Category Archives: Small object collections

What’s your favourite toy train?

We’ve been going through all the toys in the National Railway Museum’s collection. It might seem a bit odd that we collect toys, but as every parent knows, kids love trains. For lots of us our first introduction to railways … Continue reading

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Captain Bill and the ‘Old Lady’

Captain W G (Bill) Smith VRD, RNVR, is not a name that many people, outside of the world of railway preservation, have heard of.  But Bill, an important railway pioneer, is memorialised in two locomotives and a set of nameplates, … Continue reading

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Turning Gold to Lead; the first ‘Great Train Robbery’.

Today the words ‘Great Train Robbery’ mean the events of 8th August 1963, when a night mail train was robbed of its cargo of cash. But sitting on display at the National Railway Museum is a small wooden box and … Continue reading

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They were the Champions!

The vast majority of our railway uniform collections represent established railway occupations, ranging from porter to station master. However, once in a while, we acquire uniforms that evoke a certain moment in time – in this case the London 2012 … Continue reading

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Happy 100th birthday to a tiny railway with a big history

The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Signalling School – a model railway layout used to train real-life signallers  – recently celebrated its 100th birthday with a three-day have-a go event here at the museum. On Friday, our director Paul Kirkman (below, … Continue reading

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A Christmas jigsaw for clumsy railway staff

As a last minute Christmas card, this object from the Museum’s small objects collection is pretty useful. The jigsaw was given by the Great Western Railway around 1935 as a Christmas present to employees, as a way of reminding them to … Continue reading

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The piece of plastic that keeps the rail network running

This dispatch baton, recently donated to the museum, may be a familiar sight to many of you. It is usually wielded by a member of platform staff at larger stations to signal that a train is ready to leave If … Continue reading

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