Tag Archives: National Railway Museum

Make Tracks to the National Railway Museum This Half Term!

Make Tracks to the National Railway Museum This Half Term!


The National Railway Museum is hosting nine days of Big Fun with Little Trains this February half term.

From 16- 24th February, the National Railway Museum is hosting a free nine day celebration of toys and model trains.  Visitors of all ages will be enthralled  by the range of little locos from children’s pedal trains, to rides on indoor and outdoor miniature railways* that the whole family can enjoy.

miniature trains

Children will be able to get hands-on in the museum play areas and enjoy rides of all shapes and sizes.  Meccano and Lego workshops and the G-Wizz garden railway (complete with grass, plants and its own water feature) will add to the fun.  Family friendly model layouts will be on display and visitors can take part in a Chuggington(C) challenge to stack your track as high as possible.  As well as the toy train fun, visitors can enjoy the regular school holiday activities including explosive science shows, turntable demonstrations and rides behind a real steam engine*.  The 100 year old signal school, used to train would-be signallers, will also be open for visitors to marvel at.


As well as taking part in the wide range of activities on offer across the museum’s enormous site, visitors can also explore the Warehouse to discover an intriguing array of model railway objects including a model railway that is so small it fits into a banjo case, and a collection of model railway vehicles which boast a Guinness World Record for being the largest collection made by one person.

Trains again

Zoe Roberts, Public Programme Developer said:  ‘With this February set to be freezing, parents who are desperate to get out of the house with the kids should make tracks to the National Railway Museum!  We have a range of fun activities to keep children and their parents entertained throughout half term and all under one roof!  Big Fun with Little Trains opens on 16th February.’

* Small charge may apply.

  • The Museum houses a Guinness world record holding collection – the largest collection of model railway vehicles built by one man.  James Peel Richards’ dedication to model building led him to construct 610  model railway vehicles during his lifetime.  His aim was to build the entire LNWR fleet of locomotives, carriages and wagons as they would have appeared on one day on the railway.
  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts over 700,000 visitors per year.
  • The National Railway Museum’s collection includes over 300  locomotives and rolling stock, 628 coins and medals, 4899 pieces of railway uniform and costume, railway equipment, documents, records, artwork and railway photographs.
  • The National Railway (I feel like a parrot here….) houses a world class collection of Royal trains, which includes a collection of Royal carriages, from those used by Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The National Railway Museum’s (Squark!) vast art collection comprises of 11,270 posters, 2,358 prints and drawings, 1052 paintings, and 1,750,000 photographs, many of which have never been on public display.
  • The National Railway Museum (flaps wings a bit) forms part of the Science Museum Group along with the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, the National Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in Shildon.
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free.
  • For more information visit nrm.org.uk
  • Follow them on Twitter HERE.
  • Join them on Facebook HERE. 
  • This is a sponsored post.  Can you tell?

Paddington Bear at the National Railway Museum!

Paddington Bear at the

National Railway Museum!

This is a press release I received from the National Railway Museum which outlines some brilliant October half term events.  They look fab and I think we may be going along, if only to meet Paddington Bear!  I’ll be honest and say the kids aren’t sure who he is, but I certainly do!  He’s a really messy bear and I lurve him!  Forget Iggle-Irritating-Piggle and Upsy-Squeaksy-Daisy, I want to meet one of my childhood heros!  I’m selfish I am!

I thought it was a great excuse to include one of the episodes, a classic!  Enjoy!  And if you want to go to the National Railway Museum and take part in more Paddington Bear activities (and look at trains of course) you can find the press release below the video clip.

National Railway Museum Makes Half Term Bearable!

Paddington Bear (TM) will be popping in to the National Railway Museum from the 27th October to 4th November for a week of half term fun.

As well as getting up close and personal to the museum’s stunning collection of locomotives, wagons and carriages, the week long event will see children on a teddy bear treasure hunt, ‘Wang a Welly’, take part in craft events and stroytelling, follow an interactive family trail and enjoy science shows.  The nation’s favourite bear will also be making appearances throughout the week whilst mums and dads can feast on home-made marmalade sandwiches, tea and cakes.  The event is ideal for children aged 3-8.

Zoe Roberts, Public Programme Developer said: ‘We are delighted to have Paddington pop in to visit us over half-term!  Having the nation’s favourite travelling bear (he was after all, found in a railways station) come to visit us is a real privelege.   So don your duffle coats and join us for a week of family fun.’

Paddington Fact File:

  • Paddington Bear loves marmalade and keeps spare sandwiches under his hat.
  • Famous fans of Paddington Bear include Stephen Fry, Jeremy Clarkson and Suri Cruise.
  • There is a life size bronze statue of Paddington Bear at London’s Paddington Station.
  • Do you know what Paddington Bear’s suitcase contains?  A photo of his beloved Aunty Lucy and a secret compartment.
  • Paddington Bear is named after Paddington Station near to where Michael Bond, his creator lived.
  • A Bear Called Paddington was published in October in 1958.

