Flying Scotsman season, National Railway Museum

The return of the Flying Scotsman to the National Railway Museum in 2016 was accompanied by a major programme of activity including an immersive experience and an exhibition. I was commissioned to evaluate the season from the perspectives of the visitors and key stakeholders. 

The 1930s cocktail bar on board the Service with Style experience. Image courtesy National Railway Museum

I evaluated three aspects of the Flying Scotsman project:

  • The participant responses to Service with Style – a charged-for, sensory experience which aimed to bring the Flying Scotsman to life,
  • The visitor responses to Starring Scotsman – a free exhibition focusing on the celebrity of the locomotive,
  • The experiences of external partners who have been involved in delivering the season with NRM including the designers.

It was particularly interesting to evaluate the innovative, immersive approach of Service with Style. This activity, created by  a Taste of Space, used binaural sound and actors to create an atmospheric and interactive experience for participants.

The research objectives were developed in discussion with Exhibitions and Design Manager and Scotsman Project Lead Amy Banks, Events Manager Kate Hunter, and Head of Development Helen May. The fieldwork included observations and semi-structured discussions with visitors on site, as well as telephone interviews with stakeholders.

Thanks so much for working with us on this, it has been really insightful and excellent working with you.
Kate Hunter, Events Manager, Public Programme