Planning your visit

We're open!

We are open on Sundays during October and 1 November. Pre-booking is essential. Please see information below.

We're looking forward to welcoming you back. 

Following the announcement by the Health Secretary and local authorities that the North East will have tighter restrictions to control the spread of Coronavirus from 18 September, we would like to clarify that Stephenson Steam Railway will remain open with social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff.

To comply with these new restrictions, we ask that you only book tickets / visit our venues as an individual household or support bubble of up to 6 people.

If you are planning to visit from a very high alert (Tier 3) area please note and comply with government advice: ‘we are advising people not to travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as a very high alert level area. This is part of wider measures to help manage the risk of transmission.'

Book your ticket

Welcome back!

We are excited to welcome you back and we want to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible. This means there will be some changes to the way you visit.

Visitor offer: heritage train ride followed by entry to the museum.

Please be aware that some areas of the museum and grounds will remain closed until it is safe to open them. 

Areas open for your visit: the museum, outdoor spaces and toilets.

We are admitting fewer people into the museum and we have blocked out some of the seats on our heritage train rides so we can provide enough space for social distancing. 

Pre-booking your visit is essential - please see below on how to book.

If you are looking to make a school or college group booking, please contact the Learning team who will be able to discuss your visit requirements directly with you.

To help you to know what to expect when next visiting Stephenson Steam Railway, please watch the video below.

How to book

To ensure we can maintain social distancing and to help us make your visit safe and enjoyable, it is important that to book your ticket in advance.

  • You’ll need to choose a time-slot for your heritage train ride time – please arrive 15 minutes prior to the time of your train ride.
  • The time-slot is for your train ride only and the length of time you can stay in the museum will be made clear during the booking process and on your ticket.
  • Only 6 tickets can be booked per party (in the same household or support bubble) to adhere to the government's social distancing guidance
  • The admission prices for heritage train rides include a top up donation to support the running of the museum.  
  • Every week we will release new bookings for visits the following week.  You can book up to midnight the day before you’d like to visit.
  • Due to limited spaces, we’re asking that you only book once a week to allow others a chance to visit. 
  • School groups, please contact the venue in advance to book your visit. Email: or tel: (0191) 277 7135.

Book your ticket

When you arrive

  • To comply with government guidance, you will be required to wear a face covering to enter the museum and for the duration of your visit, including whilst on the platform and in the railway carriages. (This does not apply to under 11s or people excluded due to health conditions).
  • Please arrive within 15 minutes of the start time of your ticket. You may need to queue for a short time while tickets are checked. If you arrive late, we're afraid we may not be able to guarantee you immediate entry. Entry will be at the discretion of our staff based on the number of people already booked onto the heritage train ride.
  • To maintain social distancing, please do not pass your phone or printed tickets to our staff. You may be asked for your name and booking number.   
  • Please have your ticket ready to show our staff either on your phone or a printed copy.
  • Our visitors are the heart of our business and we want you to enjoy Stephenson Steam Railway safely.  In order to
  • In order to help reduce the risk of a local outbreak of coronavirus we are legally required to take contact details of visitors who do not book in advance or use the NHS track and trace app, as well as recording the time of entering our venue. In line with guidance issued by the government, we will keep your details for 21 days. We will only share them with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event of a fellow visitor testing positive for coronavirus.
  • We will also be displaying NHS QR code posters to make it easier for you to check-in. You will need to download the NHS app onto your mobile phone before you can scan the QR code. The app is available on Andriod's Google Play or Apple's App Store - search for NHS Covid-19. If you check-in using the QR code then you do not need to share your details with us. Your cooperation in helping us to keep our visitors, staff and the wider community safe is greatly appreciated.

During your visit

  • To comply with government guidance, you will be required to wear a face covering to enter the museum and for the duration of your visit, including whilst on the platform and in the railway carriages. (This does not apply to under 11s or people excluded due to health conditions).
  • Please follow government advice around social distancing when you visit and follow the one-way route around the venue. Any children in your group must be supervised at all times.
  • Please read the new signs providing guidance and our staff and volunteers will also be happy to help you adjust to the new way of visiting.
  • Our staff will greet you at a distance. They will be wearing facemasks or visors and we have new screens at our till points.
  • Unfortunately some spaces are closed until it is safe to open them. The tea room is currently closed.
  • You are welcome to bring your own food and drink and make use of our picnic areas. 
  • If possible, please use contactless payment when visiting.
  • We encourage you to use the hand sanitisers around the venue.
  • We have increased cleaning in all public areas of the building and especially in areas of high contact.
  • If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you have been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit. 

Your support

Covid19 has had a huge impact on our income. Now more than ever, we believe culture sits firmly at the heart of the North East - please help us keep it there. If you would like to support us you can donate here.

Thank you and stay safe.