Day 4: National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum located in York focuses on rail transport in the United Kingdom, and claims to be the “greatest railway museum in the world”. It contains more than 300 years worth of history and has more than 1 million artefacts in its collection. Despite being a wealth of information, the best part of the National Railway Museum is its free admission.

The Road Train provides a shuttle from Duncombe Place, next to York Minster, for £2. However, this was not in operation the day I went there.



The Station Hall was an actual goods station until the 1960s. Today, it features former royal vehicles on public display, with restaurants available at the platforms.




Located outside the Station Hall is the South Yard, an outdoor play area for children which also features an actual working diesel miniature railway, known as the York Miniature Railway Ride. Tickets go for £3 for one, £10 for a family ticket of up to 4 persons and free for children under 2 years old.

The Great Hall is located a short underpass away from the main entrance and the Station Hall. This is the where the main collection of the museum is.

At the time of my visit and currently writing this post, the museum is holding “Scotsman season”, so much of the exhibits and souvenir sales revolve around the Flying Scotsman.


The 0 Series Shinkansen at the National Railway Museum is the only Shinkansen on display outside of Japan. The Shinkansen area also features artefacts from JR West.

The LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard is the fastest steam engine in the world, holding the speed record of 202.58 km/h.

A replica of the Stephenson’s Rocket, the start of the advancement of the steam era, is also featured.

More locomotives around the turntable. Details here.

The “Scotsman season” spills over to The Warehouse, a storeroom of sorts, with the Scotsman trains on display in this area. Featured in its sign collection on the wall is one from Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch station in Wales, the longest single-word place name in Europe.

Inside one of the Royal Scotsman’s former dining cars.

Behind and one level above The Warehouse is The Works. This is where exhibits of the inner operations of the railways are featured. Among the many exhibits is a mock up of a signal room operated by levers of the fictitious “NRM Central” station.

Finally, after the crowds have cleared from the most popular exhibit in the Great Hall, an almost-uninterrupted picture of the LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman locomotive.

There are indeed many things to see and do in the National Railway Museum, and I do have much more pictures than these, but the ones featured in this post are the best condensation of my visit that is not too technical and perhaps boring for the majority of you. The National Railway Museum is deserving of an entire day’s visit dedicated to it.

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