Temporary closure and reopening
The museum reopened on 19 May. We are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during some holidays. Please check our visit page for more information.
Admission tickets and getting to the museum
Yes. We have introduced free, timed admission tickets to help us manage the volume of visitors and ensure social distancing. You will be able to select a date and time to visit.
Free admission tickets are available to book now.
Tickets are available to book online. If you are unable to book online, please call us on 033 0058 0058.
You will receive your ticket by email or you can log into your account. You will need to bring this with you, either on a mobile device or a print-out, as it will have a bar code that needs to be scanned on arrival.
In the interest of sustainability, we would ask you not to print your ticket. Instead, we recommend bringing it with you on a mobile device. However, printed tickets will be accepted.
If you do print your tickets, please make sure you download all images to ensure that the barcodes are printed along with your ticket information. These barcodes will need to be scanned on arrival.
If you arrive without a free, timed admission ticket, you won't be able to get in. You may still be able to book a ticket using your smartphone or by calling the call centre on 033 0058 0058.
Depending on the number of visitors already in the museum, it may be that you can book a ticket for the current time, or you may need to wait until the next available time slot.
We will do our best to accommodate you. However, if you miss your time slot and the museum reaches capacity, you may be asked to wait or to book again for an alternative date and time.
This is for the safety of visitors and colleagues, so we can maintain social distancing inside the museum.
Yes. All advance ticket bookers will receive a pre-visit email with helpful information about how to have a safe and enjoyable day out at our museum.
Visitors should receive this at least 24 hours before their visit. If not please check your spam folder and make sure we’re marked as a safe sender.
We recommend that you set aside an hour and half for your visit (90 minutes), but of course you are welcome to stay longer.
Signs outside the museum will tell you what to expect, and there will be clear markers on the pavement to show you where to queue.
Please ensure you have your ticket with you, preferably on your smart device, as you will be asked to scan this on entry.
You will also receive a pre-visit email with full information.
The National Railway Museum is easy to reach by train, car, bus, bike or on foot.
See our travel information page for further details.
You may wish to get up-to-date government guidance on travelling by public transport before planning your journey.
If you can’t make it, please contact us so we can process any refunds due and release your tickets for someone else to use.
You can reach us on 033 0058 0058 (lines open Monday–Friday, 09.00–17.00). Alternatively, email us at info@ScienceMuseumGroup.ac.uk.
You can submit a return request for free tickets up until 08.30 on the day of your visit. You are welcome to book new tickets for another day online. Please note that donations, including those made as part of your booking, are non-refundable. Your support large or small will make a huge difference—thank you.
If you would like to move your paid tickets to a different day please call our Contact Centre on 033 0058 0058. If you would be happy to donate the value of your tickets to the museum, please email our Contact Centre at info@ScienceMuseumGroup.ac.uk with your name and order number.
Please note that donations, including those made as part of your booking, are non-refundable. Your support large or small will make a huge difference—thank you.
Check the latest government guidance on their restrictions of what you can and cannot do page.
Yes, we have measures in place to ensure everyone can maintain social distancing.
This includes asking you to book free, timed admission tickets in advance to allow us to manage the volume of visitors, and using e-scanners and contactless payments when inside the museum.
Screens will be installed at the main reception points, ticket desks and information points.
Hand sanitiser stations will be located throughout the museum, including at key points such as entrances, exits, interactive experiences and high-touch areas.
We have implemented enhanced cleaning regimes throughout the museum in line with government guidance.
Yes, visitors to our museums will be required to wear face coverings, in line with Government guidance, for your safety and the safety of other visitors and staff.
We welcome everyone and recognise there are circumstances where, for health, age or accessibility reasons, some visitors will not be able to wear face masks or coverings. We hope that fellow visitors will be respectful and if you feel anybody’s conduct towards you is inappropriate, we would urge you to speak to a member of staff who will assist you immediately.
The Government lists specific ‘legitimate reasons’ why people do not need to wear a face covering, including:
- children under the age of 11
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
You are asked to wear face masks or coverings until you have sat down with your food or drink. Once at a table all visitors are welcome to remove their face coverings and to enjoy their meal or drink.
Please do not enter the museum if you have symptoms. Find out more about symptoms on the NHS website.
We will be following the latest government guidance on this and ask you to do the same.
Yes, the Great Hall café is open each day we are. We have also introduced pre-bookable lunch bags and kids' bags.
You are welcome to bring your own food. Picnic areas will be clearly signposted.
Yes, our main shop by the entrance and exit will be open during museum hours. The shop in Great Hall will be open on selected dates.
We would be grateful if you could use contactless payments where possible to limit the need to pass anything to our colleagues. However, we will accept cash.
Toilets and baby-changing facilities will be open, and we have introduced new hygiene measures and enhanced cleaning regimes in these areas.
School and group bookings
Bookings are now open for school visits on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 June to 23 July 2021. Visit our learning page for more information and to book.
To receive updates, news and free teaching resources, sign up to our Teacher News emails.
In line with current government guidance, all non-household group visits (such as tour groups) are suspended until further notice.