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A trail of murder and mystery set to be uncovered at the National Railway Museum

Murder is set to take centre stage in an exciting new season launching at the National Railway Museum in York.

A trail of murder and mystery set to be uncovered at the National Railway Museum 

  • Can you unravel the mystery of ‘The Missing Passenger’?
  • New Mystery on the Rails season launches from 23rd March – 3rd September  2017
  • Solving murders, crime writing workshops and using codes, clues and sleuthing skills to unleash your inner detective                     

Murder is set to take centre stage in an exciting new season launching at the National Railway Museum in York, bringing together two enduring British fascinations – crime and railways. 

The new Mystery on the Rails season, launching at the end of March, will offer a series of exciting free activities, events, workshops and a new exhibition trail giving visitors the chance to unleash their inner detective, don their imaginary deerstalkers and put their powers of detection to the test and discover why the railway inspires crime writers. 

The season will include a range of activities from writing workshops and getting creative using codes and find out how to capture a fugitives as well as joining museum staff to learn about railway related murder objects and discovering the railways led to a greater need for facial recognition as criminals used the speed of the trains to escaped on trains away.

Amy Banks, Head of Exhibitions and Design, at National Railway Museum, comments: “Crime on the railways has always fascinated the public, media and crime writers alike and the unique setting of the railways, which is so familiar to us all, makes a perfect setting for a thrilling crime story. Trains are exciting, exotic and glamorous locations to set a crime story and real-life stories of crime on the railways have, and continue to be, fascinating backdrops for writers to explore the darker side of society.” 

Central to the season is a specially commissioned visitor exhibition trail from artist and director Geraldine Pilgrim set in the atmospheric Station Hall.

The Missing Passenger will transport visitors back to 1937 where the most curious of crimes has been committed. In the role of detective, visitors will search for clues around the Museum’s historic railway carriages and station platforms, examine the evidence and investigate the motives and alibis of the passengers on the train.

The train ends in a replica 1930s station waiting room where visitors assemble their evidence and find out who was the murderer, how did they do it and why?

The museum’s curators have researched the elements that make the railways inspirational to crime writers - from the scheduled comings and goings of luggage and passengers, through to the public, but seemingly private, spaces of ‘sleeper’ carriages and the ‘locked room’ of a moving train which are central to the commission.

 Talking about the new exhibit, Amy adds: “We are really excited about The Missing Passenger as it gives visitors a chance to immerse themselves in a specific murder mystery trail inspired by the enduring role railways play in crime and detective fiction. It combines two enduring British fascinations—crime and trains and is a new twist on what adult visitors might expect from an exhibition at the National Railway Museum.”

Alongside The Missing Passenger there are a number of events running across the season for visitors of all ages, with special workshops and activities during the school holidays and weekends for families.

Key highlights include:

  • Case Files – Mondays 27 March, 24 April, 8 May, 22 May, 19 June, 17 July.

Create a dramatic short story based on fact or fiction, using the key elements of great crime writing. Step into the shoes of a detective to uncover the details of a crime, using objects from our collection, available clues and a list of known suspects to help your reader decipher exactly whodunnit.

  • Rogues Gallery – Mondays 3 April, 15 May, 5 June, 26 June, 3 July.

Stand in the lineup, take your own mug shot and see if you can apprehend a criminal using only their description. Discover how the introduction of the railways created a need for facial recognition as criminals used the predictability and speed of the railways to get away.

  • British Transport Police Weekend – 29 April – 1 May.

Join British Transport Police in a fun-filled weekend of hands-on activities that will test your sleuthing skills.

  • Easter, May and Summer Investigations

Could you help the police in their attempt to capture a fugitive? Use codes, clues and sleuthing skills to unleash your inner detective. Drop in to our pop-up activities where you can create your own crime story and find out if you can match a criminal to their crime.

Full details can be found on our website. The museum is open from 10.00 to 18.00 and admission is free.


For more information, please contact: Rebecca Fuller, or Aberfield Communications at 0113 880 0444

Notes to Editors

National Railway Museum

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts over 700,000 visitors per year.
  • The National Railway Museum’s collection includes over 300 locomotives and rolling stock, 628 coins and medals, 4899 pieces of railway uniform and costume, railway equipment, documents, records, artwork and railway related photographs.
  • The National Railway Museum houses a world-class collection of Royal trains, which includes a collection of Royal carriages, from those used by Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The National Railway Museum’s vast art collection comprises of 11,270 posters, 2,358 prints and drawings, 1052 paintings, and 1,750,000 photographs, many of which have never been on public display.
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the National Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in Shildon.
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free.

For more information about the National Railway Museum and Flying Scotsman please visit our website. Follow the National Railway Museum on Twitter or find us on Facebook.