August 08, 2014

National Railway Museum || York

When you travel on the railway,
And the line goes up a hill,
Just listen to the engine
As it pulls you with a will.
Though it goes slowly
It sings this little song.
“I think I can, I think I can,”
And so it goes along.
Pawan Kumar Bansal

I don’t know about you, but I believe there is magic in travelling by train. The rhythm, the rattling, the noise and the ever changing landscape; There is so much to see, smell, feel and experience while going on a train. It’s like life packed into a little carriage, rushing along a pre-laid path. There are so many stories to discover and I fell it’s like the best place to be in between places.

That’s why I jumped with joy, when my fav Englishman suggested for my thirty-second birthday to visit the National Railway Museum in York. (#itsmybirthdayandIdowhatIwant)

Obviously the museum is first and foremost fabulous for kids, which can explore, touch, climb and discover over 300 rail vehicles. But it is also a splendid resource for imaginative minds (like mine), who’s storytelling gears up when examining Queen Victorias and King George V pompous carriages – with bath tub and everything. Seriously they had a whole house on the tracks, with big arm chairs, puffed up beds, curtains and reading lights. That was REAL first class travelling.

Still, there is so much more.The museum has two big halls for all its' engines and carriages on display: The Station Hall, which I loved for its' Harry Potterish feeling that lingers in the air, and the Great Hall. While the first one is all about the scent of adventure that lied in these early days of railway travelling, the second one shows you the engineering and innovations behind it.

Ever wondered how a steam engine works? They cut one open for all us nosy people were we can follow the process without feeling like we’re back in physics class (good for me, I was terrible at physics!).

Apart from that though, the in-depth of the engineering was less my thing. I predominantly enjoyed the stories of all the trains: The tales of success and failure, of the first diesel engine and the fastest steam train of it's time (Mallard), the most powerful engine (King George V) and the highest speed (Japanese Bullet train or Shinkansen) and the first train that connected London and Scotland on a direct route (The Flying Scotsman). It was fabulous to read along. My favourite story though was the one about the Chinese engine. It’s like a giant. A gigantic engine which is over 15 foot tall and more than 93 feet long. (I kid you not.) And yet it runs on the same tracks like every other train. The bridges it crosses and the tunnels it runs through all just have to be a bit wider.

Before I keep on rambling though, I better stop and let you check it out for yourself or at least let you have a moment to peek through the pictures. Have a safe journey!

But later on the Journey,
When you’re going down a hill,
The train requires no pulling,
And the engine’s singing still.
If you listen very quietly
You will hear this little song,
“I thought I could, I thought I could!”
And so it speeds along.

PS: The National Railway Museum is not only a treat for your eyes and ears, but also for your wallet. Entry is free, and all they ask for is a kind £3 donation. Worth every penny! If you want to find out more check out their website.

The National Railway Museum has no idea who I am or that I am writing about them. All pictures and opinions are my own.

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