The National Railway Museum in York, UK

Whether your love of trains comes from your childhood or you are a life-long railfan, railway museums are places that inspire many to come and explore the history of this fascinating industry. These institutions not only preserve and showcase the many locomotives, rail cars, and other artifacts that have made railroading one of the most important industrial and social developments in human history, but also tell stories about the people who built them. Often, railway museums tap into a wide variety of educational themes that are profitable to all ages and are visited by people from across the world.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) in York, UK is the most comprehensive museum of railway transport in the United Kingdom. Its collection of locomotives, carriages, and other exhibits covers a period from the very first steam railway to modern day rail transport. The NRM’s collection is largely composed of British locomotives, but also includes a number of European and American exhibits. The museum is owned by the NRM Trust, a charitable foundation. Its collections and services are largely maintained by volunteers, and the entire museum is open to the public.

The NRM’s collection is extensive, encompassing over 5,000 artifacts and documents, including ephemera, textiles, tools, personal items, corporate records, maps, mechanical and engineering drawings, photographs, oral histories, and books on railroading. In addition to its artifacts, the museum also maintains a library and archive that contains over 15,000 photographic prints, slides, and negatives.

It is the largest rail museum in the country. Its origins date back to 1953, when ten men with a passion for trains contributed $100 each to purchase Indiana Railroad 65, an interurban car that was scheduled to be scrapped. Since then, the museum has grown significantly, and now operates electric and diesel train rides from April through October, as well as trolleybus rides on “Bus Day”; the last Saturday of September or the first of October.

The NRM is a popular attraction for families and provides a variety of educational opportunities for students of all ages. The museum’s gift shop carries railroad publications and a selection of t-shirts, caps, and other memorabilia. It is open from daylight to dusk year round, and admission to the museum is free on non-ride days.

The museum is an anchor for the Snoqualmie Valley’s historic downtown. Its role as an attraction brings in locals and visitors, whose spending supports small businesses like restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, and curio stores. The museum’s preservation helps to protect the cultural identity of the Snoqualmie Valley, and allows it to continue telling the story of how the railroad shaped the region.