Families at Head of Steam and our Access Statement

Museum exhibit at Head of Steam  Interactive exhibit  Mural

Head of Steam access statement [pdf document]

Access and parking

There are accessible parking bays near the museum entrance. There is ramped access from these to the front door. There is level access all round the museum for wheelchairs and buggies. We have hearing loops at Reception and assistance dogs are welcome in the museum. There are accessible toilet facilities with the main toilets and also near our meeting room.

Buggies and bags 

We have limited space to store buggies and bags, please ask our friendly staff and they will try to help.

Baby changing and feeding

We have a separate baby changing room in our toilets. Mums are welcome to breastfeed in the museum, wherever they are comfortable. If you would like somewhere more private, there is a baby changing room.

Please let a member of staff know if you would like a glass of water or if there is anything we can do to help make you more comfortable.

Visitors on the Autistic Spectrum

The Museum has prepared a Visual Guide for visitors on the autistic spectrum, which is available to download here [pdf document].


We have lots of extra things to help you to explore the museum!

  • Backpacks – our museum backpacks are a great way to help younger children get more out of their visit. They are available from reception for a £5 returnable deposit. They have been kindly provided by the Family Learning team from the North East Regional Museums Hub
  • Animal hunt – get a sheet from reception and find the animals around the museum
  • Look out for our family art and craft activities in school holidays and on event days


We have a small playroom near reception where younger visitors and their families can play. We have books, railway toys, dressing up clothes, puzzles and other games.

Food and drink

Refreshments are available from the museum reception. Hot and cold drinks and a variety of crisps and biscuits are available with a comfortable seating area nearby, on the museum platform, during museum opening times.

If you want to bring your own food we have an outdoor picnic area with tables at the front of the museum, and you are welcome to eat indoors in the glass corridor if it is wet. Please don’t eat or drink in the museum.


Our shop has a wide range of souvenirs, toys and books to suit all ages and pockets.

First aid and lost children

Please contact the staff at reception who will be able to help.

Responsibility for younger visitors

Children are the responsibility of parents and carers at all times. Please be aware that the museum is in an old railway station which includes platforms and a footbridge.  There are lot of things we encourage you to touch, or go into, but if there is something that is too old and fragile it will either have a sign on it or will be behind a barrier – this is for its safety and yours.

Our mission statement

The museum’s mission is to explain the significance of Darlington to railways, and of railways to Darlington.

The museum’s responsibility is to preserve for future generations, and to make available for education and enjoyment, the unique historical collections it holds in trust.

The museum’s objective is to make, in relation to the funding it receives, a worthwhile contribution to community development and economic prosperity in Darlington.