The National Railway Museum’s largest new gallery in more than a decade opens to visitors  today.

‘Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery’ is housed in the museum’s 1,500m² former locomotive workshop building next to its Great Hall, and will offer 18 interactive exhibits with an engineering, science and railway theme, installed around several original workshop features.

The gallery has been five years in development in partnership with the rail industry, and offers interactive hands-on experiences in response to visitor feedback.

The space will be host to live science shows and demonstrations inside the Weston Showspace and at a demonstration bar.

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, said: “We want to ensure that children have great fun while developing a spark of interest in engineering that will contribute towards tackling the UK’s shortage in STEM skills.”

Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery (NRM, Charlotte Graham)

The opening day will also see the unveiling of a new permanent artwork by County Durham-based artist Steve Messam, known for his large installations. Called ‘Mass’, the 12 metre high, 16 metre wide inflatable sculpture will sit at the centre of the gallery.

Wonderlab has been designed by architects De Matos Ryan, who previously worked on the newly reopened Young V&A in London.

Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery (NRM, Jody Kingzet)

The gallery’s major funding partner is the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation who supported the gallery’s creation with a gift of £2.5m towards its creation in March 2022.

Wonderlab has also received funding from Garfield Weston Foundation, Eversholt Rail, Friends of the National Railway Museum, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, The Holbeck Charitable Trust, the Kirby Laing Foundation, and the Charles and Elsie Sykes Trust.

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