Notes to Editors: Paddington Bear (TM) (C) Paddington ad Company Limited 2012. Paddington Bear (TM), Paddington (TM) and PB(TM) are trademarks of Paddington and Company Limited.  Licensed by Copyrights Group.

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts over 700,000 visitors per year.
  • The National Railway Museum’s collection includes over 300 locomotives and rolling stock, 628 coins and medals, 4899 pieces of railway uniform and costume, railway equipment, documents, records, artwork and railway related photographs.


  • The National Railway Museum houses a world class collection of Royal trains, which includes a collection of Royal carriages, from those used by Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The National Railway Museum’s vast art collection comprises of 11,270 posters, 2.358 prints and drawings, 1052 paintings and 1, 750,000 photographs, many of which have never been on public display.

As this is a press release I feel bound to write this as it has been typed on the sheet of paper I have in front of me, so I shall go against all my natural inclination to start a new paragraph with a new phrase dammit, and repeat yet again:

  • The National Railway Museum….. forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry (Mosi) in Manchester, the National Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion – the National Railway Museum in Shildon.

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by. RL Stevenson. Any excuse to include a bit of poetry!

  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free!

For more information visit nrm.org.uk which is HERE!

Follow us at twitter.com/railwaymuseum.

Join us at Facebook.com/nationalrailwaymuseum.

If I have to write the phrase ‘The National Railway Museum’ one more time I may just go mad.

This is a sponsored post and I was sent a very cute little Paddington Bear in a miniature suitcase in return for my time – no other financial reward was given.

Railfest 2012!

Britain’s Biggest Rail Celebration!

This was an event I was gutted to have missed out on, it sounded fabulous, but we simply weren’t able to attend.  I should also have blogged about it last week so I am apologising profusely here, and encouraging people to attend next year instead or at least to go visit when they can!  If previous events at the National Railway Museum have been anything to go by, this year’s Railfest was no nothing short of traintastic!  

Here’s the press release they sent me, so you can see how much they had on offer, and so you can keep an eye out for future events. 

RailFest 2012

The nine day celebraton of Britain’s railways will see an enormous space the size of 11 football pitches bustling with an awe-inspiring line up of more than 50 locomotives from across the UK.  A wide variety of railway-related activities, attractions, sights, sounds and smells will add to the exciting atmosphere with the opportunity to get up close to the exhibits.

The festival will bring together over 30 record-breaking locomotives that have made their mark on rail history for being the fastest, strongest, first, last and oldest.  Among the confirmed record-breaking attendees is holder of the record for the world’s fastest steam locomotive at 126 mph Mallard; the newest mainline steam locomotive in operation, Tornado; and the most powerful industrial tank engine built for use in the UK, Mardy Monster.  The first steam locomotive to reach 100mph, Flying Scotsman is also set to attend the event.  The locomotive is currently undergoing major restoration work and will be on display to the public during Railfest with further work being carried out on Flying Scotsman after the event.   Railfest 2012 will welcome the largest gathering of railway record breakers ever brought together in one place.

With key support from the leading rail magazine titles; RAIL, Steam Railway and Model Rail, the festival is expected to draw railway fans from far and wide.

Steve Davies, Director of the National Railway Museum, said:

‘Our previous railfest in 2004 celebrated the bicenenary of Britain’s railways and proved to be a huge success by attracing over 60,000 visitors.  This year we hope to top this by providing an even bigger and better event.  We’re certain that rail fans young and old will be well catered for and we look forward to making 2012 a year to remember at the National Railway Museum.’

The action -packed event will invite visitors to get-up even closer to the exhibits and locomotives by climbing into the drive’s cab, taking a ride behind working engines of all sizes and speaking to inspiring railway characters.  Hundreds of stalls, refreshment areas and live music will also add to the bustling and exciting atmosphere.

For a traintastic time at Railfest, famiiles are encouraged to bring their Koko, Brewster and Wilson fans (whether young or old) to the Chuggington Activity Area.  Every fan who visits the Depot will receive a special Chuggington book which links the animated favourites to their original vehicles (look out for two at Railfest!).  Attendees are reminded to bring their camera as younger trainspotters will get the chance to dress up as one of the famous Chuggers.

Families can also get crafty with a Deltic and Brewster make-and-take activity and thre will be a giant Wilson model made out of Megablocks with visitors having the chance to win a huge Chuggington prize by guessing the number of blocks used.

Need a break fom the hustle and bustle of the event?  The Family Chill-out Area is the perfect plave to let off steam with a variety of train-themed TV shows on the big screen and a chance to play with Brewster and other toys in the special Chuggington Playspace.

