The National Railway Museum (NRM) is a museum in York forming part of the British National Museum of Science and Industry and telling the story of rail transport in Britain and its impact on society. It has won many awards, including the European Museum of the Year Award in 2001. It is the home of the national collection of historically significant railway vehicles, as well as a collection of other artefacts and both written and pictorial records.
The NRM in York displays a collection of over 100 locomotives and nearly 200 other items of rolling stock, virtually all of which either ran on the railways of Great Britain or were built there. Also on the 20 acres (8.1 ha) site are many hundreds of thousands of other items and records of social, technical, artistic and historical interest, exhibited mostly in three large halls of a former motive power depot next to the East Coast Main Line, near York railway station. It is the largest museum of its type in Britain, the largest in the world being La Cité du Train in the French town of Mulhouse. It also has more visitors than any other British museum outside London, attracting more than 717,000 visitors in the financial year 2011-2012.
The NRM was established on its present site, the former York North locomotive depot, in 1975, when it took over the former British Railways collection located in Clapham and the York Railway Museum located elsewhere in the city; since then, the collection has continued to grow.
There are approximately 280 rail vehicles in the National Collection, with around 100 being at York at any one time and the remainder divided between Locomotion at Shildon and other museums and heritage railways. The earliest are wagonway vehicles of about 1815. The permanent display includes "Palaces on Wheels", a collection of Royal Train saloons from Queen Victoria's early trains through to those used by Queen Elizabeth II up to the 1970s, among them some of the first rail vehicles to be set aside for preservation.
Other key exhibits normally to be seen at York include the 1846 Furness Railway No. 3 "Coppernob" locomotive, and the more modern express passenger steam locomotives London and North Eastern Railway Class A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman (added to the collection in 2004), its streamlined sister Class A4 No. 4468 Mallard and London, Midland and Scottish Railway Princess Coronation Class No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton. Flying Scotsman is among the exhibits intended for operation on the National Rail network from time to time.