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Taking pride of place among the life size trains is Mallard, the world's fastest steam locomotive. She broke the world speed record for steam locomotives, a record which still stands, in 1938, and went on to haul express passenger trains until 1963.

Walking into Station Hall is like stepping back to railway platforms of the past. Built in the 1870s, it was home to York's main goods station and remained a working railway building into the 1960s. Today it is filled with Michael Kors Handbags Uk Sale vehicles spanning a century of railway history, including a splendid collection of Royal vehicles.

I loved the mail train, which we climbed aboard to see piles of sacks and letters poking out of pigeon holes. Adding to the atmosphere was a screening of Night Mail, a great 1936 documentary film about an LMS mail Michael Kors Bags Backpack

´╗┐Full speed ahead at the National Railway Museum From Bradford Telegraph and Argus

films. Also impressive was a 27 tonne electric loco used in the construction of the Channel Tunnel.

Who hasn't shed a tear when Celia Johnson dashes onto a lonely platform as Trevor Howard disappears forever in Brief Encounter, or when Roberta spots her beloved father in a cloud of steam at Oakworth station in The Railway Children?

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The Shinkansen is Japan's remarkable bullet train, the forerunner of high speed trains everywhere. We got a taste of how the bullet train whisked passengers along at speeds of Michael Kors Wallet Orange

The first thing we encountered was a fabulous miniature railway, with trains chugging around a little town and through tunnels.

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train from London to Scotland, featuring a WH Auden poem and Benjamin Britten soundtrack.

Rail nostalgia is everywhere at the National Railway Museum, where visitors can revisit lost eras of travel, from luxurious Royal trains to a high speed rail revolution.

Built in 1974, this is the only Shinkansen outside Japan and, although it feels a bit dated, it's like a spacious, comfortable aeroplane and must have seemed cutting edge travel back then.

Queen Victoria's saloon, built to her exact specifications, is the only one of her carriages still in existence. With opulent bedrooms, dining carriage and lounge, it sure beats cramped 21st century commuter trains where you're squashed against a stranger shouting into a mobile phone.

just over 130mph when we sat on board watching a video of it racing along a specially built passenger line.

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What a shame the Mallard Experience, simulating a journey on board the famous train, didn't appear to be working during our visit. It was disappointing for a busy Saturday, and there were no staff around to explain why it wasn't operating. Let's hope it's back on track for half term.

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Beautifully lit, the Royal carriages look inviting. "I wish I could travel in one of these," sighed my niece Ellie, peering into King George V's ornate rail suite. He inherited the carriage from Edward VII and, after having a bathroom installed, was the first person to have a bath on a train.

Other Royal carriages include Queen Adelaide's saloon, the world's oldest surviving railway carriage, and Queen Elizabeth's saloon, built during the Second World War with armour plating.

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It was great to wander among the lovely old locomotives. Towering above us was the 'Chinese Engine', more than 15ft tall and 93ft long, and further along was Olton Hall, used in the Harry Potter Michael Kors Purses Light Brown

Nestled between the elegant Royal carriages is the Dining Car Restaurant, where we had lunch in a Victorian inspired 'dining car' before heading for the Great Hall, home to mighty locomotives.

Watching a scene where mail drops into sacks at the lineside, as the train speeds past, my nephews were intrigued.

The replica Rocket brought back memories of history lessons. The famous Rocket locomotive, with its pioneering boiler design, built by George Stephenson and son Robert, comprised the basic architecture of the steam locomotive.

The 1851 Eastern Counties carriage, a rare survivor of the dawn of the railway age, looked like something out of a western. Retired in 1892, it survived as a historical curiosity into the 1930s and spent the Second World War as firewatchers' sleeping quarters.

We had fun with interactive exhibits, including making 'bing bong' announcements of train arrivals, and looked around The Works, where you can find out how the engines ran and watch engineers in railway workshops maintaining locomotives, carriages and wagons.

You don't need a passion for trains to enjoy a visit to the National Railway Museum. But, with regular talks, tours, storytelling and science shows, you might just come away knowing more than you did when you arrived.

Further along was an old kitchen carriage, complete with black range and hundreds of plates, glasses, teacups and saucers. On the platform, trolleys are piled high with old suitcases and parcels you can almost see hear the chatter of schoolchildren or holidaymakers being waved off in puffs of steam.

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