Railfest week in the UK

British people! Did you know that it is Railfest Week at your National Railway Museum? And did you know that that means you can get up close and personal with (and even go for a ride on) an amazing variety of vintage and modern trains, plus special talks, music, and theater shows? Among the attractions: Giant, rail-based snow plows, a sail-powered rail car, and beautiful historic engines that have gone through extensive restoration.

This, for instance, is Sir Nigel Gresley (of course he is), a steam train from 1937.

If you go, submitterate some photos!

Railfest Week


  1. Woe is me, I am bound to this infernal continent. Is there a history of “hobo monikers” in the UK?

    1. Does some hoodie spraying their tag on a tube train count?
      Hobos as such never really existed in the UK with no vast distances to travel so no tradition of boxcar art ever evolved.

  2. 1937? I’m no train nerd but that thing is sleek. It looks kind of retro-futuristic with beautiful sleek curves. PURDY 

    1.  Steamlining was quite the industrial-design rage throughout the 30’s. Many trains boasted similarly streamlined bodywork. You should note that the swoopy body panels are largely window-dressing. Pull them off and you’ll discover a bog-standard steam locomotive..

  3. This brings back fond memories of staying at the French Lick resort in Indiana and riding an old train from French Lick all the way to Cuzco…Cuzco, Indiana, that is, not Peru.

    Anyway, I really want to ride all those trains with this track (pun intended) blasting the whole way:

  4. Stand back everybody, I’m going to talk interminably about trains.

    Bearing the name of her designer, Sir Nigel Gresley is one of the remaining LNER Class A4 Pacifics – the most famous being 4468 Mallard, holder of the world steam record at 126mph – and of the six of that class still extant, two are on your side of the Atlantic: 4496 Dwight D. Eisenhower is on display at the National Railroad Museum in Wisconsin and 4489 Dominion of Canada is exhibited at the Canadian Railway Museum.

    Flying Scotsman will also be on display at Railfest but unfortunately the £15m restoration project is taking longer than anticipated and she will not be in steam.

    Hopefully I’ll get up to York one day this week. If I do, I’ll be submitterating like a bastard. I’ll also try to send you some photographs.

    1. I was pretty sure it was an A4.  The A4 is one of the most distinctive engines in Railroad Tycoon, and very useful for high-speed passenger runs.

      Thank you again, Sid Meier.

  5. The museum is geek heaven & includes a cut-away of a complete locomotive.  Some years ago I was in the cab of Sir Nigel & an elderly gentlemen introduced himself as one of the Firemen (Stoker) of the engine and produced photos showing him in his younger years doing just that.  I’m not sure if he was even an official part of the exhibit or just a guy who liked to share his history with interested parties, either way it was fantastic talking to him.

    BTW the air museum in Palm Springs has a B-17 with a couple of guys doing the same thing.   Worth the price of admission on it’s own.

    1. Watching Air Museum groupies is one of the best parts of the PS Air Museum. That and endless tape loops of Bob Hope USO shows.

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