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“Our Favourite Museum in the world”

National Railway Museum
Ranked #1 of 167 things to do in York
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Home to iconic locomotives and an unrivalled collection of engineering brilliance, we celebrate the past, present and future of innovation on the railways. Dedicated to igniting our visitors’ curiosity about the people, places and engineering marvels behind the railways, we put our passion for amazing stories into everything we do.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We have been all over the world, to all manner of museums- and we are definitely not "trainspotters". Weve done the best in Italy, Paris etc etc

Our conclusion- perhaps our favourite museum in the world? it is enormous (trains galore- and 3 million artefacts!), is cleverly done with a great deal of thought gone into it, and you could spend 2 days here easily. Even the food outlets and shops are great. Whats most mind boggling, is it is free! And british!

Sensational place.

1  Thank danbertNobacon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"flying scotsman"
in 1,169 reviews
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in 665 reviews
"bullet train"
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in 400 reviews
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in 208 reviews
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in 183 reviews
"suggested donation"
in 296 reviews
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in 1,045 reviews
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in 886 reviews
"on display"
in 476 reviews
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in 172 reviews
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in 195 reviews
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in 337 reviews

13,212 - 13,216 of 16,241 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

This museum is simply wonderful at any time (and not just for train buffs) but with the Mallard 75 celebrations on, now is the time to go. The Great Gathering is until 17 July, with an Autumn Gathering from 26 October to 8 November. If you want to catch all 6 surviving A4 class locos at the Autumn Gathering you'll need to be there before 31 Oct or after 4 Nov as one will be absent. The last chance is at Shildon in Feb 2014 - check out the website.

This really is a great opportunity. Two of the locos are on loan from abroad - Dominion of Canada from Canada, and Dwight D Eisenhower from the US. Even if you're not a great fan of rail and steam, it's an impressive sight so catch it while you can.

And there's so much more to see as well. Third class carriages which put our current transport to shame. A fantastic daily talk on how steam locos work - 16:30 for 20 to 30 mins and fully recommended. The engineering workshops - the list goes on. And as a venue for a day out the museum shines - great food and drink, and fantastic, friendly staff. KIds all around seemed to be having a great time, and those of us who remember steam trains in service (just) couldn't be happier.

And the cost for all this? As much as you feel you want to donate. There is no entrance fee. I say again, there is no entrance fee. So please support the restaurant and shop, and make a donation. You will be supporting the museum's on-going work, which includes restoration of Sir Nigel Gresley;s other great work, The Flying Scotsman.

Better yet, go by rail. I went with Grand Central whose services are limited but excellent. And then if you head south on your way home (I was going back to London) about an hour after leaving York keep your eyes peeled for the sign by the track which marks the place of Mallards triumph.


Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We visited today. It is on till 17th July. We arrived at 9am (the museum opens at 10am) to ensure we got a disabled parking space. Thankfully the museum had converted all the staff parking spaces into disabled parking spaces to supplement the existing ones. Even at 9am there was a long queue. By 10am opening time the queue was still very long. This is a free event and the museum is free to get in.

It was well worth the wait though. It was amazing to see all six of these trains lined up together. It was possible to go in the cab of these but there was a queue (Eisenhower seemed the quietest and Mallard obviously the busiest). Lots of photo opportunities from every angle. The best place to view them was from the turntable as you could get a great photo of all six.

The museum seemed a bit overwhelmed but had organised themselves. The only thing was that it seemed to have sold out of a lot of the Mallard 75 souvenirs with another few days to go.

This is a once in a lifetime chance to see them all together as one will go back to USA and another back to Canada. It seems crazy that they have limited this to a couple of weeks. As they have another event in October and in February with them. Surely they could have spread this out. I know some of them are used for rail trips but surely they could have kept them for a bit longer so they would avoid the manic queues.

Overall well worth a visit. Be prepared to queue for everything. Getting good photos impossible due to the sheer number of people there. Food and drink is expensive as you would expect of a place like this.

If you don't want to queue then you might be better waiting to the second chance in October or next February when they will be in Shildon. They also have some ticket only evening events to see them avoiding the crowds.

When we left all the disabled parking spaces were taken and the queues were just as long as opening times. We left around lunch time.

The best way to get to the museum is by train. There is a walkway directly from the station and it is about 5 minutes. It however is not step free. Don't forget to visit the rest of the museum. It is an amazing place.

Thank WightGoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

A great day out but there were crowds Was worth the early start from Tyneside to see all the engines I loved as a boy gathered in one place, this was a moment in history. SO many there they had to close the doors it was also along walk from the car park if u were disabled then it cost £9 to park.

Thank Ian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 13, 2013

Visited the gathering of mallards. I'm not really into trains went with my husband but despite the scorching heat this was amazing. Really exciting so many people in beige with cameras!!! And so many old men explaining trains to small bright eyed children. We loved it but can't really understand why they didn't charge even a small amount. Fantastic place we know its struggling but we have to hope it isn't privatised and ends up costing a fortune to get in. Long live the national railway museum.

Thank Grengee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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