National Railway Museum and Locomotion welcome first visitors of 2021

19 May 2021
Locomotion in Shildon and The National Railway Museum in York opened today (May 19th) for the first time this year as Covid restrictions eased across the country.

Both museums are part of the Science Museum Group, which temporarily closed its five sites across the UK at the end of 2020, as a result of the pandemic. 

Since tickets were released two weeks ago, 10,219 people booked free tickets to visit the National Railway Museum, with another 5,441 people booking to visit Locomotion in Shildon. 

As well as seeing the museums’ famous locomotives and carriages, visitors at Locomotion and the National Railway Museum will be able to see a new photographic exhibition called Railway Heroes, which celebrates the work of railway workers during the pandemic.

At York, people will be able to take part in a new audio trail, which reveals details of York’s railway heritage. Meanwhile, those visiting Locomotion will be able to see the original Locomotion No.1, which goes on display in the museum for the first time, plus see the museum’s newly restored historic buildings. 

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Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who has booked a ticket, whether they are regular visitors, or those travelling to see us for the first time. The response so far has been really encouraging with more than 15,000 people registering to visit and we are really looking forward to reopening for the first time this year.”

The National Railway Museum will be open 10.00am –5.00pm, Wednesday to Sunday. Locomotion will open 10.30am–4.00pm, Wednesday to Sunday. During school holidays, both museums will open seven days a week. Ticket numbers will be limited to timed slots by booking online in advance and entry will remain free of charge. 

To book tickets for the National Railway Museum, visit:

To book tickets for Locomotion, visit 

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