lunes, 23 de septiembre de 2013

#York - National Railway Museum - English version

To  Iñaki, Marco, Thomas and Teo (my granchildren)
To  José Emilio (my train expert friend)
In memoriam Germán Sopeña (journalist extraordinaire, Patagonia lover and train fan) 

York is paradise for train addicts.
Right by York's train station, we find the National Railway Museum, rightfully considered the biggest and best in the world dedicated to this subject.

The museum is located about 15 walking minutes from the Minster, across the river. 
A tourist 'train' connects both points. Since we are impatient and we wanted to be back for Evensong we started walking... just a few blocks had passed and here comes the train... since we were not at an official stop, it did't stop!

In big structures, formerly engine repair shops, the fascinating story of more than 200 years of iron roads is told.

From the first engines and cars, from horse carriages on rails, to royal coaches, stressing the evolution of technologies up to the most modern ones.

The aerodinamic Mallard (A4 class) could not be absent.
In 1938 it reached the incredible speed of 126 mph, a new steam locomotive record that still stands. In 2013, for the 75th anniversary of this event, all six surviving A4's (out of 35 that were built) will be reunited under this roof.

All in all, everything is very well maintained and exhibited. Sparkling. A sizable number of  'explainers' hovers around visitors, eager to talk trains. A steam locomotive is sliced open, showing boiler, smokebox and cilinders in action...

The collection of rolling material is simply fabulous. There's even a roundabout turntable and inspection pits where you can see a locomotive's underneath.

As interesting as all this, there are warehouses whith thousands of lamps, sculptures, signs, signals and countless other objects that once made the railway stations work.

Also on exhibition are the actual workshops where, with skilled work and love, engines and other material are recovered from oblivion and come again, shining, to make children and grownups marvel. 

There's also an interesting video on the Eurotunnel service, that connects London and Paris under the English Channel.

Gloria made a short visit and then started going back to the Minster, strolling slowly through the gardens of the destroyed Saint Mary Abbey.
I stayed until the last moment possible, hypnotised among all these beauties...
Then started running. The tourist 'train' had made its last stop, so I had to run towards our meeting point at the Minster's door... we attended the touching Evensong liturgy, both religious and musical, which we have already covered when we spoke of Durham.

We say goodbye with a charming children's poem, very appropriate for today...

A Modern Dragon
Rowena Bastin Bennett

A train is a dragon that roars through the dark
He wriggles his tail as he sends up a spark.
He pierces the night with his one yellow eye,
And all the earth trembles when he rushes by

Tomorrow we'll take the high speed train to London... that will be our next blog entry!

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