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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Archives Collection
The National Railway museum houses three different types of archival documents. These are: (1) Technical, engineering and scientific archives from British Railways and its predecessor private companies (NB The BR business and staff archives are held at the Public Record Office and the National Archives of Scotland.), (2) Business and technical archives from the British railway supply industry - mainly from private builders of locomotives and rolling stock for use both in the UK and for export and (3) the archives of significant individuals and organisations related to the railway industry or to the study of railway history. (NB The archives of the railway trade unions are held at the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University.).
Particular highlights of the archival collection include engineering drawings and technical specifications and archives from the "wider railway" outside the nationalised industry
Date range of collection
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
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Location Details

National Railway Museum
Leeman Road York North Yorkshire YO26 4XJ
Open Map
01904 621 261
01904 611 112
Building Information
The Great Hall - formerly the motive power depot for York is a single storey building with glazed roof and a mezzanine gallery. The Works - a brand new purpose built display area, engineering workshop and open storage area. The Station Hall - formerly the goods station for York retaining the platforms and atmosphere of a passenger station.
Collections Overview
The world's largest railway museum with collections that represent the development of the railways from the earliest days to current and future transport.
Display Overview
Great Hall - The technological development of the railways. Display of locomotives from the earliest - Rocket to the latest - Shinkansen. Labelled exhibits detailing how the railways developed. Also including specialist temporary exhibitions such as "British Railways Board" and photographic exhibitions using contemporary images of the modern railway network. Balcony Gallery - a layout of a works managers office, display cases of small objects including ticketing and company official devices, works of art, audio visual theatre showing railway related films and further display cases of models. A temporary exhibition space currently hosting the "Treasures from the Deep". The Warehouse - the first ever museum open storage project displaying over 6,000 items ranging from the largest 'o' gauge model collection made by one man to nameplates and headboards. The Works Balcony Gallery - a display of railway safety, signalling, time keeping and repairs. The Station Hall - a display of Royal Vehicles from Queen Victoria's saloon to the present Monarch's saloon and the transport of goods and freight. A temporary display area currently hosting the "Wish you were here" exhibition. Display cases of small objects illustrating the railway timeline and the many associated curiosities produced by the railways. The South Yard - a standard gauge operating line, 7 " miniature railway, garden and play area. The Aldek - a display of contemporary diesel locomotives. The Interactive Learning Centre - a gallery for children and adults to learn about the railways through educational activities and interactives.
Star Objects
The fastest, smallest, and largest locomotives. The largest collection of 'o' gauge models constructed by one enthusiast as recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. The premier collection of Royal railway vehicles. The Earl paintings - "Coming North" and "Going South"
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

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