Station Hall

Explore a century of station life in Station Hall.


Station Hall at the National Railway Museum

Station Hall was once home to York's main goods station. It was built in the 1870s and was a working railway building into the 1960s. Now, soak up the atmosphere of this historic building filled with vehicles spanning a century of railway history.

See station objects from our collection, many of them on display for the first time. Watch films showcasing station life, including Terminus.

You can even climb on board some of our carriages or take a tour around Station Hall with one of our Explainers.

We put people's stories about working in stations and travelling by train at the heart of station hall - read more about these stories in our blog posts about the redevelopment process.

Please note on Thursday 4 July 2015 Station Hall will be closed from 4pm.

Our Collection in Station Hall

The main feature of Station Hall is our collection of royal vehicles, including the the oldest preserved carriage in Europe and Queen Victoria's 'Palace on Wheels'. Find out more about our royal carriages.

  • Queen Elizabeth's saloon


    This carriage was used across the country by Queen Elizabeth between the 40's and 70's. This included tours during the war to keep morale high.
  • Queen Mary's saloon


    Queen Mary (1867-1953) inherited this carriage from her mother in law and modernised it by installing fans, radiators and light modern furniture.
  • Queen Victoria's saloon


    After Prince Albert died in 1861, Queen Victoria travelled less, mostly between London and her favourite country houses. Her carriage was designed to be a home away from home.
  • King Edward's saloon


    Edward VII (1841-1910) took an active interest in the design of his carriages. He requested this be styled similar to the Royal Yacht.
  • Queen Adeleide's saloon


    Used in the 1840's, Queen Adeleide was one of the first royals to travel by trains. It was built with extra space at one end so she could lie down.
  • 'Gladstone' locomotive


    Used on the London-Brighton routes between 1880's-1920's, Gladstone was expensive to run because of it's power. But it was the first choice for pulling heavy express passenger trains.
  • 'Crab' locomotive


    'Crab' was a passenger and goods loco, used on routes around the North West in the 1920's and 40's.
  • 'Spinner' locomotive


    Used on routes between London and the Midlands between the 1890's and 1920's 'Spinner' was a long distance express capable of reaching and sustaining high speeds.
  • Passenger Express locomotive


    This type of loco was originally designed for passenger express services, and covered a total of 1.6 million miles during its working life.
  • Royal Scot locomotive


    The electrification of the West Coast route between London and Scotland meant that British Rail invested in a fleet of electric loco's to pull their Inter-City services.
  • Post Office Van


    Our travelling post office was used on the London to Scotland route, and would have been the overnight workplace for a team of mail sorters.
  • Passenger brake van


    Early carriages didn't have much room for luggage so they were stored in rolling stock like this, used 1880s-1930s
  • Insulated fish van


    The insulation ensured that the fish were kept kept as they were moved on express trains round the country (1950s-60s).
  • Third Class dining carriage


    Used on the London-Scotland routes 1910s-1950s, this enabled for the first time cheaper ticket holders to enjoy a sit down three course meal.
  • Third Class sleeping carriage


    Prior to it's introduction on the London-Scotland routes 1920s-1950s, passengers had to sleep in their seats on very long journeys.
  • First and third class carriage


    Examples of third class carriages like this in the early 1900s were an improvement but passengers still needed to take their own foot warmers and reading lamps with them!

More views of Station Hall and the Royal Carriages

Background: 'Skegness is so Bracing' LNER Poster