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National Railway Museum

York Central and our future vision

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York Central is an exciting development scheme with enormous potential to deliver economic growth, jobs and sustainable housing for the city—with the museum at its cultural heart.

Our vision for transformation

York Central will help us deliver our vision for future transformation, representing the single biggest investment in the museum for 40 years. While we have the best railway collection in the world, our physical infrastructure is not similarly world-class. York Central would provide the catalyst to positively transform the museum for our visitors, of whom we hope to attract 1.2 million each year.

Our Masterplan comprises six key elements:

Map of proposed York Central developments - Image courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre Wilkinson Eyre
Image courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre/Gustafson, Porter & Bowman


An artist's impression of what the National Railway Museum's Wonderlab gallery might look like
Image courtesy of MUF

Wonderlab will be a new interactive engineering gallery. The design will be based on the hugely successful interactive galleries created by the Science Museum Group at its Bradford and London museums, which have already sparked the curiosity of many thousands of young people.

Wonderlab will create an exciting environment where young minds can discover their potential through building, testing and learning. This could include having a go at pulling a locomotive or exploring how fast things travel and how they move. A unique ‘tinkering’ workshop space, live demonstrations, live shows and experiments would also inspire the next generation of rail engineers.

Diverting Leeman Road

In November 2017, the York Central Partnership and City of York Council Executive identified a new route from the west as the preferred access to York Central.

This plan to divert Leeman Road and create a new access road for York Central would help to improve the environment and air quality for those currently living in the Salisbury Terrace and Leeman Road areas, as well as those in the planned new developments.

Diverting Leeman Road would also enable the museum to create a new Central Gallery where the road currently divides our site in half. This building would join our galleries, provide level access and a new world-class welcome space displaying the latest technology and innovations from the modern rail industry.