YORK'S tourism economy won a big boost today with the reopening of the National Railway Museum, just days after several other attractions had also reopened their doors as the lockdown eased.

The museum in Leeman Road was sold out for its first day back in business after 139 days in lockdown and a spokesman said: "We’ve had a good turn out and people have enjoyed visiting. We had one family travel from Northern Ireland especially and another family from Leeds who came here celebrating a birthday."

He said the NRM, which shut as the pandemic was deepening on March 17, was expecting thousands of visitors this week."Advance tickets were released on July 20 and after two weeks, more than 6,000 people have booked to visit the museum," he said.

He said the first visitors were able to see Great Hall’s star locomotives such as Mallard, Evening Star and the only Japanese, and the Great Hall café and main gift shop also reopened today.

"Overall visitor numbers will be limited each day to avoid overcrowding and to help people practice social distancing," he said.

"The museum will initially open on a limited number of days each week, before a gradual return to daily opening. Great Hall will be the first part of the museum to open with other areas including Station Hall, the Warehouse and outdoor spaces due to reopen in the coming weeks."

He said visitors were being asked to observe social distancing, wear a facemask and book online in advance. Tickets and entry were free, although visitors could make a donation.

The NRM's reopening follows that of the Castle Museum, Art Gallery and Clifford's Tower at the weekend, and of the Minster, Jorvik Viking Museum and Dungeon last month, with the Yorkshire Museum the only one of the city's big attractions still shut.