group Park and Ride.
Visitors arriving by car should park in the Visitors Car Park and enter the Museum via the Car Park entrance. At busy times further car parking space is available in the overflow car park opposite (see map below). The daily car parking charge is £7.00.

There are free disabled car parking spaces at The City Entrance in front of Station Hall.

How do I find out more?


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