Meet the National Railway Museum’s new Director

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum. Picture by David Harrison.
Credit: NRM / David Harrison

The National Railway Museum, in York, has announced that it has appointed Judith McNicol as their new Director, a role she has been performing since July 2017 as acting Director.

Judith has been based at the railway museum since she joined the Science Museum Group in 2005, since then, she has held many important roles. Most recently, as Director of People and Culture.

The National Railway is already planning a multi-million-pound redevelopment that will transform the museum into a world-class visitor centre. Judith will lead on this masterplan which is hoped to be completed by 2025.

Judith becomes the first woman to lead the National Railway Museum in its 45-year history.

What did they say?

Judith McNicol said “It is a very special privilege to become Director of the National Railway Museum. This museum and the collection it holds are close to my heart: my great-great-grandfather was one of the many to die in the construction of the Forth Railway Bridge and from a young age, I remember travelling across that bridge in awe of the scale, beauty and the possibilities that it held. In my very first week at the National Railway Museum in 2005, I was able to ride on the footplate of Flying Scotsman – a magical experience. And working amongst the great “firsts” – Stephenson, Brunel, Mallard, Rocket and of course Flying Scotsman – has been a childhood dream come true.

“My ambition as Director is that the museum will not only inspire future engineers to be part of the rail industry – ensuring that Britain leads the world in railway innovation – but also that we will play a key role in the huge York Central development.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group “Judith brings an exemplary range of experiences to the role, with great knowledge of York and the museum – having been based there for 14 years in several roles. In the past six months, she has already begun to drive through significant change at the museum – leading to the masterplan and its role in the York Central project with vision and determination. Her passion for engineering, technology, and innovation will transform the museum over the coming years.”


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