Skip to main content

Back to the Future at the National Railway Museum

Future Engineers returns with family shows and activities for October half term, including science rap, live coding and robot railways.

This October half term, the National Railway Museum’s biggest annual event ‘Future Engineers’ returns for a third year, with a packed programme of activities and shows to inspire the whole family.

The event is part of the Government’s Year of Engineering and runs during October half term (27 October – 4 November) in the museum’s famous Great Hall. More than 40,000 people from across the region are expected to visit.

Future Engineers is widely supported by the rail industry and is sponsored by Angel Trains, Eversholt UK Rails Group, Porterbrook, People’s Postcode Lottery, Bechtel and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Among headlining performers this year is award-winning science presenter, author and rapper Jon Chase who returns for a second year, to treat audiences to live hip-hop that covers everything from steam to science and space travel. 

There will also be a host of other exciting activities for young people to explore, including the chance to design your own robot railway, to take part in pop-up science shows and to discover how signals work in our ‘Screwball Signals’ marble maze.

New for 2018 is ‘Izzy’s Incredible Adventure’ – an interactive live show where the audience is invited to help Izzy reach for the stars, finding out how rockets, hot air balloons and hovercrafts work.

Future Engineers will also feature guest displays and pop-up exhibitions from the Science Museum (Our Lives in Data) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (Invisible Superheroes) as well as the chance to meet real engineers working on some of the UK’s biggest projects.

Lynne Minett, Head of Learning and Events at the National Railway Museum said:

“Future Engineers is back for a third year and we have an exciting lineup of free shows and activities for families to enjoy over half term. We have a mix of new and returning headline acts including award-winning science rapper Jon Chase, coding workshops and your chance to build a robot railway.”

“As well as providing great entertainment, we are hoping to ignite a spark of interest in young people and to break down barriers to show that engineering and science are all around us. We especially want to reach more girls who are underrepresented in engineering, which is why half of our 100 visiting engineers this year will be women.”

Since the first Future Engineers launched in 2016, the programme has reached more than 70,000 young people and families.

For 2018, the National Railway Museum has teamed up with the Government’s Year of Engineering campaign in a bid to show families the variety and creativity of engineering careers and to inspire more young women to develop an interest in science and engineering.

According to research, the UK needs 203,000 skilled recruits each year until 2024, yet only one third of parents know what an engineer does and only 12% of engineers are women.*

The National Railway Museum is inviting 100 engineers from leading organisations and firms from across the UK to take part and has set a target for 50% of all engineers taking part to be women. 

Nusrat Ghani, Minister for the Year of Engineering, said:

“A career in engineering is a chance to create, innovate and shape the future – from travel and space exploration to life-changing technology. Bringing these opportunities to life for young people from all backgrounds is at the heart of the Year of Engineering, and the National Railway Museum’s Future Engineers event will do just that.”

The National Railway Museum in York celebrates the past, present and future of the railways and tells the story of how engineering and innovation changed the world.

As well as taking part in Future Engineers, families visiting the museum during half term can experience a new exhibition called Testing, which brings people face to face with the UK’s latest railway technology from Crossrail, HS2 and the UK’s first Hyperloop pod.

There will be a separate programme of Future Engineers events for school groups running from 7-16 November.

The National Railway Museum is open 10.00 to 18.00, admission and most Future Engineers activities are free, although some activities must be booked in advance – see here for details:


For more information, please contact:
Simon Baylis, PR & Communications Manager
01904 686 299

*Research by EngineeringUK and the Royal Academy of Engineering

About the National Railway Museum

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts more than 750,000 visitors per year
  • The collection includes over 260 locomotives and rolling stock, 600 coins and medals as well as railway uniform and costume, equipment, documents, records, artwork and photographs
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free, for more information visit:

About the Year of Engineering

  • The Year of Engineering is a government campaign, which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering
  • Throughout 2018, the Government is joining forces with more than 1,400 partner organisations to give young people age 7-16 a million direct and inspiring experiences of engineering and help transform perceptions of engineering careers among young people from all backgrounds, their parents and their teachers
  • It forms an important part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy which is committed to boosting engineering across the UK, ensuring everyone has the skills needed to thrive in a modern economy
  • For more information on the campaign, visit:

About Angel Trains

  • Angel Trains is one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies and has been an owner and lessor of rolling stock since 1994. The company leases to 18 franchised operators and two open access operators in the UK
  • Angel Trains is passionate about financing and delivering high quality, modern assets to its customers and is committed to working with the Government, the Rail Delivery Group ("RDG") and other stakeholders to provide innovative funding solutions to modernise and improve the UK's train fleet
  • Angel Trains has invested £5.0 billion in new rolling stock and refurbishment programmes since 1994 and is one of the largest private investors in the industry
  • Website:

About Eversholt UK Rails Group

  • Eversholt UK Rails Group owns UK passenger and freight rolling stock and has more than 20 years of experience in through-life rolling stock asset and project management
  • Over the past two decades, it has invested more than £3bn in rolling stock and today is a supplier to many of the UK’s leading Train Operating Companies
  • Further information can be obtained on

About Porterbrook

  • Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited ("Porterbrook") is a leading participant in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet of around 6,000 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes over 4,000 passenger vehicles
  • Since privatisation, Porterbrook has invested over £3bn in the UK rail market. The company is looking to invest a further £1bn in Britain’s railway over the next five years
  • Porterbrook has successfully introduced over 2,500 new vehicles into passenger service. The company continues to invest across its existing fleets to ensure they remain attractive to operators and passengers. Porterbrook also provides ongoing train maintenance services
  • In October 2014, the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and a consortium of UTA/RBS/TIF

About People’s Postcode Lottery

  • People’s Postcode Lottery is a lottery operator in which people play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally
  • A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities, and players have raised £340 million for good causes so far
  • For £10 a month, players can win prizes every day:
  • Maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw revenue to a maximum of £400,000
  • Players can sign up by Direct Debit, credit card or PayPal online at, or by calling 0808 10-9-8-7-6-5
  • Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licences number: 000-000829-N-102511-014 and Number: 000-000829-R-102513-013. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR
  • People's Postcode Lottery manages lotteries promoted by different charities. For details on which society lottery is running each week, visit

About Bechtel

  • Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster long-term progress and economic growth
  • Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. We operate through four global businesses: Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals
  • Our company and our culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to our values, the core of which are safety, quality, ethics, and integrity. These values are what we believe, what we expect, what we deliver, and what we live -