National Railway Museum: Public asked for opinions on plans for new Central Hall

New images of Central Hall – a building which will unite the two halves of the National Railway Museum (NRM) – have been released.

Museum bosses hope the new welcome space and gallery will help improve exhibits and attract more visitors from around the world, making the NRM the “world’s railway museum”.

A consultation is being launched to gather the views of York residents and museum visitors, with a planning application set to be submitted in the coming months.

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More details have been released after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps granted proposals by the York Central Partnership to close Leeman Road, which passed through the middle of the two NRM sites.

How the Central Hall will look

Central Hall, part of the wider York Central development, will feature a gallery showcasing the latest innovations in rail technology, a cafe overlooking the new museum square, a shop, an event space and new visitor facilities.

It will also include a new ‘Wonderlab’, aimed at inspiring children to think like engineers using interactive exhibits and games.

The environmentally-friendly design will feature electric vehicle charging points and cycle racks.

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Tornado and Flying Scotsman haul trains over Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle to...
The outside of Central Hall at the National Railway Museum

NRM director Judith McNicol said: “Central Hall is just one aspect of our journey to embed our museum in the heart of our community.

“We are excited to share the latest plans for the new building, which follow the principles agreed in the outline permission for the wider York Central site.

“It’s really important that we gather feedback at this early stage in the process so that the plans can evolve to offer as many benefits to our neighbourhood and to our visitors as possible.”

An exhibition will be on shown at the museum for 10 days, starting on Monday, October 25, alongside a virtual consultation.

Inside the Central Hall at York's National Railway Museum

Feilden Fowles is the architect on the project, having won a UK-wide competition in 2020.

Greg Dyke, chair of Make It York and York Central Strategic Board said “The improvements to the National Railway Museum, through the Central Hall project, will enhance York’s cultural development and provide a catalyst to the whole economy of the city and beyond.

“It will help to create a national museum that we can be proud of in York and across the country and assist to inspire and educate future generations in technology and the significance of railways across the world.

“Central Hall will act as the gateway to the transformed galleries and spaces and be the cultural heart of York Central.”

Members of the museum team will be on hand to answer questions and explain the plans at the following times: Wednesday, October 27, 1pm – 4pm; Saturday, October 30, 10am – midday and Tuesday, November 2, 5pm – 7pm.