National Railway Museum
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The National Railway Museum in Leeman Road York, forms part of the British Science Museum Group of National Museums and telling the story of rail transport in Britain and its impact on society. It has won many awards, including the European Museum of the Year Award in 2001. It is the home of the national collection of historically significant railway vehicles, as well as a collection of other artefacts and both written and pictorial records.
The Museum displays a collection of over 100 locomotives and nearly 300 other items of rolling stock, virtually all of which either ran on the railways of Great Britain or were built there. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the legendary engines on display here, which include a replica of Stephenson's Rocket, the first steam locomotive built in 1829, the Mallard, the world’s fastest steam engine, Japanese Bullet trains and the carriage used by Queen Victoria between 1869 and 1901. Also on the 20 acres site are many hundreds of thousands of other items and records of social, technical, artistic and historical interest, exhibited mostly in three large halls of a former motive power depot next to the East Coast Main Line, near York railway station.
The National Railway Museum is the largest museum of its type in Britain, it was established on its present site, the former York North locomotive depot, in 1975, when it took over the former British Railways collection located in Clapham and the York Railway Museum located off Queen Street, immediately to the south east of the railway station. Since then, the collection has continued to grow.Visitors can explore the workings of steam locomotives, watch engineers at work in the workshop and observe the complex mechanisms. Train enthusiasts can get in the cab of a steam engine, build a loco, control a train and watch a live link to York’s electronic signal box.
Families can engage in interactive science shows and storytelling each weekend. Throughout the school holidays enjoy a range of fun activities including steam rides and special events.
The museum is a short walk from the railway station in York, either on the road or via a staircase from the rear of the platforms. A "roadtrain" runs from the city centre (near York Minster) to the museum on Leeman Road during half term, holidays and summer. York Park and Ride also serve the museum from the car park entrance, on Line 2 (Rawcliffe Bar-York). Admission to the museum has been free since 2001. It is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm from February to November and 10am to 5pm during the winter months.
Images courtesy of Paul Johnson
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