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NRM - Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by Steve, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The NRM are presently drawing up plans for a re-vamp of the Great Hall. I have been fortunate enough to be asked for my opinion on the place and make suggestions as to what I'd like to see in the re-developed building. I've made my comments but it would be interesting to see what others think. So, what do you like about the present NRM, what do you dislike about it and what would you like to see incorporated into the re-modelled building? Keep it brief and to the point.
    Please, though, no suggestions that it returns to a two turntable running shed, however much you might like to turn back the clock!
     
  2. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Are we talking about a re-vamp of the building or the display or both?
     
  3. 45581

    45581 Part of the furniture

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    The place lacks movement, the turntable turning twice a day is insufficient. The two stationery engines should be working far more.

    Just visit to Power Hall at MOSI in Manchester, you can smell the atmosphere and the machinery works.

    Lets have the sectioned loco working again and perhaps some of the other intact locos with wheels going round and steam leaking from the cylinders. They don't need to be fired up and under pressure just fed from an independant modern industrial boiler as in Manchester.

    Lets stimulate the non visual senses as well as just our eyes..............sounds and smells.

    More hands on stuff, more cab access. The only signal levers you can pull were in the childrens interactive area but last time I went there they were out of bounds! What's the matter, frightened they might get broken or are we hiding behind health and safety again.

    Lets hope Steve Davis(?) sorts them out before they brainwash him.
     
  4. williamfj2

    williamfj2 Member

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    I hope that the redeveloped one isn't full of electronic interactive things which break too easily and take up too much space. One obvious thing would be to put Duchess of Hamilton next to Mallard (or will the Duchess overshadow Mallard!)
     
  5. blackfive

    blackfive Member

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    Brighter lights would be good; some areas seem quite dark these winter afternoons.
     
  6. tfftfftff86

    tfftfftff86 Member

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    I back 45581. The NRM team should visit MOSI and use their good ideas to show more machinery at work. Actually, as the new director came from there, hopefully he's thinking along those lines anyway. Go for it, sir!
    From the point of view of enthusing young people, it could be argued that this is even more important than an early deadline for getting 4472 on the rails.
    :peep:
     
  7. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    Tell us why a particular item is in the collection; what makes it special or relevant to history; how does it justify its place in the museum. I know it sounds obvious but I’m not sure the current display boards do this.

    As much as I like the current display around the turntable I think its time for a revamp and I think the public’s education would be improved by having small displays featured around a number of locos. Obviously Mallard, the Duchess, and perhaps Churchill together to explain the story of streamlining, which could be combined with the Precedent (and this is where my history gets shaky: the Stirling single, and an NER loco) to tell the story of the competition in the routes to Scotland.

    On the same thought process, all goods locos (generalising as off the top of my head I don’t think the NRM has too many) could be stood together to explain the differences and how each is developed or adapted to a particular requirement.
    One of the key things which I think is missing is the explanation of how all the individual railway companies were grouped and then nationalised. At the present moment a visitor who has little background knowledge could easily think that the NER and LNER were rivals. This could be achieved by either separating the pre-grouping locos from the big four or just have a board explaining it near the entrance to the museum (perhaps after the story of the early railways).

    I realise I have focused so far on steam locomotives as this is the area I know best (and the glamorous side?). With regards to diesel and electric the same story telling should apply. Again a particularly interesting section would be the early development/plans for diesel and electric locos (Raven’s plans for the electrification of the ECML within the steam section anyone?).
    I’ll let others suggest how the carriages and wagons are incorporated, obviously the options being to allocate them to appropriate locomotives and tell their story there, or have a separate section(s).

    Signalling (and accidents) I think is potentially very well done via the current mezzanine floor above the works looking out on York station, but whenever I go one display or another doesn’t seem to be working.

    Also a personal view but while I like idea of the station hall, it’s a bit extensive. I personally think you get a better view of a locomotive (at least the scale of it) from track level, but in turn I appreciate the station is more suitable for viewing of carriages and wagons. Perhaps have one side as a platform and the other a gap between two ‘running lines’ to walk along?

    I agree with the previous comments on interaction (sounds, smells, motion) and would like to suggest that the very good learning platform is dispersed to some extend over the rest of the museum (in particular the signal leavers with the rest of signalling above the works).

    Just my personal views, and well done to anyone who made it through all of that!
     
  8. Johnny E

    Johnny E New Member

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    To try and convey the occasion of watching a locomotive (steam or otherwise), it is important, as others have said to have something that shows what they were like moving.

    Much of the appeal of steam and diesel is the noises and smells they make. You get no sense of this from piles of cold stationary metal in a big hall.
     
  9. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    If you know something about railways, then the exhibits speak for themselves. But there isn't much for the layperson or children. My kids (8&4) have visited a couple of times, but end up just wandering around with nothing to do. How about an "amazing fact" for each loco or carriage (whicfh might appearl to children AND adults), or a trail to follow collecting info. Otherwise, they quickly get bored. Apologies if these trails already exist, but I've never been offered one at the entrance and haven't spotted any signs.

    I would also agree about the lack of "movement".

    Richard
     
  10. tfftfftff86

    tfftfftff86 Member

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    I'd just like to say that I've only ever heard good things about the collections, and the expert help, in the Search Engine. That's a standard which must be maintained.
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Part of the furniture Account Suspended

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    The NRM is but one part of an increasingly cash strapped public sector. This is not a time to be expecting the spectacular.

    Equally, railways are about a whole lot more than rolling stock, or locomotives, and whilst some may regard their role in economic, and geographical, history as much less interesting or dramatic than watching a steam loco stride through the landscape, the fact is that the railway had a much deeper effect on national, and international development, the built environment and expanding the sum of human activity than mere locomotive displays can ever demonstrate
     
  12. i think they should show how the railways where with dirty engines and such and show why beeching did what he did
    .
    Any one know anything about nrm plus
     
  13. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    It does both those things if you read the displays/look at the pics
     
  14. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    This is your chance to help shape NRM+, please, all comments are welcome. Even ideas for specific displays, bring them on! Thanks.
     
  15. saltydog

    saltydog Part of the furniture

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    I know this is a hobbyhorse of mine. But isn't about time the NRM showed the debt of gratitude we owe to the real people who built our railways?
    I refer of course to the Navvies without who the likes of Stephenson and Brunel would not have come to prominence.
    So please let us see more of their story, so that people will realise that without their efforts the glamorous machines on display would never have come to fruition.
    In other words more about the blood and guts etc. that built our railways please.
    .
     
  16. woody65

    woody65 New Member

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    if they sold off all the land they own but do not use now rather than waiting for a big pay day which may not come maybe they would have more cash?
     
  17. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Now is hardly the time to be selling land.
     
  18. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    Good point; seconded
     
  19. streuth

    streuth New Member

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    I don't know the NRM, but yay to that.
    Local to me, it was a team of 5000 men with picks, 400 horses, and only two engines.
    You want to know about investment, job creation and unbounded expansion of enterprise, that's where it's at.

    They often say, there's nowhere to build a new town.

    I say, build a railway through a village to a city, and you have just built a new town.
     
  20. woody65

    woody65 New Member

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    when the nrm took over the land all the uints where rented out with a income of 100k per year,the first thing they did is kick out all the business and apart from the event in 2004 and parking on a weekend what have they done?

    i let you do the maths

    cheers
     

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