Skip to main content

Please note the viewing balcony and gallery will be closed from 22–26 July 2024.

We're open seven days a week. Book your free admission ticket now to visit the museum. 

Schools and groups can book free tickets here.

Station Hall and other parts of our museum are closed, please check the Visit page for the latest info about closures.

Plans submitted by National Railway Museum for Central Hall scheme

A Reserved Matters planning application has been submitted for the National Railway Museum’s plans for a new Central Hall, part of its vision to become the cultural heart of York Central.

The planning submission follows a detailed public consultation which included an in-person exhibition at the museum supported by a virtual consultation. The museum's project team has considered all feedback which has helped inform the emerging vision for Central Hall.

Central Hall is a new welcome space and gallery located between the museum’s Great Hall and Station Hall. It will unite the museum buildings and is a cornerstone of Vision 2025, the museum’s five-year journey to transform its offer and become the World’s Railway Museum. This exciting vision also includes a new Wonderlab, aimed at inspiring children to think like engineers through experience, interactivity and play.

Central Hall will feature a gallery showcasing the latest innovations in rail technology, a café overlooking the new museum square, shop, flexible event space and new visitor facilities, including a changing places.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Central Hall design, with environmentally friendly design principles and materials which are in-keeping with York’s rich railway history and the surrounding area.

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, commented:

“We are very pleased to reach this milestone and submit the planning application. Central Hall is a major part of the wider Vision 2025 strategy which will not only improve our offer, but also help us to inspire the next generation of engineers.

“We would like to thank everyone who came along to our engagement sessions and to those who viewed the exhibition and contributed feedback online—it’s helping us to ensure that our plans for Central Hall reflect what our visitors and community wants us to be now and in the future. We are looking forward to continuing these relationships as the scheme progresses”.

The Central Hall plans form an early stage of the delivery of York Central, the 45-hectare regeneration site which is a partnership with Network Rail, Homes England, City of York Council and the museum. The improvements are expected to be completed by 2025, which will mark the museum’s 50th anniversary. 

Award-winning architecture practice Feilden Fowles is leading the design team on Central Hall, having won an international design competition in 2020.


For more information please contact:

Simon Baylis, PR & Press Manager, 01904 686 299

About the National Railway Museum

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and prior to the pandemic, attracted 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, equipment, documents, artwork and photographs
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free, although visitors must book in advance, visit: