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York
Murder And Mystery At National Railway Museum
The Missing Passenger - photo by Hugo Glendinning
The Missing Passenger is a new exhibition trail from artist and director Geraldine Pilgrim set in the atmospheric Station Hall at the National Railway Museum in York.

The Museum's unrivalled collection includes iconic trains and rolling stock such as the art deco Duchess of Hamilton, replica of Stephenson's Rocket, the world speed-breaking Mallard and Queen Victoria's personal carriage.

Geraldine Pilgrim - who has transformed notable buildings and landscapes including the derelict Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, Marshall Street Baths in Soho, and Brockhole on Windermere - now turns her attention to the National Railway Museum for her latest work.

The Missing Passenger, a free site-specific exhibition trail where the visitor is at the heart of the action - helping the celebrated crime writer Mary Lavender solve a murder.

In the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express, The Lady Vanishes and even The Girl on the Train, The Missing Passenger combines two enduring British fascinations - crime and trains.

Conjuring up images from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction with her renowned attention to period detail, Geraldine Pilgrim uses the Museum's vintage railway carriages and original station platforms to set the scene for this most curious of whodunits...

It's October 1937 and Mary Lavender had been due to travel on the Sleeper from Inverness to London but she missed her connection - which means she missed being on the scene of the murder of theatre and film agent to the stars, Edward Robey.

Baffled, the police have asked for Mary's help - but she needs people on the ground to be her eyes and ears.

In the role of detective, visitors follow a trail around the scene of the crime, searching for clues.

Beginning on Platform 5, they hear snatches of mysterious arguments, study photographs and descriptions of the eight passengers on board, investigate the suspects: who has a motive, who has an alibi, who was where and when.

Through the windows of the dining car and sleeper compartments, clues are seen. Ending up in a perfect recreation of a 1930s waiting room, they assemble their evidence and find out if their suspicions are correct - who was the murderer, how did they do it and why?

The National Railway Museum commissioned The Missing Passenger as part of its Mystery on the Rails season to create an entirely new visitor experience in the atmospheric Station Hall.

The museum's curators have researched the elements that make the railways inspirational to crime writers - from the clockwork comings and goings of luggage and passengers, through the sleeping carriages that act like country houses on wheels, to the 'locked room' of a moving train - and these are central to the commission.

A railway is always a dynamic setting for a crime adventure and The Missing Passenger aims to share that with visitors, making them part of one of those classic adventures.

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 at: http://www.nrm.org.uk/planavisit/events/mystery/explore-the-season. The museum is open 10am to 6pm and admission is free.

National Railway Museum, York
23 March to 3 September 2017
Between 10am and 5pm
Free, no booking required
Duration 35 - 40 minutes
Information line: 0844 815 3139

Murder And Mystery At National Railway Museum, 17th March 2017, 20:49 PM