About your visit
The pre-visit information is currently under revision. Please contact the Museum ahead of your visit, by calling (0191) 277 7135 or by emailing
There is free admission to the Museum for everyone. However, there are charges for the Heritage train rides. Carers of disabled visitors are admitted free of charge (one carer per disabled visitor); the concession admission fee applies to the disabled visitor.
The Museum has its own car park next to the museum entrance. Access to the car park is from Middle Engine Lane. Parking is free. There are two parking bays marked out as accessible parking bays for blue badge holders, plus four parking bays for parents with toddlers. These are all located close to the access path to the Museum.
The nearest drop-off point by taxi, dial-a-ride, car or coach is beside the accessible parking bays next to the museum entrance.
We do not accept any responsibility for cars left over night and cannot provide access after the gates have closed.
Public Transport Access Routes and Drop Off Points
The nearest Metro stations are ‘Percy Main’ on Station Road and ‘Northumberland Park’, close to Earsdon Road. Both are a 5-10 minute bus ride away. The nearest bus stops are located a few minutes walk from the museum on Middle Engine Lane and the Silverlink North road leading to the Cobalt Business Park.
The car park is also the drop off point for private cars, taxis and coaches.
There is a short gentle ramp leading to the main entrance from the car park. One set of automatic double doors lead into the entrance. The second set of doors into the museum has push-pad access at accessible height.
The Museum is all on one level. It has a very simple layout with aisles between the rows of large exhibits. The floor is uneven in some areas, where rail tracks are embedded in the surface.
The platform at Middle Engine Lane can be accessed by a tarmac path which is wheelchair accessible.
We regret that currently we are unable to offer wheelchair access to our carriages as the door openings are restricted to 55cm. Wheelchair users must be able to self-transfer onto the passenger carriages to ride on our heritage trains. As a heritage railway, we are exempt from certain aspects of the Equality Act. For further help or information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lightweight plastic chairs and bench seating with arms are available throughout the museum.
There is no public telephone. Please approach staff at reception to order taxis or if you need to make an urgent phone call and they will assist you.
You can download a gallery plan here. Please contact a member of staff for further information.
Dogs are allowed on the trains and are welcome at the site in general with owners requested to follow the site guidelines. However, only assistance dogs are permitted in the Museum building. A bowl of water is available upon request and complimentary dog treats can be found at the reception desk.
There is an induction loop in the Learning Room and the shop.
Talking Audio Guides and Listening Point
Audio resources are currently under development.
Passenger trains run, subject to the availability of locomotives and crew, on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter until the end of October. Trains also run on Thursdays during school holidays. Please check the What's On section of our website for full details.
If you require assistance with boarding or leaving the passenger train coaches please ask a member of staff.
There is a charge for the train ride. A concession rate is available.
Special Exhibitions, Events and Learning Family Activities
Guided Tours for Groups
Touch tours can be arranged through the Learning Officer. Please contact the museum for details.
Accessible Toilets/Baby Changing Areas
There are male and female toilets and an accessible toilet in the main entrance. Baby changing is available in the accessible toilet.
We are breastfeeding friendly and can provide a seated area and water to nursing mothers. Please follow this link to read Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' commitment to women who are breastfeeding.
Shop & Cafe
In the main entrance there is a seating area. Our cafe, the Waggonway Tea Room (open on selected days), serves a range of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and homemade soup. We have both indoor and outdoor picnic areas that visitors are welcome to use for eating packed lunches.
There is a gift shop selling a range of souvenirs, books and railway memorabilia. It is located on the left just inside the entrance to the main museum display area.
A wheelchair is available for use. Please ask a member of staff if you would like to borrow it. It is recommended that you book it in advance. There is no charge for this service.
The fire alarms give an audible bell and visual, flashing lights warning. If you are likely to be unable to hear the alarms or will need assistance to evacuate the building in the event of a fire alarm please tell a member of staff on your arrival.
Although we make every attempt to make the venue as accessible as possible, aspects of the building and the nature of the exhibits on display sometimes make it difficult to make everything fully accessible.
Here are some examples:
i) The locomotives and rolling stock are heritage items which in many cases have not been designed with accessibility in mind. It is often not possible to enhance physical access whilst retaining the historical integrity of the objects.
ii) Many of our exhibits need to be protected from damage caused either accidentally by visitors or indeed by the environments in which they are displayed. While some of our exhibits are displayed in cases we do try to put items on open display where the object is not at risk. However this is not always possible.
There are other occasions when items on open display need to be protected and cannot be touched. Furthermore, since many of these items are large mechanical machines and rolling stock they can also present a hazard to visitors. In these instances you may find that there are some low slung barriers which will indicate how close you can get to something. Again if you require further assistance, please ask a member of staff but remember you may not be allowed to touch it.
We are here to help
All staff attend training including customer care, diversity and disability awareness. They are here to help you enjoy the time you spend in our venues.
If there is anything that we can do to make your visit more enjoyable please contact us - we will be happy to assist you.