Friday, 17 February 2017

York National Railway Museum


 I felt like crying, sat on the train to York, having experienced Manchester Piccadilly for the first time with a wheelchair. After being shouted at for being so inconsiderate as to have a disabled child and not alert each train provider along the way, whilst my preschooler was crying and I was trying to negotiate a wheelchair off a train, I was feeling like we might never venture out again.
 The journey started out pretty negatively, got to the station and realised our local station has no disabled access, that is, they have a ramp upto the ticket box, but you can only get on the trains in one direction. To access the other platform you have to cross a footbridge. Through the kindness of other passengers we managed to get to our train. Am I out of order in thinking that in 2017 there shouldn't be anywhere that doesn't have disabled access? Train fares are ridiculously expensive and will only continue to rise, yet a disabled person cant access a train without prior booking and going to a larger station to ensure they can be "accommodated". Maybe I am just spoiled, living in Greater Manchester with it frequent, disability friendly bus services. I defy any CEO of a train company to go out with two kids, one in a wheelchair and not despair at the state of the railways. 

York National Railway Museum was lovely, free to enter, but you must go past the tills and the eager staff ask you for a suggested donation of £5 each. Most things are on the same level, a few ramps and one part where you have to use lifts. But I didnt need to get kind hearted blokes to carry the wheelchair up and down steps, so it was vastly superior to the actual railways.

My son is obsessed with everything to do with trains and railways, so to see the "real" Stephen the Rocket, Stafford, Blue Mallard, Eurostar was thrilling for him. There is also Hornby railway set up for you to geek over. The shop sells wooden railway, Thomas and friends Take N Play and Hornby. My son also wanted a "Stephen the Rocket" badge to show off at nursery. Maybe it takes a special kind of person to want to take the trains to see trains..? Nah.

The Buffet Car sells a variety of food in the theme of... a buffet car. Staff were lovely and helpful, helping me by carrying my tray for me and happy to assist with choices. My daughter got a hummus and veg butty with chips and couldnt finish it. I was stuck with just chips, as usual. They had soya milk for coffees though, which is a big plus! 

I have to say for balance that on the way back the conductors were very helpful and were more than happy to help me on and off trains with the wheelchair and a toddler!

 Maybe it just depends who you get working on your train and their mood? 

Perhaps some of the staff could do with some disability and inclusion training? 

Or maybe they were just dicks? 

2 Tired and a Toddler.

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