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Written by Rich Mackin - 05 Jun 2004
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Location notes
Situated in part of York's National Railway Museum, overlooking the city's station on the East Coast Main Line.
Railway type and traffic
Regular East Coast (HST and Class 91), Virgin Cross Country (Voyager), Arriva (Class 142, 144 and 156, with the occasional 158) and Transpennine Express (Class 158) services pass by the location on their way to and from the station. There may be occasional freight services, but these are rare as they use the avoiding line that runs on the other side of the museum land. Privately-owned diesel or steam traction may be used on rail tours with steam specials to Scarborough in the summer.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link York, National Railway Museum Observation Platform
This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
The observation platform overlooks the ECML in the heart of York. Access is only through the NRM, which is open 10am-6pm every day except 24th, 25th, 26th December. Admission is free except for certain special events, so it might be a good idea to check on their official website. Their platform is sheltered in case it rains.
Road directions
The NRM is just 20 minutes from the A1, and the museum is well signposted on all approaches into the city.

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York, National Railway Museum Observation Platform map co-ordinates
The museum has it's own car park, which costs 5 per day. Disabled parking is free.
Public transport
The NRM is best reached if travelling to York by rail. The footbridge within the station has recently been extended to provide easy access to the museum. A free 'road train' shuttle service runs regularly between York Minster and the museum, via Leeman Road, during opening hours.

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The National Railway museum has toilets and two cafe areas ('Brief Encounter' and 'The Signal Box Cafe') which sell food and drink. There is also an outdoor barbecue in the summer months.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
York, National Railway Museum Observation Platform

Googly map
Streetmap links
York, National Railway Museum Observation Platform general view map
York, National Railway Museum Observation Platform close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
York, National Railway Museum Observation Platform

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Railway Gen Group
Yorkshire Rail
Photographic notes
The best time to visit is during the afternoon, when the sun will be behind you. During autumn / early spring the museum buildings will probably cast long shadows over the lines. Trains can be photographed travelling both north and south along the ECML, and on the branch to Scarborough - though you will need a good zoom lens. Overhead line masts and wires can obscure the view in certain places. The easiest trains to photograph are those using Platforms 9, 10 or 11 at York station as they will be nearest, and there is less chance of OHL getting the way. A trackside building to the north can hide the approach of oncoming trains. A loudspeaker connected to the station's Public Address system announces arrivals, and a monitor shows trains due to arrive or depart. Although there should be room to set up a tripod through consideration should be given to other visitors - the platforms can be quite popular and there is usually a one or two other people around.

General views - All photographs © Rich Mackin unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking south

Fig 1 - Looking south

Fig 2 - Looking north

Fig 2 - Looking north

Fig 3 - Looking east

Fig 3 - Looking east

The Scarborough line diverges to the east on the far side of the lines.

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