A4 Chime Whistle galore

From Saturday 2nd through Thursday 7th I spent my days wearing a bright orange t-shirt monitoring and helping the visitors at Railfest 2012.

For those of you that don’t know, Railfest is a very large festival celebrating Britain’s train and railway heritage, featuring over 50 locomotives/engines, train related music and performances, a number of train rides, miniature railways and more. Although my job as a casual worker was to ticket check, crowd monitor and keeping the site tidy, I nevertheless gained some interesting event experience.

Railfest had the difficult task of meeting the wants and needs of two almost-completely separate groups: Rail enthusiasts and families, but I believe it tackled this challenge in an effective way. A lot of the information available was aimed towards the enthusiasts (for example in the souvenir brochure), while certain areas such as a ‘Family Chill-Out Area’ and a marquee dedicated to the lovable children’s tv show 'Chuggington’ were set aside to keep children entertained.

Working at Railfest was hard work, mostly due to spending the majority of the day outside in fairly bad weather conditions and being thrown head-first into a very busy and chaotic environment. But I believe the experience was definitely worth it. 

BTW I didn’t take any photos during my time at Railfest, so I stole this picture of Mallard from Wikipedia (this was one of the popular trains at the festival).


Some steam trains from the National Railway Museum in York (UK). If I have a favourite, it is the pannier tank engine – the brown one – but I do hate that colour! It is a lovely engine when in the traditional dark green of the Great Western Railway.

The Evening Star was the last steam locomotive ever built for service in the UK. The blue streamlined train, the Mallard, held the speed record.

Restaurant Car (c.1935). Leonard Campbell Taylor (English, 1874-1969). Oil on canvas. National Railway Museum. Original artwork for a London, Midland and Scottish Railway poster. 

A well dressed young couple are seated opposite each other, next to a window, with a view of the coast and sea beyond. A middle-aged man reads with enjoyment an illustrated magazine, perhaps a fashion magazine, as an alternative to the red book on his table.

The Railway Series Summarised
  • The Three Railway Engines: Here you go Chris, some nice stories about engines to make you feel better.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine: Well here's some more stories about your new friend Thomas, I hope you'll like them. nowpleaseletmerest.
  • James the Red Engine: Wait Other Kids like this stuff? Uh okay well here's some stories about James.
  • Tank Engine Thomas Again: Wow you kids really like Thomas, I hope you don't get too hung up on him
  • Troublesome Engines: Strike? On MY Railway? It's more likely than you'd think.
  • Henry the Green Engine: Okay Dalby we're sorting this Henry business out right now. Here's a picture of a Black 5, Look at it, LOOK AT IT.
  • Toby the Tram Engine: Police Are Awful.
  • Gordon the Big Engine: How do I write a book where the main character is a prick?
  • Edward the Blue Engine: Age before Beauty.
  • Four Little Engines: Please support the Talyllyn Railway, Also that incident with the driver's mother-in-law was Not My Fault.
  • Percy the Small Engine: What is this Green Caterpillar? get out Dalby get out.
  • The Eight Famous Engines: These engines are so popular i can write a whole book about how popular they are.
  • Duck and the Diesel Engine: Bow before your Great Western superiors.
  • The Little Old Engine: Are you supporting the Talyllyn railway yet?
  • The Twin Engines: The Scottish are fun to write, also the spectre of death looms.
  • Branch Line Engines: I'm not sure if I can write good female characters but I'll give it a go.
  • Gallant Old Engine: Look how hard the Talyllyn engines work, you'd better support them.
  • Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine: Please support the Bluebell railway and others like it. alsofuckBR.
  • Mountain Engines: I hope you enjoyed these characters because you're never going to see them again.
  • Very Old Engines: The Talyllyn railway is old as balls, please support them.
  • Main Line Engines: 3/4 of this book does not take place on the main line soooo...
  • Small Railway Engines: Pollution is A-OK to support the railways.
  • Enterprising Engines: FUCK. BRITISH. RAIL!!!
  • Oliver the Western Engine: Pride cometh before the fall, also murder can solve most problems.
  • Duke the Lost Engine: Time for Self-Insert fic, also Ted, you could stand to lose some weight.
  • Tramway Engines: Still trying on that female characters thing, also I think I'm about done here.
  • Really Useful Engines: Hey, It's Chris, thought I'd give this writing thing a go.
  • James and the Diesel Engines: #notalldiesels.
  • Great Little Engines: I don't know how many more ways I can say this.
  • More About Thomas the Tank Engine: Seriously Britt? More?
  • Gordon the High Speed Engine: The Future is Here. Deal with it.
  • Toby Trucks and Trouble: I think something's missing from that title.
  • Thomas and the Twins: Bill and Ben the little Pricks.
  • Jock the New Engine: These little guys are the saltiest bitches.
  • Thomas and the Great Railway Show: Hey check out the National Railway museum, also weak ass publishers not letting me show someone getting hit by a train, smh.
  • Thomas Comes Home: Eventually, but in the mean time enjoy stories about other engines.
  • Henry and the Express: Henry Still Can Not Catch a Break.
  • Wilbert the Forest Engine: Okay they literally named an engine after my father how could I Not put him in a story.
  • Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines: Wow 50 years, that's genuinely impressive
  • New Little Engine: Tbh, if you're not supporting them by now there's not a lot more I can say.
  • Thomas and Victoria: It's not quite over yet.
  • Thomas and His Friends: And now it is. Happy Birthday and R.I.P. Dad.