National Railway Museum
Past Special Events

Special events are always something to celebrate at the National Railway Museum in York. They take place at different times throughout the year.

On this page you'll find details of all those special events that have occurred from February 2011 to the present day...

Special Event 28th May to 5th June 2011


Visitors to the National Railway Museum this May bank holiday weekend will catch the first glimpse of the iconic steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman, ahead of the final phase of its restoration. The May half term celebrations get off to a flying start on 28-30 May with a special Preview Weekend when Flying Scotsman will appear on the Museum’s turntable in wartime LNER Black livery. After the bank holiday weekend, Flying Scotsman will be worked on behind the scenes by the Museum’s workshop team to ensure it is ready for the upcoming steam tests and commissioning runs in June.

To celebrate the preview event, the Museum will be hosting nine days (28 May – 5 June) of Flying Scotsman themed fun including daily bagpipe performances, craft activities, a discovery trail to uncover facts about Flying Scotsman and a chance to find out more about the restoration with daily talks and video footage. A number of Flying Scotsman related objects will also be on display in the Museum’s research and archive centre, Search Engine.

Hannah Collingridge, from the Learning Team at the NRM, said: “Flying Scotsman is hugely popular with all ages and this will be a unique opportunity to kick-start the celebrations ahead of her much anticipated return. From an atmospheric bagpiper and turntable talks beside the locomotive, to hands-on Flying Scotsman craft activities– the whole family can join us in celebrating this steam icon.”

A temporary exhibition displaying entries to the Museum’s Flying Scotsman model competition will also add to the themed week with visitors being invited to vote for the model they feel is the most deserving of the highly sought after prize – a ride behind the newly restored Flying Scotsman. Back in January, modellers were encouraged to get crafty and make a model of the locomotive out of any material they liked. Similar to Flying Scotsman itself, the thirty four models have been lovingly crafted using a wide variety of old and new materials with interesting results.

The Museum will also be rolling out many of its popular activities for the holiday period including explosive Science Shows, high energy theatre performances by the Museums Platform 4 theatre group and interactive story telling sessions.

Following the May event, the next big celebration on Scotsman’s calendar will be in June, when the public will be given the opportunity to witness Flying Scotsman as it carries out its steam test at the National Railway Museum. This will be the first time the public will have seen the locomotive steaming at an event like this since 2006. Once its steam tests and commissioning runs are all complete, Flying Scotsman will be painted in its iconic Apple Green livery and throughout August, visitors will be able to access the cab of the famous steam engine while on display in the Museum’s Great Hall.

Admission to the National Railway Museum is free. The Museum will be open for extended opening hours throughout May half term from 09:30 – 18:00. More information about Flying Scotsman and her return can be found at

Special Event 19th to 27th February 2011

Wizard Week At The National Railway Museum

Picture of the Hogwarts Castle locomotive and a Snowy Owl at the National Railway Museum's Wizard WeekWannabe wizards will be descending on York from 19th to 27th February to take advantage of the National Railway Museum’s nine-day-long celebration of Hogwarts Castle – the steam locomotive from the ever-popular Harry Potter films.

During February Half Term, visitors will be able to enjoy all the magic of the Museum’s Wizard Week by taking steam rides behind the famous locomotive, witnessing stunning owls on display and watching mystical free performances by some wizards that film fans may recognise!

Hannah Collingridge from the National Railway Museum said:
“Hogwarts Castle is such a popular locomotive that we’re certain a week dedicated to her will be a big hit with our visitors. From steam rides behind the celebrity loco and stunning owl displays, to hands-on magical activities – we’ve got something for the whole family to enjoy!”

Enchanting hands-on craft activities will give creative visitors the chance to create lanterns similar to those carried by Hogwarts students and staff in the Harry Potter blockbusters. Younger visitors will enjoy a special wizard twist on the NRM’s ‘Clickety Clack’ interactive storytelling sessions that explore the sounds of the train as it travels from Kings Cross to a school of witchcraft and wizardry! The NRM will also be casting a spell on its popular explosive Science Shows and demonstrating the magic behind how trains move.

The museum’s famous road train will also be taking part as it will be dressed up with all things magical so wannabe witches and wizards can ride from York Minster to the National Railway Museum in style.

Admission to the National Railway Museum is free. Wizard performances, owl displays, science shows and interactive storytelling sessions are all free and small charges will apply to the steam rides and the lantern making craft activity.

Wizard performances will take place Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th February.

Owl displays will take place Monday 21st to Friday 25th February

Hogwarts Castle steam rides will run every day of February Half Term (19th to 27th February)

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