After nearly 120 days in lockdown, the National Railway Museum in York, and Locomotion at Shildon, have announced plans to reopen.
Locomotion will reopen on Tuesday 28 July, and the National Railway Museum will reopen the following week on Tuesday 4 August.
Both sites have undergone rigorous cleaning prior to reopening and additional site-wide cleaning will continue to take place each day.
The wearing of facemasks will be recommended to visitors.
Visitors at both museums will be required to book a timed slot in advance. Tickets will be free but overall visitor numbers will be limited each day to avoid overcrowding.
Tickets for Locomotion can be booked from today (14 July), with National Railway Museum tickets available from Monday 20 July.
Both the NRM and Locomotion will start a phased reopening, on limited days a week, before returning to a daily opening gradually.
At York, the Great Hall which is home to Mallard and the replica Rocket, will be first to open. The main gift shop and Great Hall cafe will reopen on 4th August 2020.
However, steam rides, the miniature railway and the under-fives play area will remain closed for the time being.
In the coming weeks, the remaining museum areas such as Station Hall, the Warehouse and outdoor spaces are also due to reopen.
At Locomotion, the main collection building, with 40 rail vehicles, will reopen from 28th July 2020. The cafe will also reopen with a reduced menu. The model railway, steam rides and cab access will return at a later date.
A one-way system will be in place at Locomotion to make sure social distancing guidelines are followed.
Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum said: “We know that our sites – with their large, open buildings, outdoor spaces and car parking, can be great places for people to begin to re-engage with culture with confidence. We are cautiously reopening in stages at both museums, to ensure the safety of our guests and colleagues.
“At Locomotion and the National Railway Museum, we have dramatically enhanced our cleaning processes and introduced practical measures to allow visitors to maintain social distancing whilst enjoying the best of our collection. Although visitors may notice a few changes when they return, they can be assured of a warm welcome and the chance to enjoy our unrivalled collection of railway and engineering achievements.”
To book a free ticket for the National Railway Museum, visit: www.railwaymuseum.org.uk.
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