Russian Railway Museum introduces accessible VR-excursions

Russian Railway Museum introduces accessible VR-excursions

Saint Petersburg


Image: old trains in the Russian Railway Museum
The Russian Railway Museum is one of the biggest of its kind in the world

The new technology serves history and overcomes barriers - on June 13, the Russian Railway Museum in St. Petersburg presented the first inclusive video tour, created on the basis of VR technology - virtual reality, for deaf and hearing-impaired visitors.

The tour was prepared specifically for the Russian Railway Museum within the framework of the project “Accessible Russia”, implemented by the Association Opora together with TRIP VR. The goal of the project is to make cultural heritage sites of our country more accessible for people with disabilities. The project is non-commercial, the participants apply their professional and creative skills pro bono, that is, on a voluntary basis.


Image: a man with VR glasses
The video could be viewed in VR-glasses or in the YouTube 

For the tour, experts shot a video in the museum in the format of 360 - this creates a spherical picture, allowing the viewer to become a direct participant in the events on the screen. A sightseeing tour introduces the exhibits of one of the largest railway museums in the world - legendary locomotives, old carriages, interactive installations. You can watch the tour with glasses of virtual reality of any model, even with Cardboard or on YouTube for free.

In both cases, the viewer can interact with the video - pause it, zoom in and view the exhibits, or postpone to view the showroom as a whole. In a word, the viewer receives both the effect of presence and complete freedom of action, which is very convenient - not always even during a real excursion you can catch up with the guide and explore everything around.


Image: participants of the excursion in the Russian Railway Museum
One video is not enough to get acquainted with the history of railway travel.
The Museum is always glad to meet the visitors 

The video shows not only exhibits but also the guide, who leads his fascinating story in Russian sign language. The actors of the St. Petersburg Deaf Theater took part in the creation of an inclusive excursion. Soon, the video will be posted on the website of the Russian Railway Museum. This is not the end of the work; the authors of the project are planning to cooperate with other museums in St. Petersburg.


Aleksey Ivanov, head of the Center for the Development of Inclusive Tourism of St. Petersburg: “The development of a barrier-free environment in St. Petersburg should continue uninterruptedly and at all levels. Creating an accessible tourist environment for people with disabilities will allow many people to become full participants in the excursion process and see the objects of cultural heritage of St. Petersburg with their own eyes. The development of the tourism industry in the inclusive direction is especially important not only for Russian tourists, but also for active guests of our country who come to St. Petersburg every year, both to participate in world-wide events and to get to know the city and country. Our task is to make this process accessible and barrier-free for all its participants“.