The Station Hall at the National Railway Museum is set to get a £0.5m refurbishment, thanks to the Friends of the National Railway Museum.
The former goods depot is now the home to the national collection of six original royal carriages, including the Queen Victoria’s 1869 saloon.
The Friends of the National Railway Museum are a charity who support the work of the museum and has raised £300,000 from members to refresh the exhibition housed inside the Grade II listed building.
Until the 1970s the building was a working depot and is now the Station Hall and hosts events alongside the exhibitions.
In the new display, due to be completed by 2022, carriages will be matched to period locomotives. A class 47 locomotive, 47798 Prince William will be a new addition to the hall, and one of a few locomotives to have hauled the current royal train.
The Science Museum Group will be providing £200,000 to complete improvements to the building roof and walls.
Other changes will see the original wooden WH Smith kiosk from the platform at Waterloo go on display after restoration is complete.
There will also be more about working for the railway, the first Black railway workers and also stories of the building itself.
Charlotte Kingston, Head of Interpretation and Design, said: “I am hugely grateful to the Friends of the National Railway Museum who have enabled us to create an exciting permanent exhibition which will inform and inspire future generations.”
“Station Hall is very popular with our visitors and our changes will be impactful but sympathetic, using new collection items and railway stories to bring the railways to life, while retaining the character of the original building.”
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.”
“Stations are where passengers first meet the railway, and the scene for many individual encounters and dramas. The Friends are excited to have this opportunity to help the museum tell their important story anew, together with the equally vital stories of the men and women who worked at stations, or simply passed through them.”
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