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The National Railway Museum is now open. Book your free tickets

Research and archive

Search Engine will reopen on Thursday 20 May. Find out more on our Plan a Research Visit page.

Search Engine will reopen with social distancing measures in place for pre-booked appointments on Thursdays to Saturdays. Please contact us via email to book an appointment. 

A separate admission ticket is also required for access the museum.

While Search Engine is temporarily closed, our collection⁠—and the inspirational stories it contains⁠—remains open online. You can find further information about the archives we care for via our online collection, the archive catalogue, the Science Museum library catalogue and the National Railway Museum library catalogue.

We offer a free enquiry service to help you find out more about the history of the railways and items in the Science Museum Group Collection. Please contact us via

We aim to respond within 20 working days, however our responses may take longer due to COVID-19 and many colleagues working from home.

Our copying service has now fully reopened. Please find further details on our copying and copyright page.

Whatever you're interested in, from engineering and industry to the social history of railways, our research and archive facilities are here to help.

If you're looking for more information about a particular area of railway history and engineering, Search Engine is the place for you.

Find out how to plan a research visit.

Science Museum Group Journal

The Science Museum Group Journal presents the global research community with peer-reviewed papers relevant to the wide-ranging work of the Science Museum Group. The journal freely shares the research of the Group's museums, including the National Railway Museum.

Browse our photographic collections

Part of the Science Museum Group