Travel || National Railway Museum in York

On a rainy Sunday, Sam and I decided to peruse the National Railway Museum in York. We made the mistake of going on a weekend during a school holiday and it was absolutely rammed. However, we still enjoyed ourselves. As a non-train lover, I was perhaps not the target audience, but I still really enjoyed looking at all the old trains. (And seeing some of the more modern pieces like the EuroStar and Japanese Bullet trains.) 

The museum spans 300 years of train history. My favourite artefacts in the collection were the old train station signs, as well as the old train name plates. Plus getting a nose round some of the old royal trains, including Queen Victoria’s was really amazing. King Edward VII’s train is literally nicer than most places that I’ve ever lived. 

One of the neatest parts about the museum is that you aren’t just looking at everything. You can touch and board quite a few trains and it’s amazing that you can still interact with these pieces of history. A fascinating piece of history that I learned from my time at the museum was the story of the “Ambulance Trains”; the trains that carried wounded soldiers throughout Great Britain and France during WWI. 

Sam and I spent about an hour and a half at the museum and I felt like I had seen and enjoyed my fair share of trains. Sam’s a bit more mechanically minded so he’s already planned a return visit so that he can read more about all the trains. You can also book the museum for weddings, and I know that Sam is absolutely itching to shoot one there! 

The museum is located at: Leeman Rd, York YO26 4XJ
Entrance is free.

Have you visited the National Railway Museum? Would you want to fulfil any Thomas the Tank Engine dreams? 

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  • I lived in York for a year and can’t believe I never visited … definitely something to add to my list of things to do/see when I visit again. I miss York so, so much. I think it might be my favorite city in England.

    • There’s actual a surprising amount to do in York! We love, love, love it here. It’s the most expensive place to buy a house at in the North, so once we are looking to buy, we’ll probably have to move a bit further out. But I know Sam likes being back up North and closer to his family again. (He’s a Yorkshireman by birth.) Do you have any favourite York recommendations? xx

  • seems interesting!

  • Oh how I would love to visit this museum, it looks and sounds like a bloody great place, I do love trains

  • ninegrandstudent

    I’ve got this on our list to visit next month!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

    • I loves the royal trains the best. (And it’s great that it’s free- some of the museums in York are amazing but pricey) x

  • it looks and sounds like a cool museum! xx

  • At museums I have to read and absorb everything. I could spend all day in a belly button lint museum. Like, once I’m in I’m dedicated. Mark’s more like you, spend an hour, get the feel, have a good time. I drive him mental.

    I like the fact that you got to climb into some of the trains. Did you make choo choo noises? Is there any interactive, pull-a-cord-choo-choo exhibit? Coz there was a bell exhibit at my hometown museum and that MADE my childhood. I annoyed so many people.

    • Sadly, there was no train sound effect option. They are really missing a trick there. Though on the Bullet Train a video plays to make it “look” and “sound” like you are going through the Japanese countryside so….maybe it’s where all the sound effort went. x

  • This looks so cool! I’m not a train lover either but I do appreciate them! I’m kind of in love with those vintage travel posters though!xx

    • The posters are so beautiful! I really wanted one to frame for the living room! I found the mechanics section about the actually running of trains and the modern trains a bit dull, but I did get a kick out of getting to see Victoria, Edward and other Royalty’s private train cars – I would have been happy to live in any of them! xx