Twelve reasons to visit National Railway Museum in York

Blossom S By Blossom S, 27th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>England>Yorkshire

The National Railway Museum in York is one of the largest and richest collections of railway related material in the world.

Twelve reasons to visit National Railway Museum in York

The National Railway Museum in York is one of the largest and richest collections of railway related material in the world. It has won many awards including the European Museum of the Year Award in 2001.

The National Railway Museum is open in 1975 and located in Leeman Road, next to York railway station. There are three main areas open to visitors: Great Hall, Station Hall and Outdoor Play Area.

Highlights of National Railway Museum:

Historically the Great Hall was York’s North Motive Power Depot (an engine shed) which originally had 4 locomotive turntables. Station Hall was the main goods (freight) transhipment station for York and the Works was the York Diesel Locomotive Depot until 1986.

Today in the Great Hall there is a collection of locomotives from around the globe as well as other items related to worldwide railway history. In the Station Hall there are displays about the historical development of the railway industry and British locomotives.

1: Turntable show

There is a big turntable in the Great Hall. Every day at 11am two staff will work the turntable and explain to audiences how they change the direction of a locomotive.

2: Gladstone engine

Gladstone engine is displayed in a corner of the Great Hall, next to the turntable. It was built at Brighton in 1882 and named after the then Prime Minister William Gladstone. It’s the only surviving British front-coupled express passenger locomotive and is notable for being the first locomotive to be preserved by a railway society.

3: Ellerman Lines

Ellerman Lines is a cross-section, longitudinally through an engine. There are introduction numbers to follow for visitors to find out how a steam locomotive.

4: Cast Iron Footbridge

Cast Iron Footbridge is set amongst the engines in the Great Hall. It came from Percy Main station. Historically over 50 cast iron footbridges were used to connect adjacent platforms of ordinary double track stations in the North Eastern Railway region.

5: Chinese Locomotive

This giant locomotive is the largest in the National Collection. The engine was made in Britain and used in China. Now it has sailed around half of the globe to be back in the country where it was built.

6: Japanese Bullet Train

Japanese Bullet Train is also known as Shinkansen. It is the only Japanese Bullet Train outside Japan and it represents one part of the world’s fastest passenger rail network.

7: The Duke of Sutherland’s Saloon

The Duke of Sutherland was a main owner of London and North Western Railway. The carriage displayed in a corner of Station Hall was built at Wolverton for his personal use.

8: Palaces on Wheels

This section occupies a large area of Station Hall. It displays Royal Carriages, which once belonged to Queen Victoria, Queen Mary, King Edward V and the present British Queen. There is a few radios above that can explain how they travelled about the UK.

9: Railway collecting dog Laddie

Laddie was one of railway collecting dogs. He collected over £5000 during his 7 years of work. In 1960 he died and was stuffed and returned to Wimbledon Station to continue his collecting career. In 1990 he became part of the National Railway Museum collection.

10: Workshop

The Workshop is located on the first floor of the Great Hall. There is an exhibition at the entrance that shows the history and current development of British exported railway business.

11: The Flying Scotsman Display

The Flying Scotsman Display is an exhibition in the Warehouse that illustrates the story of the Flying Scotsman route, service and locomotive.

12: The Works

It is a real railway workshop where you can watch engineers maintain and conserve locomotives, carriages and wagons. You can also catch a glimpse of the trains on the real railway from a special viewing balcony.

Extra information:
The National Railway Museum in York is free to enter! It is open daily from 10am to 6pm (except Christmas day). There are a restaurant in Station Hall and a Signal Box café in the Great Hall offering a full range of refreshments.

The National Railway Museum is 10 minutes walk from the city centre of York. You can take a guided walking tour of the city, walk along the city walls and visit Clifford’s Tower, Jorvik Viking Centre, York Minster and York Castle Museum or take advantage of the speciality shopping in Stonegate and the Shambles.

Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England and a branch of the National Railway Museum.

For more travel reviews please visit my articles below:

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard------the home of HMS Victory, Mary Rose and HMS Warrior 1860

Down House-the home of Charles Darwin

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author avatar Denise O
28th Feb 2011 (#)

This sounds like it would be a wonderful sight seeing day. Nice read.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Songbird B
24th Mar 2011 (#)

My husband would love to see this, Blossom, as he adores his Steam Trains. There is such a warm nostalgia about them isn't there... A lovely informative article..thank you for sharing this...

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