Tickets were £8 for children aged 2-15 years, and £13 for an adult.  Family tickets and group offers were available.  Railfest was hosted in an outdoor area at the museum with entry to the rest of the museum remaining free to visitors during the 9 day event.   For all the latest updates and announcements please sign-up to receive the museum’s email newsletter which you can find on this site link HERE.

National Railway Museum – Wizard Week!

National Railway Museum

Wizard Week 11- 19th February.

Firstly, I need to apologise profusely for a much overdue review of a lovely day out.  Sorry, National Railway Museum in York.  I am a bad blogger.

Choo choo!

Right, so beginning at the beginning…..Sis and my two nephews, plus my two little munchkins, all went to the National Railway Museum to see what Wizard Week had in store for us.

We piled into the car at about 9.30am and drove over the hills and fields, through Harrogate and on to York.  Very pretty scenery, although the kids were too busy babbling to each other to notice I suspect.  My eldest nephew threw up in a plastic bag which was lovely, and my daughter started complaining of feeling pukey shortly afterwards.  Luckily Darlek didn’t chuck after all, and miraculously the car didn’t reek of horrible stuff, so the journey was in fact quite pleasant.

When we arrived, the kids were so excited!  In fact Sausage was so excited he walked at full pelt into a lamp-post and cried for a while.  No harm done though, and we got into the museum fairly promptly.  I was a bit unnerved to see people queueing out of the door, but the museum itself didn’t look too jammers.  You could still easily wander around without bumping into people, but the queues for some of the activities were a little lengthy.  That’s only because the place is so popular though I have to add, obviously word has got around that this museum is excellent.  And I say that completely seriously too, it is.  If you want a good all round family day out, I don’t think you can do much better than this!

Wave! We're off on the mini steam engine!

The star of the show was definitely the ‘Wizard Express’ – this was the steam train that was used in the Harry Potter films and you could even ride on it if you could cope with standing in the rain at the end of a substantial queue.  We were getting wet and the kids were getting fractious so we made do with a go on the mini-steam train above which they loved!

Used for transporting Muggles for a change.

There was so much to do, and so much to see, it was hard to fit it all in, doubly hard because of the volume of visitors.   We didn’t manage to find the Owl Display at all, I think it might have been in one of the halls we didn’t find time to fit in, but then again I didn’t see any signs pointing to the display either?  Maybe it was just me being blind or something though.

The kids made their own ‘Wizard ID Badges’ which was a great idea in principle, although I have to say they were bog standard ID badges that you added your own wizard pics and comments to.  It would have been nice if they’d been more customized with the wizard theme I think.

Derek the Dragon puppet chatted happily with the fascinated kids, and our four loved listening to him telling tales about the steam engines.  I gave up trying to watch or listen to the Wizard Duelling performance though,  simply because the crowd was just too big.  I couldn’t see or hear properly what was happening, although my nephews and my two shuffled as close to the front as they could to see what was going on and seemed to enjoy it.  We didn’t see the The Magic Hatter at all, not sure how we missed him, and we also missed out on the Science Behind Harry Potter talk because that was on a different day which was a shame.

It’s all sounding slightly negative, in fact it isn’t.  It’s just the National Railway Museum has obviously got so popular that the numbers of visitors has become an issue. The main draw was probably the Wizard Express, I should think that attracted many, many more visitors than usual.  The last time we came here as a family there wasn’t as many people, and so it was quicker and easier to get around and see the sights.   But then, I guess, the NRM would like as many visitors as possible to see their beautifully maintained steam trains, and who can blame them!  The weather didn’t help either.  Usually our kids would have spent a while playing outside in their very well maintained, safe and up to date playground.  As it was, it was tipping it down so we came inside as soon as we could.

Lastly we had our photo taken by these lovely people!  I would appreciate it if you could blank the slap headed woman in the background here. Dunno who she is! (honest…cringes)


I’d definitely recommend a day out at the museum, but I’d certainly arrive earlier to get there before the masses if this visit was anything to go by.   I think this week was the victim of its own success.  It was so well publicised, and had so many top class attractions it attracted too many people I think.  I wonder how many people left with the same impressions as me.  Having said that, the museum is free entry, it’s fun filled, chocca with things to do, the staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly, and of course it has fabulous trains there!  I feel terrible even mentioning anything slightly negative.  We are so lucky to have free access to museums like this.  I say go if you can!  You will enjoy it I’m sure.

Please do have a look at their website to see if there are future events you’d be interested in going to.  They are obviously working very hard to cater for all ages, steam enthusiasts and families. National Railway Museum – York. <<<  Click here.

We were given free passes to all the activities on offer, and had lunch provided.  No other financial reward was given.  This is a sponsored post.  We had a lovely day out, many thanks to the National Railway Museum! :O)