Trainspotters recount tales from the tracks after museum appeal

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A BAND of trainspotters has responded to an appeal for tales from the tracks.

As part of the National Railway Museum’s preparation for a six month–long trainspotting season, the centrepiece of which is Parallel Tracks, a new art commission exploring the theme, the York attraction asked for the nation’s trainspotting tales.

Ian Smith, of Hunslet in Leeds, shared his tale of spotting Mallard’s sister engine, Silver Link, at Leeds central station in the 1960s. Frank Barrington, from Roundhay, Leeds, reminisced with a spotter story from 1975, when he ended up in the cab of a diesel train between Leeds and Bradford.

Nick Bielby, from York, also recorded his tale of schoolboy scrapes at York’s engine shed, now the museum, and said: “I sneaked in a side door to the diesel depot and was horrified to see a row of polished feet.

“I legged it, but in entirely the wrong direction and ran smack bang into the boss. After a reminder to ask permission in future, I was allowed to take any numbers that I hadn’t already got in my trusty Ian Allan book.”

Amy Banks of the National Railway Museum said: “We’d like to say a big thanks to those who’ve provided stories so far, and we’d love to hear more, especially from the younger generation.”

During I Love Trains Week, which celebrates Britain’s unique love of travelling by rail and runs from today until Sunday, those with trainspotting tales and travel memories can post pictures and stories on the museum’s website at

They can also share their memories with East Coast at a booth located in the York museum’s Station Hall.