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New director to lead NRM transformation

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Judith McNicol has become the first woman to be appointed director of the National Railway Museum (NRM) in its 45-year history.

Judith, who has been acting director since July 2017, will lead the York museum through its ambitious multi-million pound redevelopment programme

The redevelopment has been described as the biggest transformation of the museum since it opened in 1975 and will include a complete modernisation of the Great Hall. Work is due to be completed in 2025, which will mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the museum’s 50th birthday.

Judith joined the Science Museum Group in 2005 and has been based at NRM since she arrived. She previously held the role of director of people and culture.

Judith said: “It is a very special privilege to become director of the National Railway Museum. This museum and the collection it holds are close to my heart: my great great-grandfather was one of the many to die in the construction of the Forth Railway Bridge and from a young age, I remember travelling across that bridge in awe of the scale, beauty and the possibilities that it held.

“In my very first week at the National Railway Museum in 2005, I was able to ride on the footplate of Flying Scotsman – a magical experience. And working amongst the great “firsts” – Stephenson, Brunel, Mallard, Rocket and of course Flying Scotsman – has been a childhood dream come true.

“My ambition as director is that the museum will not only inspire future engineers to be part of the rail industry – ensuring that Britain leads the world in railway innovation – but also that we will play a key role in the huge York Central development.”

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