The Great Train Songery at TakeOver Festival

The Great Train Songery, produced for TakeOver Festival in the National Railway Museum, is a different but brilliant was to bring some life to the artifacts of the museum.

The Great Train Songery at TakeOver Festival

The Great Train Songery is an interactive tour of the National Railway Museum Warehouse, being performed as part of TakeOver Festival.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the Great Train Songery while I waited with a queue of others at the entrance to the Warehouse section of the National Railway Museum. Soon enough we were greeted by a conductor figure who had a card with the title of the show stuck in his cap. The beaming man carried a guitar and sang right from the start as he explained that we were going to be taken on a singing tour of the warehouse.

First we were taken to see some cases of model trains, and as we all filed in, we were entertained with some witty songs, which rhymed of course, explaining why they were so small. After joking about how they were made for mice and that they had been struck by lightning, the conductor explained that the were the Guinness World Record holding collection of being the most model trains made by a single person.

We were then guided to a model track, made for training signal men. Since we couldn't see the real version working, the conductor orchestrated a human signalling system out of members of the audience, getting kids to operate it and even involving their parents as signals! The audience seemed to have a lot of fun getting involved in this, the adults having just as much as their children.

As we moved through the various exhibits, we were told in song form about the different items we could see. These songs included stories about types of trains, inventions and even a murder story! The show was interactive, with our guide asking questions and playing games that involved the kids, while his witty musical accompaniment frequently made the adults in the audience laugh.

The show was fun and informative, as well as being a really clever way to get families interested in what would otherwise be quite a quiet and static part of the museum.

The Great Train Songery, created by John Hinton for TakeOver, is being performed at the Warehouse of the National Railway Museum Mon 26th- Wed 28th October. Visit for more information.


Ellen Orange

Ellen Orange Contributor

I am a 24 year old Marketing Officer from the North East with a passion for arts and writing. I did a BA in English Literature and an MA in Twentieth and Twenty First Century Literature at Durham University, because I love books and reading! I have experience in writing for a variety of student publications, as well as having contributed to Living North, a regional magazine and Culture magazine, a supplement to regional newspaper, The Journal. I have been part of a Young Journalists scheme writing for NewcastleGateshead's Juice Festival, a young people's arts and culture festival, and have since become a Team Juice member. As well as reading and writing, I love theatre, photography and crafts.

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