Opening date revealed of new York attraction

Artists Impression of the new Wonderlab Bramhall Gallery at the National Railway Museum <i>(Image: Pic supplied)</i>
Artists Impression of the new Wonderlab Bramhall Gallery at the National Railway Museum (Image: Pic supplied)

The National Railway Museum’s largest ever family-focused visitor experience named Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery is set to open on Saturday July 22.

The first tickets are now available via the museum website and, to celebrate, residents of York will receive an automatic upgrade to an annual visitor pass*.

The museum is also moving to permanent seven day opening for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic – reflecting a significant return in visitor numbers at one of the region’s busiest attractions.

To coincide with the tickets going on sale, new artist’s impressions and a video flythrough have been released.

Built inside the 1,500m2   former locomotive workshop building next to Great Hall, Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery is equivalent in size to an Olympic swimming pool.

Designed by De Matos Ryan, the space will feature 18 interactive exhibits with an engineering, science and railway theme.

Main contractors Elmwood Projects spent the past 12 months constructing the gallery onsite and specialist exhibit developers, including Unusual Projects based in Elvington, are now finishing the last of the installations.

Rose Mockford, Lead Interactive Gallery Curator at the National Railway Museum, said: “Wonderlab will celebrate the inventiveness and wonder of engineering, science and the railways and it will enable thousands of young visitors to take the first steps on their journeys of creativity, experimentation and finding solutions to the challenges of the future.”

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, said: “We are expecting Wonderlab to be very popular, especially over the summer holidays and after more than five years in development, I can’t wait to open the doors and welcome our first visitors.”

The exhibits focus on different elements of the railways and engineering and encourage people to think like engineers and develop skills as they design, build and test to produce different outcomes.

Highlights include ‘Feel the Force’ where visitors can enter a human-sized wind tunnel to learn about streamlining and design, and ‘Sandscapes’ which uses bold digital projections to create an interactive railway landscape out of sand.

As well as interactive exhibits, the gallery will also include two unique interactive art installations created by renowned artists Pippa Hale and Steve Messam. There will be the Weston Showspace and a Demo Bar where the museum’s Explainer team will host a changing programme of spectacular live shows and activities.

Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery will be aimed at family visitors and children aged 7–14 and will also host visiting school groups.

The gallery’s major funding partner is the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation who pledged £2.5m.

Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery will be the first of the museum’s Vision 2025 masterplan projects to be completed. Work to refurbish Station Hall (currently closed to the public) is due for completion by the end of 2024 and the museum’s new Central Hall building and Railway Futures: The Porterbrook Gallery will open in 2025 - in time for the museum’s 50th birthday.

For more details and to book tickets, visit: