Travel back in time as Monkwearmouth Station Museum gives you the nostalgic feel of an authentic Victorian train station complete with an enchanting ticketing office from the Edwardian period.
Although closed since 1967, mainline trains of the Tyne and Wear Metro still pass through this station without stopping. It will not take you long to tour the excellent interactive galleries in the museum that children (young and old) will surely love, and the best part is the free entrance! So if you are fascinated by public transport and happen to be in Sunderland, this museum is certainly worth the visit.
First off, visit the Journeys Gallery featuring photos and rare videos in Sunderland from the early 1900s about different aspects of journeys that people embark on. The themes of the display include wartime travels and transporting food. The most exciting part of this gallery is getting a chance to take the driver’s seat of an original Sunderland bus cab. It is time to hop on board!
Another fascinating section in the museum is the original 1860s Booking Office. Decorated exactly the way it was more than a century ago, the booking office is complete with vintage ticketing paraphernalia, old pieces of furniture, and other antiquated fixtures. You will be amazed at the difference of how bookings were made in the past and how they are done now with just a click. The best part of this gallery is meeting the station master, David Thompson Hide, and learning about life in the station.
The Wagon Shed is also a gallery to behold. It is home to two original railway wagons from the early 20th century. Built in 1916, the older wagon called Goods Brake Van weighs 10 tons and was built at County Durham. The other one is the Covered Carriage Truck built in 1939 at Darlington and was used to transport cars. The oldest surviving model of its kind, this wagon presently lodges a 1963 Rover P4 car, simulating its original function. You will also be amazed by the interactive exhibits showing how these wagons were used and the importance they played in public life.
Kids love the Children’s Gallery especially designed for them to try out the controls of the play train. Have them check out the remarkable dressing up box where they can revamp as a fireman, a paramedic or a policeman. Toys and books on a wide range of transport vehicles are also available for them to enjoy. In this gallery, imagination is the limit for fun and learning!
The visit to the train station is never complete without watching trains go by at the Platform Gallery. Aside from that, you will also learn more about the various kinds of trains that used to pass by the station every day. You may cap off the tour by simply relaxing on a bench at the platform. Just before you leave, be sure to drop by the museum’s shop for beautiful souvenirs.
Situated in Sunderland, United Kingdom, the Monkwearmouth Station Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm, except on Sundays where guests are accepted only from 2pm to 5pm. It is a few minute’s walk from St. Peter’s Metro station and about 10 minutes away from Sunderland’s city center. The gallery is accessible to all persons with special needs, providing facilities for those using wheelchairs. Guide dogs are also allowed in the museum.