This visual story provides images and text to help you prepare for your visit to the National Railway Museum.
Our museum is currently going through a transformation and there are a lot of changes happening on site. We will be updating our visual story with new developments but please be aware you may see various signage and barriers around site which have been put in place to keep our staff and visitors safe.
You can also explore our museum collection online.
Before you arrive
OPENING TIMES AND TICKET BOOKING
The museum is open Wednesday–Sunday, 10.00–17.00 during term time and Monday–Sunday, 10.00–17.00 during school holidays.
Last admission is at 16.30.
You need to book a free ticket before visiting.
The museum tends to be less busy on Thursday and Friday afternoons.
During school holidays or bank holidays it is busy throughout the week.
KEY TRANSPORT ROUTES
The museum is a few minutes’ walk from York train station.
There is a bus stop outside the main entrance to the museum. The Rawcliffe Park and Ride bus (Number 2) picks up and drops off outside the museum. Number 10 bus also passes by the museum.
Accessible parking for blue badge holders is free and is located in the main visitor car park. This is a short walk away from the main entrance on the other side of the road.
When you arrive
The museum entrance is now on Leeman Road.
At busy times like school holidays or special events there may be a queue outside the entrance. If this is an issue, please speak to a member of staff who can help you get to the front.
Please note there might be some traffic noise outside the entrance.
When you enter the museum, staff members will welcome you at the information desk and scan your ticket.
Museum staff wear black t-shirts with green-blue lettering and green-blue lanyards with their photo ID. You can ask them any questions you might have about your visit and book any additional tickets.
At the information desk you can borrow ear defenders.
During school holidays there are some self-led trails and activities for you to do which can be picked up from the desk as well.
You can also pick up a museum map when you arrive.
At the entrance to our Great Hall gallery there is a Ticket desk where you can purchase tickets for the car park or any experiences available on the day of your visit.
Around the museum
This is an Explainer. You might see them deliver talks or activities in certain galleries across the museum. You might hear announcements throughout the day when an activity is going to happen.
We have lifts and stairs that you can use to get to all levels of the museum.
There is information at the lifts about what you can find.
There are currently a lot of changes going on in our museum so you may see scaffolding, hoardings and barriers used to keep our staff and visitors safe while this transformative work is taking place. You may also hear some construction noise.
Key galleries and exhibitions
Currently one museum building is open for visitors as Station Hall is closed for transformation.
In this gallery you can see some of the most famous engines in our collection including Mallard, Duchess of Hamilton, Shinkansen, InterCity 125 and others.
Due to essential maintenance works we are currently unable to offer cab access for a lot of our locomotives.
You can have a look inside Shinkansen which can be accessed via a ramp.
You might see one of our Explainers switch on the Winding Engine. This will make some noise and there might be a crowd gathered to see it.
This is a temporary exhibition which showcases the latest developments in rail innovation and is located in Great Hall. It covers different topics such as Decarbonisation, Smart Cities and others. You can find out more about Innovation Platform on our website.
In North Shed you can find information about Flying Scotsman.
You can also explore thousands of smaller objects from our collection which are on display.
Some of the walkways in North Shed are narrow and can get crowded at busy times.
SEARCH ENGINE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE CENTRE
Search Engine is open for visitors Thursday–Saturday, 10.00-16.30.
You can browse books and magazines and use computer access for online resources without a booking but if you wish to access archive materials and/or rare books please book in advance.
Search Engine tends to be a less busy and quieter area.
Search Engine is located on the balcony in Great Hall and can be accessed via the lift or stairs next to the Information point.
Café and picnic areas
You can buy food and drinks at the Great Hall Café.
During school holidays and weekends the café can get busy, and you may need to queue.
We also have a picnic area if you want to bring your own food.
There is a shop located next to the cafe in Great Hall.
Toilets are located at the entrance, in Great Hall and on the Highlights Gallery balcony.
Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are also available in those locations.
The nearest Changing Places facility is at York train station.
Alarms and announcements
In the event of an evacuation, you will hear a siren and staff will show you to the nearest exit.
During your visit you might hear announcements to let you know when talks and activities are about to begin.
Closing announcements will be made every day at 16.30 and again at 16.50.