The latest news from FNRM & the National Railway Museum

Friends of the NRM donate £300,000 for major £500,000 refurb planned for the NRM – featuring new trains, an original station shop and upgraded café

Due to start in spring 2021, the exhibition refresh will see an estimated 200 new collection items and 25 rail vehicles go on display. Work is scheduled to be complete by 2022, subject to wider Vision 2025 and York Central activity. The £500,000 refurbishment is being funded by £300K from the Friends of the National Railway Museum, with owners the Science Museum Group providing £200,000 to complete physical improvements to Station Hall’s roof and walls. The Station Hall project will also explore under-represented stories from railway history. These will include women’s experiences of working for the railways and the first black railway workers from the Windrush generation who helped shape Britain’s post-war railway. A new addition to the hall will be class 47 locomotive, Prince William, one of a select number of locomotives to have hauled the current royal train. It will also reveal stories around the building itself and the movement of goods around the city and beyond, and will feature archive film, plus stories from the museum’s National Archive of Railway Oral History.

Philip Benham, chairman of the Friends of the National Railway Museum, said: “I am delighted that the Friends are the principal funder of this important project. Over the years we have contributed more than £1.5m towards some 60 museum projects, but this is one of the most significant yet.”

The Station Hall project will take place alongside the museum’s £55.3m, Vision 2025 masterplan which will see the comprehensive regeneration of the National Railway Museum and surrounding area.


In light of the latest coronavirus restrictions, the National Railway Museum will temporarily close from 31 December. If you have booked to visit the museum on or after this date, unfortunately your visit can no longer go ahead. We will be in touch soon with further info. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support. We look forward to welcoming you back when we are able to.


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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN. The impact of the Coronavirus. 21/12/2020 

Following the second Covid-19 lockdown, the National Railway Museum reopened at York on Thursday 3 December. Unfortunately, Locomotion is closed as Shildon remains in Tier 3 under which museums are not allowed to open. This position will continue at least until the next review of tiers by the Government on 30 December.


The Museum is open on certain days of the week only and for restricted hours, with not all facilities available. While admission remains free, it is necessary to book an entrance ticket on line in advance. Details of the days and hours of opening, and how to book, can be found on the National Railway Museum website.


We continue to be in discussion with the Museum’s management to establish when and how the Friends may be able to resume working from our office, but for the time being this remains closed. However, we are now able to progress membership renewal letters, but if you wish to contact us please continue to do so by email. The next edition of ‘Review’ is on schedule for publication early in the New Year.

Best wishes,


Philip Benham

Chairman, Friends of the National Railway Museum

© 2020 by Friends of the National Railway Museum. Registered charity 273829.       

Photos on this website are ©Philip Benham or ©National Railway Museum