You can easily explore the vast exhibition halls, warehouses, and replica train depots of the National Railway Museum in half a day. Highlights include dozens of carefully restored steam engines, trains, and carriages—including a Eurostar power car and a Mallard locomotive—as well as regularly rotated exhibits and live steam train demonstrations. Visits to the National Railway Museum are also sometimes included on multi-day excursions across Northern England, ideal if you’re looking to maximize your time in the region.
Things to Know Before You Go
The National Railway Museum is free to enter, although donations are welcome.
There’s an on-site gift store and café.
Steam engine demonstrations and free talks are held throughout the day; check the exact timings on arrival.
The National Railway Museum is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible, although some of the pebbled outdoor areas may be tricky to navigate.
How to Get There
Connected to York Train Station by a convenient footbridge, the National Railway Museum is easily accessible for visitors arriving by train from across the region. The museum is also just a 15-minute walk from York city center and is well-served by local bus routes which stop at the train station. There is also on-site parking for visitors arriving by car.
When to Get There
The National Railway Museum is open daily throughout the year from the mid-morning until the late afternoon, closing only on select holidays such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Avoid school holidays and weekends when the museum is at its busiest, instead visiting midweek for a quieter experience.
Railways of Britain
After learning about the past, present, and future of British rail travel at the National Railway Museum, enjoy the real thing. Take a steam train trip along Scotland’s West Highland line, ride up Mount Snowdon aboard an 1896 locomotive, or hop onto the Flying Scotsman and travel from London to Edinburgh.