National Railway Museum reopens ‘one of the most popular parts of the museum’

THE National Railway Museum in York has reopened ‘one of the most popular parts of the museum’ in time for the Summer holiday.

The North Shed will be open seven days a week with drop-in demonstrations and craft activities for families on offer.

The museum has also brought back the under 5s play area and the outdoor play area while visitors can ride the miniature railway and Mallard Experience.

What is the North Shed?

Previously known as ‘The Warehouse’, the North Shed is the museum’s third largest visitor area alongside Great Hall and Station Hall.

It is home to thousands of smaller railway items including locomotive nameplates and station signs as well as the museum’s Flying Scotsman exhibition.

Highlights to look out for include a model railway constructed inside two banjo cases, a statue of Britannia from Euston Station and a collection of historic chamber pots. 

North Shed also houses the J.P Richard’s collection of 610 LNWR locomotives, carriages and wagons. Built between 1944 and 1999, they are the world’s largest collection of model railways vehicles built entirely by one person.

As well as models, North Shed is currently home to three full-size rail vehicles: Class 55 “Deltic” KOYLI, GNR Class C1 steam locomotive no. 990 Henry Oakley and an LNER buffet car from 1937.

Part of the J P Richards model railway collection.

Catherine Clayton, assistant director at the National Railway Museum, said: “The museum is preparing for a busy summer and after spending much of the year closed because of Covid 19, we’re looking forward to welcoming people back for a great day out.

“As well as things like free family activities, we’ve reopened North Shed which we know is one of the most popular parts of the museum.

“Our latest visitor feedback has been very encouraging, suggesting that the majority of people feel safe and would recommend the museum to others. I would like to thank everyone who has visited us for their support during a very challenging period.”

The only areas of the museum still to open are the Depot and the station viewing balcony.

Do I need a face mask for the National Railway Museum?

Visitors will still be required to book free tickets online in advance and adults will be asked to wear a facemask indoors, unless exempt and to continue observing social distancing measures.

Since reopening on May 19, 2021 after five months of national lockdown, the museum has welcomed more than 89,000 visitors.

With restrictions on international travel remaining, the museum is expecting a rise in summer ‘staycations’ and over 28,000 advanced tickets have been booked so far.