For railway enthusiasts this museum is in my opinion a truly fascinating place to visit and there is so much on offer, even for those less interested in railways it is still worth a visit.
The main reason for our visit, was not so much to see the many types of trains but for geneology purposes. My grandmother,served as a secretary for the Great Yorkshire railway, her father and his brothers worked for the railway in York, in various roles The Archive Centre, we were sure, would help us complete a picture of their lives, at least from the occupational side.
The National Railway Museum is in Leeman Road, York, right beside the railway station. As we stepped from our train onto the platform at York Station, there were directions from our platform to the Nationall Railway Museum.
The museum is close to the centre of York and there are buses to it from the city centre, For those travelling by car there is a visitor car park on Leeman Road at a cost of £9 per day .Accessible parking is free.
The entrance is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs can be hired free of charge. Mobility Scooters can be hired for £5. This museum is large, but there are plenty of places with seating where if you have mobility issues (as I have) you can stop and sit for a while.
There are over a million objects in their archives, from papers from railway works and companies, to technical drawings, photographs,over 10,000 posters, accident reports, tickets, postcards, timetables and books, to name just a few!.
For those interested in art there are over 2,000 items in the art gallery.
Despite going to visit the archives, we of course spent a lot of time in the yards where we could not fail to be impressed by the magnificent, beautifully preserved trains and the quantity of trains, some with their carriages furnished with sumptuous furniture interiors and china of a bygone age. We spent an hour and a half looking at the trains, we could have spent much longer if we had not been pressed for time.
For children there is a railway themed play area. For those wanting to eat there is a choice of four eating areas – The picnic area/play area. The courtyard, The Dining Car Restaurant, The Mallard Café. May 2015 – I revisited this museum last month and was delighted to see that Afternoon Tea (cost £19.95 per person) is now served in The opulent railway carriage The Countess of York, in the South Garden of the museum. Elegantly furnished and providing a unique trip back in time it provides a different Afternoon Tea experience.
Wc’s are on the ground floor and are wheelchair accessible.
There is a well stocked gift shop.
Entry to this amazing museum is free, the museum does rely on donations and there is a suggested donation of £3 per person, which represents superb value for money.
We would certainly recommend this museum and we will return when next in York.