Although it gets thousands of visitors a year, Coventry’s Electric Railway Museum has to close as the city council is not renewing its lease with the site being required for a new development.
The museum is the only one in Britain dedicated to railway electric traction and was formed in 2007. Amongst its exhibits are seven complete AC and DC EMUs, six coaches from different EMUs and three industrial electric locomotives and an APT power car. Some of the units have been converted for use as museum galleries. One features a display on how electricity revolutionised Britain’s railways. Another contains the old Victoria line signalling centre.
The museum’s last open day took place on October 8 when almost a thousand visitors gave the museum a good send off and sampled its attractions which, on this occasion included shunting demonstrations, rides on a 7 ¼ inch miniature railway and a beer and cider festival. A vintage shuttle bus service from the city centre was also provided.
Its closure is a devastating blow for its volunteers who have worked hard both the restore the vehicles and provide facilities at the museum. Its Chairman, Ian Brown advises that the museum is working with the railway heritage sector and external parties to ensure that its rolling stock is not at risk. Trustee, Graeme Gleaves has been humbled by offers of help to relocate the museum’s collection and advises that new homes have now been found for the museum’s key exhibits.
Although it is now inevitable that its collection will be split up, the museum will have a residual role and its website and Facebook page will continue to highlight Britain’s electric railway heritage. The website will also provide news about the dispersal of the museum’s exhibits.
For more information, please go to: www.electricrailwaymuseum.co.uk