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Photo Gallery 37 - Page 6

"Museums and Engine Houses"

The Rail Scene in the UK by Adrian Brodie

A view inside the main hall at the National Railway Museum, York.

Click on Thumbnails to Enlarge


There are two types of railway museum; (small) relics museums, featuring railwayana, for example signs, nameplates, number-plates, models, signaling aids, logo-ed crockery and silverware pertaining to a particular railway, and museums that display locomotives, as well as the aforementioned railwayana as well. 

Many individual Heritage railways have their own museum, frequently specializing in the railway that particular line belonged to. There are effectively four periods that railwayana will pertain to:-

Before "grouping", which occurred in 1923, under the Railways Act 1921. Up to 1923 there were well over 100 small railway companies.

In 1923 most of these small railway companies were grouped into four groups, referred to as "The Big Four". 

These were the LNER (London & North Eastern Railway), the LMS (London, Midland & Scottish), the SR (Southern Railway), and the GWR (Great Western Railway).

Railwayana from The Big Four between 1923 and 1948 is the next period. 

Followed by 1948 - 1997. The British Railways period, following total nationalization of the all UK railways on 1 January 1948. Eventually, British Railways became British Rail in 1968. 

And the final period is 1997 to the present day. Between 1994 -1997, British Rail was split up and sold back to the private sector. Even more modern railwayana/memorabilia can be desirable. 

Returning to the theme, following that little digression, typical individual museums on Heritage lines will feature a cross section of railwayana, though, will likely specialize in the first two periods, especially the period of The Big Four. 

And then we have the bigger museums, such as the National Railway Museum( NRM) at York, and its offshoot, a few miles north, Locomotion, at Shildon. Darlington Railway Museum (also in the north) and STEAM the museum of the Great Western Railway at Swindon, built in the former GWR works are also notable museums well worth a visit. 

The NRM at York can easily swallow up four hours, as there is so much to see there. The largest railway museum in the world, it has a library and archive, along with an awesome research department which is available to the public; known as the Search Engine!

The main storage room is an enormous room featuring railwayana of every possible description. There is so much here of interest, that one can return time and again, and notice things missed previously. 

In case you are wondering, "why engine-houses"? Why not sheds? In this case, engine-houses are specially built buildings to not only store, but, also display, out of ticket steam engines, and other noteworthy carriages or wagons, with full public access. Which is not always the case with sheds... sheds will come later...

Hanging in the NRM, York, this 20 x 10 ft painting is the largest railway painting the noted artist (Sir) Terence Cuneo ever did.  It depicts a scene at Waterloo Station in the early 1960s. There are a number of interesting touches; he included one of his relatives, as well as the Prime Minister of the day,  Harold Wilson, and himself, somewhere in it. His trademark "little mouse" is also on it.

One of the walls in the store room at the NRM, York, displaying a miscellany of nameplates, and other signs and insignia. The two nameplates Silver Link and Silver Fox (with the fox), coming from Gresley A4 Pacifics, would be worth $90,000 - 100,000 each, at auction!

See how they work! Currently in the main hall at the NRM, York, Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35029 "Ellerman Lines" has been sectioned to demonstrate how a steam engine works. It is also raised, with the wheels being electrically driven to showcase the motion gear and pistons working.

A view inside the main hall at the National Railway Museum, York.

A view inside Darlington Railway Museum. Now revamped since these images were taken.

A view inside STEAM the Museum of the GWR, at Swindon;  Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 92220 Evening Star. The last ever steam engine to be built by British Railways in 1960, in Swindon Works; of which this building was once a part.

A view inside the engine-house at Oxenhope, on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.       A good building, but, small space makes photography a little challenging...

A view inside the engine-house at Highley, on the Severn Valley Railway.

page 1 > Introduction

page 2 > Main Line Steam

page 3 > Heritage Railways 1

page 4 > Heritage Railways 2

page 5 > Heritage Railways 3

page 6 > Museums & Engine Houses

page 7 > Sheds and Workshops




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