Our work with other museums

As a National Museum, we’re committed to providing greater access to our collections, knowledge, expertise and skills through our work with organisations across the UK and internationally.

Increasing access to our collections through loans

The National Railway Museum Collections have been built up over the past 150 years and are very rich. They comprise over 100 locomotives and nearly 200 other items of rolling stock, as well as objects and archives that tell the story of the railway from the early 19th century to the present day.

We’ve enabled more people to access our collection by regularly loaning objects to museums around the world, and provided institutions with free specialist expertise and guidance on locomotive restoration and operation, collections care and management, interpretation, methods of display, and more. To find out more about borrowing from the National Railway Museum please contact collections.information@nmsi.ac.uk

Sharing skills, knowledge and expertise

Our staff have a wealth of knowledge and expertise not just around the collections, but also in exhibitions, conservation, programming and learning. We seek to share our expertise and learn from others through conferences, specialist groups, publications and responding to queries about the following:

  • Learning: Learning team staff have experience of delivering a wide range of learning opportunities with curriculum links from Key Stage 1 right through to Further Education. The focus is on Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, History, and we also offer Leisure and Tourism Customer Service workshops. For further information please email school.bookings@nrm.org.uk
  • Curatorial: We regularly share curatorial knowledge and understanding with museum colleagues, and host on-site visits. A number of our staff act as curatorial advisers, providing professional curatorial advice in support of the Museum Accreditation Scheme. Staff also provide mentoring for sector colleagues as part of the Museum Association AMA, and for librarians working towards Chartership status. For further information please contact Helen Ashby, Head of Knowledge & Collections, helen.ashby@nrm.org.uk
  • Exhibitions and Galleries: We are happy to share our experience of exhibition and gallery planning, design and delivery. We have particular experience in the display and operation of large objects. For further information about our galleries and exhibitions, please contact Belinda Morris, Head of Exhibitions and Design, belinda.morris@nrm.org.uk

Extending our reach

We work with other museums and partner organisations to reach new audiences and share skills. Examples include:


  • Climate Science Outreach Project – led by the Science Museum, this project engages and inspires Year 9 students across the UK to develop creative responses to climate science. Partner museums, including the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, will identify related objects in their collections. Years 2 and 3 will see more partners and schools take part. More information will be available at our Climate Week page.
  • Anim8ed – led by the National Media Museum, with partners Bradford Museums and Galleries, York Castle Museum and Hull Museums Service, this saw the Learning team working with local children to tell the story of the railways using animations and museum collections. An online toolkit is available at the Anim8ed website.


  • Once Upon A Tide: North Sea Ferry Tales – one of several exhibitions we have developed in partnership with international museums, this exhibition explored the story of the Harwich to Hook of Holland Ferries in partnership with the Netherlands National Railway Museum
  • Art in Yorkshire 2011 – we are part of this Yorkshire-wide 2011 programme of visual art exhibitions and events, supported by Tate.

Formal Partnerships


We actively participate in a range of sector networks, supporting UK-wide collaboration in a number of specialist subject areas. These include:

Yorkshire Art Curators Group
Understanding British Portraits
European Paintings Pre-1900
Museum Librarian and Archivists Group
Museums Copyright Group
Railway Studies Network
Subject Specialist Network for Inland Transport
Heritage Railways Association Heritage Committee
Heritage Railways Association Awards Committee
Railway Heritage Committee

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