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National Railway Museum

We brought the adventure, mischief and drama of trainspotting to life in a fascinating season exploring a much-misunderstood hobby.

Parallel Tracks

Our commission by acclaimed artist Andrew Cross sought to present the experience and method of trainspotting in a new way. Andrew’s film explored the anticipation of train watching across a number of international locations.

For over forty years, artist Andrew Cross has been watching and waiting, recording and filming. In Parallel Tracks, Andrew takes an alternative look at trainspotting. Drawing upon personal experience, Andrew’s work reflects his instinct to record both in visual and written form—as a trainspotter, music fan, photographer and artist.

A new film, Being There, explores the patience and suspense of train watching—the sense of anticipation is far from an empty experience. It is not just about trains. It is the adventure of journeying; the sights and sounds of a particular location. Whether in the Californian desert, the Swiss mountains or the rural English landscape, it’s about being in the moment.

We asked for some of your spotter stories and we were overwhelmed by your responses. Here’s a selection of some of the best images and memories.

Curator finds

Trainspotting was at its most popular in the 1940s and 1950s, but it has a surprisingly long history—browse our timeline below.

Love Me Tender

We commissioned world-class poet Ian McMillan to write us a poem capturing the essence of trainspotting.