England Travel

National Railway Museum

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might know that my husband and I met in a train. So, on the 14th anniversary of the day we’ve met, my husband suggested we should go to visit National Railway Museum. I loved it. So, we got in the car and in a couple of hours we were at the museum in York.


This should be the last picture, as we had cream tea at the The Dining Car Restaurant before leaving the museum. I love it, so it’s the first one I’m sharing. There are a few places to eat at the museum, it was a really hard choice. We both loved how it looked, with the marble tables and the train-feel.

Liverpool & Manchester Railway coaches, 1st class. It looked very similar to a stagecoach, I like it. The paint and the names that appear on the railway coach is similar to the stagecoach too. It’s from 1829.

This is a section through an Ellerman Lines from 1949. It’s very interesting to see all the cylinders and wheels and how the steam was going through the locomotive.

The first part of the museum we saw was the Great Hall. It includes a new exhibition about Ambulance Trains in the First World War. It’s quite disconcerting to see how the soldiers were tended for. Everybody was trying to do their jobs, but they weren’t enough, only a handful of medical staff to hundreds of wounded soldiers. Sadly, this is what happens during war-time.

The Warehouse is interesting. There are so many exhibits on display, cramped together, they make the place seem very special.

Next, we saw the Workshop from the 1st floor. As they do conservation work there, is not open to the public.

There is a viewing platform and visitors can wait there to spot trains that arrive in York train station. It was fun to wait for the train. We knew we have to wait for 1 minute, as there is a board similar to the one in the station with basic details about the trains, like where they are coming from and the time they arrive.

Here it is. I have no idea where it’s coming from, as we didn’t take any pictures of the board. But it was fun to wait for the train.

We went back through the Warehouse and we saw the model trains. They look so cute, like this one. There is one in the Great Hall. I think this is the locomotive that pulls that old stagecoach-type of railway coach.


In the Great Hall there is also a bridge. This picture is taken from the bridge.

This is the Mallard, he said he likes it when he saw it. I think it’s nice, as it’s a steam train, but it’s not like the Flying Scotsman. Nevertheless, the Mallard is pretty impressive. It’s the only steam train to reach 126 mph (203 km/h)! It did that in 1938.

We had to wait until we were able to see inside the locomotive as there were so many people there, trying to see it and hear how it works. Really nice.


After that, as we didn’t have a train ride, we’ve decided to go on the Mallard simulator. We joked that a lot has changed in 14 years, now we are taking simulator rides. It was a reference to the SF movies from the 50s and 60s, when they were imagining a world of flying cars in the year 2000.

The simulator experience is nice, although a little pricey for what it is.


Between the Great Hall and the Station Hall there is a very nice courtyard with the Container cafe and the Countess of York tearooms. At the tearooms they only have afternoon tea and if we were looking for the vegetarian option, we should have booked a day in advance. We’ve decided we are visiting the museum that day, so it was impossible to book. There are plenty of other options, so it’s not an issue.

During the Second World War, the royal family toured the country to keep morale high in this carriage. It had armour plating and over night the train was placed in a tunnel for extra protection. I think even with these measures, it was still very unsafe.

This was Queen Victoria’s carriage. It was used for long journeys between London and Scotland after the death of Prince Albert. The carriage was designed to be a home from home. It is beautiful and suitable for a monarch.

This is one of the lamp shades from Queen Victoria’s carriage.

The last picture I want to share from the visit to National Railway Museum is this one, of the postal carriage. The post was received in the evening and during the night the postal workers would sort the letters by hand. Each compartment was for a village and they had to work very fast. At each stop or village, they would deliver the post and at the same time they would have taken the letters from that village. The delivery system was a hook where they would have placed the letters. To get the letters from the village, a net attached to the carriage was catching and holding the mail. Impressive.

A similar thing was done for the dining car. A potato was cut, the list of things they needed was placed inside the potato and it was thrown at one station. The list was sent by telegraph to the next station. At the next station the guys from the train would pick up everything they need. I saw this in a documentary on BBC called Full Steam Ahead.

Have you been to National Railway Museum?

4 Comment

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary! What a fantastic place to celebrate the occasion. I’ve been to this museum twice and I think it’s really impressive. I have a funny photo of my dad sitting inside the carriage of a bullet train. He’s pulling a funny face as if it’s going too quick!

  2. That’s such a sweet idea considering how you meet! Bless. Congrats on 14 years!

    Corinne x

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