National Railway Museum in hunt for new curator

National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Political Reporter

NINE jobs are to go at a York museum in a staffing shake-up which will also see a new head of its collection of rail artefacts.

The Science Museum Group, which runs the National Railway Museum (NRM), learned last autumn it would have to save an extra and “unexpected” £787,000 over two years on top of the £3.7 million in savings it already needed to make by the end of 2015/16.

The Government funding reductions sparked fears about the York attraction’s future last year.

A review of the NRM's operation and staffing structure has led to the loss of nine roles. Nineteen staff were originally at risk but ten new positions have been created, including a head curator.

The role will pay between £40,000 and £45,000 a year and the museum said it would carry responsibility for “the world’s finest collection of rail artefacts”, including conservation, storage, interpretation and research.

Some of the new roles may be filled by NRM staff whose jobs are still at risk. The museum's director, Paul Kirkman, said discussions about the changes began at the end of last year, with the consultation now completed and the new staffing structure finalised.

Mr Kirkman said: “The changes will enable our museum to tell a bigger and broader story about the railways and engage larger audiences while contributing to the savings which need to be made across the Science Museum Group.”

“The NRM is a world-class showcase for the huge impact railways and their technology have had in the past, and will have in the future. It has a very loyal following but, to realise its full potential and attract even more visitors, it needs to appeal more strongly to a wider audience with a greater emphasis on the interpretation of our collections.”

Mr Kirkman said the NRM needed to reduce its running costs and “difficult decisions” had to be taken across the Science Museum Group.

A spokeswoman said advertising the head curator role externally as well as internally – with applications closing in mid-February – was its normal procedure and current staff were welcome to apply.

The overall new structure is expected to be in place by summer.

Comments (8)

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11:05am Tue 28 Jan 14

ReginaldBiscuit says...

Wonder if the 9 staff that are threatened give much of a chuff?
Wonder if the 9 staff that are threatened give much of a chuff? ReginaldBiscuit
  • Score: -7

11:42am Tue 28 Jan 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

The figures mentioned indicate just what a staggering amount of money - £2.89M - was wasted trying to re-instate Flying Scotsman.
The figures mentioned indicate just what a staggering amount of money - £2.89M - was wasted trying to re-instate Flying Scotsman. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: -1

12:46pm Tue 28 Jan 14

GBTYZ says...

The return of Flying Scotsman to steam is not a waste of money, the fact is that the museum have wasted a fortune on repairs to Flying Scotsman by continually loading and off loading the locomotive onto road vehicles inducing stress fractures to the axle box horncheaks by subjecting the frames to stresses they were never designed to take. The NRM seem hell bent on removing locomotives from site to free up space for dining and fairground rides. They need to refocus and get back to telling the story of how the railways shaped Britain and the rest of the world and stop trying to become a general attraction. Locomotives like the Ivatt Atlantics nearly 20yrs since they were last seen in York, Stirling’s Single No 1, Winston Churchill just to name a few. How long before they return?
The return of Flying Scotsman to steam is not a waste of money, the fact is that the museum have wasted a fortune on repairs to Flying Scotsman by continually loading and off loading the locomotive onto road vehicles inducing stress fractures to the axle box horncheaks by subjecting the frames to stresses they were never designed to take. The NRM seem hell bent on removing locomotives from site to free up space for dining and fairground rides. They need to refocus and get back to telling the story of how the railways shaped Britain and the rest of the world and stop trying to become a general attraction. Locomotives like the Ivatt Atlantics nearly 20yrs since they were last seen in York, Stirling’s Single No 1, Winston Churchill just to name a few. How long before they return? GBTYZ
  • Score: 12

6:54pm Tue 28 Jan 14

RingoStarr says...

At this rate maybe they can get Dr Beeching to head up their 'Personnel Department'?
At this rate maybe they can get Dr Beeching to head up their 'Personnel Department'? RingoStarr
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Tue 28 Jan 14

ReginaldBiscuit says...

Why don't the NRM just charge? 50p a visitor is a nominal amount which most people would pay to see a huge amount of history.

It appears that there's a clear lack of vision and innovation at the top of the chain at the NRM. A link up with the NYMR would create an interesting proposition. Put the line back in between Malton and Pickering and you could run a return York to Whitby service on the largest preserved railway in the world. A global attraction as well as pumping cash into the Yorkshire economy. It just needs vision...
Why don't the NRM just charge? 50p a visitor is a nominal amount which most people would pay to see a huge amount of history. It appears that there's a clear lack of vision and innovation at the top of the chain at the NRM. A link up with the NYMR would create an interesting proposition. Put the line back in between Malton and Pickering and you could run a return York to Whitby service on the largest preserved railway in the world. A global attraction as well as pumping cash into the Yorkshire economy. It just needs vision... ReginaldBiscuit
  • Score: 1

8:48pm Tue 28 Jan 14

sheps lad says...

