Access Information

About your visit

Entrance Charges

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. 

Car Parking

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.

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.Building Entrance

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.

Getting Around

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. However, walkway matting is provided at certain points to make it easier to cross the rails.

As a heritage railway, we are exempt from certain aspects of the Equality Act. 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. For further help or information, please email us at 


Lightweight plastic chairs and bench seating with arms are available throughout the museum.

Public Telephone

There is no public telephone. In the event of an emergency, please contact front of house staff.

Gallery Plans

Gallery plans are currently under revision. Please contact a member of staff for information about the gallery layout. 

Assistance Dogs

We welcome assistance dogs. We can provide a bowl of water.

Induction Loops

There is an induction loop in the Learning Room.

Talking Audio Guides and Listening Point

Touch tours can be arranged through the Learning Officer. Please contact the museum for details.

Displays, Exhibitions and Attractions

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.

Films and Interactive Displays

Many of the exhibits can be freely touched. There is one audio visual display. There are a number of information panels about the exhibits which include audio and tactile information. There is also a multi-sensory experience for blind and partially sighted people capturing the essence of a train ride.

Special Exhibitions, Events and Learning Family Activities

Throughout the year, the museum holds a wide variety of events and activities. For further information please contact the museum.

For more organised workshops and classes please get in touch with the Learning Officer at the Museum.

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 accessible toilets in the main entrance. Baby changing is available in the accessible toilet.

Shop & Cafe

In the main entrance there is a seating area. Our cafe, the Waggonway Tea Room, 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 small gift shop selling a range of gifts, books and children’s items. It is located on the left just inside the entrance to the main museum display area.

Pre-visit Information

Our pre-visit information is currently under revision.  If you were seeking this information, please contact the museum.  You can call the museum on (0191) 277 7135 or email

We can produce a range of materials including leaflets and venue guides in various forms. Please contact the museum for further information. 

If there is anything that we can do to make your visit more enjoyable please contact us, we will be happy to assist you.

Wheelchair Hire

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.

Fire Alarms

The fire alarms give an audible bell and visual 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.

Access Statement

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.