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.