National Railway Museum launches £16.5m competition for new building

No. 13000 at the NRM
Credit: RailAdvent

The National Railway Museum in York has announced that it has launched a competition to find the architect to design a new £16.5m building to showcase the future of rail engineering and to link the museum site for the first time.

Part of the National Railway Museum’s £55m, Vision 2025 masterplan, the 4,500 sqm Central Hall will connect the existing Great Hall and Station Hall buildings.

The new building will also provide additional capacity to welcome up to 1.2m visitors annually.

The National Railway Museum is one of the most visited museums in the North of England with 782,000 visitors in 2018-19.

The development will also help to improve accessibility.

As well as reception spaces, the Central Hall will include a spectacular 1,000 sqm new gallery which will house future acquisitions and innovative technology with a focus on the modern rail industry.

The building will be complete and open to the public in 2025, which will be 50 years since the museum opened, and 200 years since the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

The Vision 2025 masterplan comprises eight projects which will transform the National Railway Museum into a world class visitor attraction. These include the Central Hall, extensive landscaping of South Yard and redisplaying the museum’s famous Great Hall.

The National Railway Museum is working with internationally renowned architectural competition specialists Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC).

As part of a wide-ranging public engagement process, the National Railway Museum will hold an exhibition of designs in February 2020. The winner is expected to be announced in March 2020.

The competition is open to international integrated design teams that include architects, structural, civil and services engineers. The first stage deadline is 16 October 2019. For more details visit:

What did the officials say?

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, said:

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Central Hall to our future. It will unify our site, sensitively connecting historic railway buildings and providing a stunning new welcome to our visitors. It will be a place where we can showcase the cutting-edge innovations of today alongside the engineering triumphs of the past; a place where we can inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, inventors and problem solvers.”

 Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, said:

“The National Railway Museum has a world-class collection and is at the heart of one of the UK’s most historic cities. This is a project which promises to transform the museum’s physical identity and re-launch it for the next 50 years. It is an opportunity to create an outstanding piece of architecture that speaks to the adjoining galleries and the wider regeneration of York Central.”

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