Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

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Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, England, is a large museum devoted to the development of science, technology, and industry and particularly the city's contributions in those areas. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH – the European Route of Industrial Heritage – and is managed as a non-departmental public body.

There are extensive displays on the theme of transport (railway locomotives and rolling stock, aircraft, and space vehicles), power (water, electricity, steam and gas engines), Manchester's sewerage and sanitation, textiles, communications and computing. The museum also offers steam train rides at weekends and on bank holidays.


The museum was originally called the "North Western Museum of Science and Industry" when it opened in 1969 in temporary premises on Grosvenor Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock. In 1978 the Greater Manchester Council purchased the earliest part of the former Liverpool Road Station from British Rail, which had been closed in 1975. The council paid the nominal sum of £1 for the site. The museum opened at this site on 15 September 1983, and later expanded to include the whole of the former station.

The museum used to be located on Grosvenor St to the south of the city centre, and had close ties with UMIST, having mostly grown out of the Department of History of Science & Technology. In 1983, having obtained more funding and outgrown its former site, it moved and is now located on Castlefield, near the site of the original Roman fort in Manchester (Mamucium); it incorporates Liverpool Road Station (vacated by British Rail in 1975), one of the original termini of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first passenger railway.


Exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry include:


  • A complete RAF Avro Shackleton, built locally at Chadderton and Woodford
  • A Supermarine Spitfire
  • A Hawker Hunter


  • A replica of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine


  • Erricson's Novelty - A replica incorporating parts from the original locomotive of 1829.
  • British Rail Class 77 No. 27001 'Ariadne' - A 1.5 kV DC electric locomotive built by Metropolitan-Vickers in 1953.
  • South African Railways GL class Garratt No. 2352 - Built in 1929 by Beyer, Peacock and Company, Manchester.
  • Pakistan Railways 4-4-0 - A broad gauge locomotive built by Beyer, Peacock and Company.

A Connected Earth gallery that tells the history of communications in Manchester and the North West of England opened in October 2007.

Past exhibits include:

  • Body Worlds 4 between 22 February and 29 June 2008
  • LMR 57 Lion Britain's oldest steamable locomotive
The Railway

On selected dates visitors may ride on demonstration passenger trains within the museum grounds. Trains are hauled by the museum's two operational steam locomotives:

  • 'Planet' - A replica of Robert Stephenson and Company's Planet class locomotive, built by the Friends of the Museum and Science and Industry in 1992. The original locomotive was constructed in 1830 and hauled trains on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
  • 'Agecroft No. 1' - An 0-4-0 saddle tank built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in 1948 for use at Agecroft Power Station. Restored to working order in 2011.

The museum's railway line is connected to the national rail network near Ordsall Lane Junction.

Building Activity

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