Is historic working machinery up to 21st century sustainability demands or are we stuck in time?


  • Rachel Rimmer Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP, United Kingdom



Historic engines, Sustainability, Running, Decarbonisation, Gallery


The Science and Industry Museum have embarked on an ambitious decarbonisation project to become net zero by 2030. As part of this plan, the Power Hall Gallery (historic working engines) is undergoing a redevelopment to improve and conserve the historic listed building and run the engines more efficiently, cutting carbon emissions by 60 %. The historic engines pinpoint a pivotal moment in history; the birth of the steam engine, when fossil fuel ruled. In the 21st century we are looking for ways to be more sustainable. The Science and Industry Museum have been working with external specialists and researching more efficient ways of running the historic engines. Looking at adapting and applying a different approach to running the historic engines. Will they be able to withstand the change and adapt to 21st century demands? Can the Museum balance sustainability with the care and preservation of the historic collection?


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Former Liverpool Road Station: a) inside the former Shipping Shed during 1983 redevelopment; b) Science and Industry Museum, c. 2014 (source: Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London).




How to Cite

Rimmer, R. (2023). Is historic working machinery up to 21st century sustainability demands or are we stuck in time?. Conservar Património, 44, 165–173.