STEAM Museum launches 360° virtual tour


People with a passion for railway heritage can now enjoy the various displays and exhibitions from Swindon’s STEAM Museum from the comfort of their own homes during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

The Swindon Borough Council-owned museum, which is currently closed to the public, is offering free virtual 360-degree tours of its popular exhibits.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway (GWR) began in 1835 and signified the pioneer’s ambitious plan to link London and Bristol - with Swindon being the engineering powerhouse. Swindon Railway Works harnessed the latest technology to design and build the infrastructure needed to transport passengers and goods to locations across the Great Western network.

This excellence for harnessing new technologies and connecting users lives on today in Swindon. Through the new interactive virtual tour of Brunel’s famous STEAM Museum visitors can explore the galleries of the museum, see iconic GWR locomotives and memorabilia, access home-schooling resources, and play interactive games from home.

The release of this progressive panoramic experience has been spearheaded by the Council’s drive to stay connected with members of the public unable to visit STEAM due to the coronavirus pandemic.    

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council's Cabinet Member responsible for STEAM, said: “Swindon’s STEAM Museum is joining the Vatican, Guggenheim in Bilbao, Natural History Museum London and the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford by offering a cutting edge virtual 360 degree tour. Best of all it's free!”

“Visitors will have a different experience from being there in person because there is exclusive content and information embedded within the tour, but it is a real 360° tour. We are trying to think differently about people engaging with our history, our art, our heritage and I hope people enjoy the tour."

Aaron Francis, from Cognica, the tech company behind the tour says: “We’ve really enjoyed collaborating with STEAM on this immersive project and to showcase the benefits of our new Insite360 platform. STEAM is the first venue in the UK to utilise this new technology and I’m sure Mr Brunel would be proud of the results we’ve achieved.”

The brand-new Virtual Tour is now available through the museum’s website or follow the links via STEAM’s social media channels.