Richard the chilled out conductor!
Today I visited the new exhibition hall for the first time.I think it is excellent, fresh and vibrant and shows off our trams in a whole new light.All concerned who have developed it deserve the highest praise.The acid test was provided by my 5 year old son who said it was 'awesome' and wants to go back and see some more.
As you say Simon the acid test is what the general public visitor thinks not what a small group of specialist 'rivet counters' want. The purpose of the museum is to try to create the right atmosphere whilst also recording the the history as accurately as is reasonably practicable. Wim also sums up the problems of absolute accuracy, it's just not feasible.
An operational museum is always a compromise between historical accuracy and operational maintainability. E.g. at present I am working with a team to restore HTM interurban 58 in The Hague. A beautiful and massive typical Dutch interurban with a terrible braking system. In order to be able to operate it over modern tram routes, we need to change this system. It's too unreliable and requires a lot of maintenance. Of course we will document these changes and we will keep the original parts. It is a sacrifice we have to make, because otherwise it can never operate again. The same applies to the restoration of a steam loco. Sooner or later you'll have to build a new boiler. And if you want to operate it at a reasonable price, get an all steel welded boiler. Had the companies still operated with steam, they certainly would have done so! But keep the original one as an example how boilers were made in the old days.