All Clear for our signal weekend

On the 21 and 22 of June 2014, we will be hosting a signalling weekend. The event will take place as part of the York Festival of Ideas and involve talks, tours, demonstrations and theatre performance about railway signalling.

Service by Night', artwork by David Sheperd for BR poster, 1955.

Service by Night’, artwork by David Sheperd for BR poster, 1955.

For the first time since it came to the Museum in 1976, Borough Market Junction Signal Box will also be open to visitors. Hosted by the team working to restore this historic object; you can gain privileged access to the working area of what was  ‘Britain’s busiest’ signal box.

The 35 lever singnal frame, at the heart of Britain's busiest signal box.

The 35 lever singnal frame, at the heart of Britain’s busiest signal box.

On Sunday 22 June there will be tours of the historic signalling artefacts displayed in the Warehouse. The tours will tell the hidden stories behind these often-mysterious objects and explain how they affected the railways’ ability to run trains.

Young and not so young signallers at NRM Central.

Young and not so young signallers at NRM Central.

For those wanting to have hands on experience, NRM Central will be open, allowing visitors to signal trains through this busy section. Younger visitors will receive a certificate of competence signed by the Signalling Inspector.

At the centre of the event will be the world’s oldest continually working model railway, better known as the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway School of Signalling Model Railway. A full demonstration will take place on 21 June and on 22 June and a theatre performance – ‘Not fit for duty’ – will be performed on the layout. Full details are on our website.

A Drivers Eye View of the L&Y

A Drivers Eye View of the L&Y

On 13 June at 6.30pm the National Railway Museum will also be hosting a talk ‘Central Planning in Railways: Lessons from History for Current Public Policy’ as part of the Festival of Ideas. Join Professor Mark Casson as he argues that a lack of central planning in the nineteenth century led to a chaotic development and expansion of the UK’s Railway system. Meanwhile in the current privatised railway system Clare Moriarty, Director General of Rail at the Department for Transport, will look at harnessing a ‘guiding mind’ to bring an appropriate degree of order to future developments.

This talk is free, but entrance will be by ticket only, available online at or by calling 0844 8153 139.

» Read more about our Festival of Ideas programme

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