Reg, and lots of money!
Reg, and lots of money! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

4:18am Thu 30 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

GBTYZ wrote:
The return of Flying Scotsman to steam is not a waste of money, the fact is that the museum have wasted a fortune on repairs to Flying Scotsman by continually loading and off loading the locomotive onto road vehicles inducing stress fractures to the axle box horncheaks by subjecting the frames to stresses they were never designed to take. The NRM seem hell bent on removing locomotives from site to free up space for dining and fairground rides. They need to refocus and get back to telling the story of how the railways shaped Britain and the rest of the world and stop trying to become a general attraction. Locomotives like the Ivatt Atlantics nearly 20yrs since they were last seen in York, Stirling’s Single No 1, Winston Churchill just to name a few. How long before they return?
And even from the more modern age, the Advanced Passenger Train prototype dissappeared a while ago too... for those who don't know, it was the very high speed first tilting train in the world - the tory government at the time cancelled the funding and sold the designs off to Italy, then a company that became known as Alstom got the plans and built trains from them called Pendolino's, and sold the trains to the UK at a considerable price; imagine if our government at the time hadn't been so short-sighted, we'd be building the Pendolino's now and exporting them around the world.... but hey, if a Tory MP makes a quick buck that somehow takes priority over the economic health of the UK in the long term.
[quote][p][bold]GBTYZ[/bold] wrote: The return of Flying Scotsman to steam is not a waste of money, the fact is that the museum have wasted a fortune on repairs to Flying Scotsman by continually loading and off loading the locomotive onto road vehicles inducing stress fractures to the axle box horncheaks by subjecting the frames to stresses they were never designed to take. The NRM seem hell bent on removing locomotives from site to free up space for dining and fairground rides. They need to refocus and get back to telling the story of how the railways shaped Britain and the rest of the world and stop trying to become a general attraction. Locomotives like the Ivatt Atlantics nearly 20yrs since they were last seen in York, Stirling’s Single No 1, Winston Churchill just to name a few. How long before they return?[/p][/quote]And even from the more modern age, the Advanced Passenger Train prototype dissappeared a while ago too... for those who don't know, it was the very high speed first tilting train in the world - the tory government at the time cancelled the funding and sold the designs off to Italy, then a company that became known as Alstom got the plans and built trains from them called Pendolino's, and sold the trains to the UK at a considerable price; imagine if our government at the time hadn't been so short-sighted, we'd be building the Pendolino's now and exporting them around the world.... but hey, if a Tory MP makes a quick buck that somehow takes priority over the economic health of the UK in the long term. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

4:25am Thu 30 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

ReginaldBiscuit wrote:
Why don't the NRM just charge? 50p a visitor is a nominal amount which most people would pay to see a huge amount of history.

It appears that there's a clear lack of vision and innovation at the top of the chain at the NRM. A link up with the NYMR would create an interesting proposition. Put the line back in between Malton and Pickering and you could run a return York to Whitby service on the largest preserved railway in the world. A global attraction as well as pumping cash into the Yorkshire economy. It just needs vision...
Proper engineering designs were done a few years ago as to positioning of tracks, cables and lineside equipment for a route between Malton and Pickering, but nothing has happened about it since.... this is also not helped by the fact the NYMR managers have said under no uncertain terms that they do not and will not allow National Rail network access to their route - so any route to Pickering would have to have it's own station seperate from the NYMR and would not be able to go to Whitby (Grosmont junction) unless an entirely seperate line with infastructure was built.

I agree it would be a great idea... whilst we're at it put a 2nd platform in at Malton and have trains going from Whitby to Scarborough via Malton, timed so that a scarborough train arrives in just after a service from York to whitby has left Malton so that essentially there's 2 trains an hour between York and Scarborough instead of the current 1 (a change at Malton would be needed, but it's still a more regular service).

As for Flying Scotsman, if the NRM own the locomotive then surely they can levy charges for every trip which is hauled by the engine once it's in service... given that it's a very popular locomotive, there would be a lot of heritage companies wanting to have their trains hauled by it and so the NRM would soon claw back the massive initial outlay of restoring the engine plus more revenue on top.
[quote][p][bold]ReginaldBiscuit[/bold] wrote: Why don't the NRM just charge? 50p a visitor is a nominal amount which most people would pay to see a huge amount of history. It appears that there's a clear lack of vision and innovation at the top of the chain at the NRM. A link up with the NYMR would create an interesting proposition. Put the line back in between Malton and Pickering and you could run a return York to Whitby service on the largest preserved railway in the world. A global attraction as well as pumping cash into the Yorkshire economy. It just needs vision...[/p][/quote]Proper engineering designs were done a few years ago as to positioning of tracks, cables and lineside equipment for a route between Malton and Pickering, but nothing has happened about it since.... this is also not helped by the fact the NYMR managers have said under no uncertain terms that they do not and will not allow National Rail network access to their route - so any route to Pickering would have to have it's own station seperate from the NYMR and would not be able to go to Whitby (Grosmont junction) unless an entirely seperate line with infastructure was built. I agree it would be a great idea... whilst we're at it put a 2nd platform in at Malton and have trains going from Whitby to Scarborough via Malton, timed so that a scarborough train arrives in just after a service from York to whitby has left Malton so that essentially there's 2 trains an hour between York and Scarborough instead of the current 1 (a change at Malton would be needed, but it's still a more regular service). As for Flying Scotsman, if the NRM own the locomotive then surely they can levy charges for every trip which is hauled by the engine once it's in service... given that it's a very popular locomotive, there would be a lot of heritage companies wanting to have their trains hauled by it and so the NRM would soon claw back the massive initial outlay of restoring the engine plus more revenue on top. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

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