Trainspotting tales recalled at I Love Trains launch event

York trainspotter Nick Bielby in the I Love Trains photo-booth

York trainspotter Nick Bielby in the I Love Trains photo-booth

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TRAINSPOTTERS who responded to the National Railway Museum’s appeal for tales from the tracks were at a launch event for the museum's I Love Trains Week.

As part of its preparation for a six month–long trainspotting season, the NRM appealed for the nation’s trainspotting tales.

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

Mark Neale from Queensbury in Bradford has a lifelong love of trains, starting off as a trainspotting schoolboy. Today he volunteers to act as a steward on many heritage steam and diesel charters.

Mark, said: “My parents were frustrated when on holiday I showed no interest in the beach and sand, and just watched the trains all week.”

Nick Bielby from York also recorded his tale of schoolboy scrapes at York engine shed, now the museum, 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, interpretation developer at the NRM, said: “With our Trainspotting season revealing a great love of trains, it made sense that those that have shared their Spotter stories with us would be first in the queue to tell tales of adventure, travel and mischief.

"We’d like to say a big thanks to those who’ve provided their stories so far, and we’d love to hear more, especially from the younger generation of spotters.”

During I Love Trains Week, those with trainspotting tales and travel memories can not only contact Amy at amy.banks@nrm.org.uk or post pictures and stories on the museum’s website, nrm.org.uk/NRM/GetInvolved/trainspotting.aspx but they can also share their memories with East Coast via a joint branded booth in the museum’s Station Hall.

I Love Trains Week, which runs until Sunday (Aug 17) aims to celebrate the unique British love for rail travel, as new research from East Coast Trains shows more Brits have found more fun, frolics and romance when they travel on the tracks, than they do on the road or in the air.

As well as the special joint branded booth at the National Railway Museum, activities are taking place throughout the week at stations across the East Coast route including York, where there is a special vintage luggage display based on the museum’s Station Hall, London’s Kings Cross Edinburgh, Leeds, and Newcastle.

Peter Williams, commercial and customer service director at East Coast, said: “We'll be asking everyone to share the reasons why they love trains, their memories of unforgettable days on the rails, and the reasons why they will always be a train traveller - and across the week.”

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