Station Hall at the National Railway Museum - home to Queen Victoria's carriage - set for major refurbishment

Part of the National Railway Museum used to house its collection of royal carriages is to undergo a major overhaul.

Station Hall, a former goods depot, is set to receive a £500,000 refurbishment thanks to fundraising by the Friends of the National Railway Museum.

The charity has raised £300,000 from its members to develop and refresh Station Hall’s permanent exhibition, which is housed inside the historic Grade II-listed building.

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A working depot until the 1970s, Station Hall is home to six royal carriages, including one of the York museum's most popular attractions - Queen Victoria’s original 1869 saloon.

Station Hall is home to the national collection of preserved royal carriages

As part of the project, the carriages will be matched with locomotives from the correct time periods and arranged in complete trains as part of a rejigged display.

A Class 47 locomotive named Prince William, which has hauled the current Royal Train, will also be added to the collection and will go on display for the first time.

The exhibition, featuring 200 new and unseen items and 25 rail vehicles, will begin in the spring and will be completed by 2022.

The museum's owners the Science Museum Group have also provided an additional £200,000 to complete improvements to Station Hall’s roof and walls.

The NRM's head of interpretation and design Charlotte Kingston 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.”

Friends chair Philip Benham added: “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.”

The Station Hall project will provide a greater focus on the roles of railway workers and passengers and under-represented stories from railway history. These will include women’s experiences of working for the railways and those of the first black railway workers from the Windrush generation who helped shape Britain’s post-war railway. It will also reveal stories around the building itself and the movement of goods around the city and beyond.

Among the new exhibits is an original wooden WH Smith kiosk that once stood on the platforms at Waterloo Station in London.

Station Hall will still be available as an events venue for corporate dinners, award ceremonies and weddings.