Get involved with the
Friends of Sierra Leone National Railway Museum
We need your help. We really do.
The SLNRM isn't just about saving old railway trains. It's about changing lives and being the engine for growth that Sierra Leone desperately needs. In a country where the average life expectancy is under 50, there are few people left who remember the railway at all.
The Friends of Sierra Leone National Railway Museum is the charity established to support the SLNRM. Not only are its trustees world-renowned museum professionals but everyone is doing this because they can see the difference this museum, once just thought to be a collection of rusting iron, is having on the lives of people in Freetown.
The democratic government is encouraging sustainable tourism growth through new wildlife reserves, beaches, infrastructure improvements, hotels, museums and African cultural heritage sites and events. Through establishments like the SLNRM, Sierra Leoneans are rediscovering a shared national identity, learning new skills and bringing international funding and training to the country.
The SLNRM is at the heart of plans to rebuild the nation, by using the British-built locomotives and stock as vehicles for aid and investment. We're raising funds to develop the museum as a focus for investment which will kickstart other activities and programmes in Freetown and beyond:
Six paid staff and several volunteers have been trained in museum and visitor management
Public Sector Management university students are learning techniques from visiting UK museum and marketing professionals
Education programmes for local schoolchildren have been established
Craftsmen are learning transferable skills in exhibit restoration and conservation
Future employment opportunities will increase as the museum grows and its scope widens
The FoSLNRM has now been established to support the museum in Freetown with international fundraising, practical assistance and skills transfer to enable the Sierra Leone-based SLNRM team to develop the museum with the benefit of internationally-acclaimed museum professionals.
Funds raised through the FoSLNRM are used to restore the exhibits, provide interpretation, repair the roof and help develop the SLNRM as a significant visitor attraction asset, employer and educational facility for Sierra Leone. It is spearheading economic development alongside other sustainable tourist and education facilities to help transform the lives of people who need an engine for growth - as Ebola has decimated the tourist income and ruined thousands of lives.
The government has only minimal funds to provide basic support: the museum of priceless exhibits can only continue with assistance from overseas for now.
Anyone can join FoSLNRM to help support the Museum and in addition to their donation going directly to the Museum:
Discounts on sales
Never before has the heritage railway world had a chance to provide a humanitarian role on this scale. But now that time has come: we hope you'll join us on our incredible journey.
We think you'll enjoy the ride.