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The National Railway Museum York Station Hall

Station Hall - York
Client: The National Railway Museum

The re-imagining of The Station Hall uses theatrical techniques to provide prompts and clues to the broad themes of rail travel from multiple perspectives. We leave something to each visitor’s own imagination to flesh out the themes with their own experiences and recollections. The story builds through a series of anecdotes and incidents rather than an unfolding plot. Groups of objects brought together in playful or unexpected ways to provoke thoughtful interaction between visitors.

Light and shadow are key elements in our interpretive tool kit. Working with strong, directional light to pierce the gloom we created a sense of drama around the trains. Using simple gobo projections transformed shafts of light into interpretive devices that support the broad exhibit themes.

Deeper connections to the core themes will be made by juxtaposing objects from the collections with the installations on platform and in vehicles. For example, the social distinction between upper class travellers holidaying in Scarborough and the working family on a day trip to Bridlington is nicely drawn out in railway posters.

The combination of smoke, steam effects, ambient sound and lighting, along with the scale of the railway vehicles and the space is juxtaposed against much smaller scale personal interventions and installations. Creating a rich narrative environment where visitors can immerse themselves in the unfolding stories around them.

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