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Railway Ghosts

gordonrutter

Within reason
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Life was still pretty hard when this movie was made, in 1975, on that particular railway (the Bowes colliery railway). A fascinating record. The soundtrack to this movie is full of noise, clangs, thuds and bells, and there are plenty of old blokes with alarming shocks of white hair, too.

I thought I was pretty au fait with the Durham accent, but I can barely understand what some of them are saying.
No problems here!

I would imagine health and safety would have kittens over those ropes now!
 

Paul_Exeter

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Not really 'haunting', except in a different way. I was on the platform in York when this came through in March 2019. Whenever I see steam trains I get a bit of a lump in my throat. It's like seeing an old dog still doing his job (I know this isn't an 'old' engine, but the feeling is the same). Anyone else get this almost instinctive response, almost as though they are alive?View attachment 34343

I was at Clapham Junction about five years ago having arrived from Exeter and waiting for a train to Hayward’s Heath. suddenly, Bullied Pacific ‘Clan Line’ breezed through towards Waterloo at the head the Cathedral’s Express’. Barely anyone on the platform noticed as the steam locomotive was coasting or rather ‘ghosting’ along and was gone in seconds
I was delighted to see it, nonetheless as I had travelled behind this same loco in 2012 from Salisbury to Exeter
 

Paul_Exeter

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Sorry, that made no sense to me.

Clan Line is a preserved express steam engine. It is certified for mainline running and is often used on the Cathedrals Express excursion trains that run from London to Cathedral cities such as Exeter and Salisbury. It ‘breezed’ because it was coasting along as it decelerated towards its destination

My uncle was a lifelong railwayman so I’m familiar with locomotives and terminology etc but easy to forget most aren’t...!

Link to more about Clan Line: https://www.clan-line.org.uk/
 

escargot

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Clan Line is a preserved express steam engine. It is certified for mainline running and is often used on the Cathedrals Express excursion trains that run from London to Cathedral cities such as Exeter and Salisbury. It ‘breezed’ because it was coasting along as it decelerated towards its destination

My uncle was a lifelong railwayman so I’m familiar with locomotives and terminology etc but easy to forget most aren’t...!

Link to more about Clan Line: https://www.clan-line.org.uk/
Aye, 'appen it's time ter put t'shovel up!
 

Sogna

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Not really 'haunting', except in a different way. I was on the platform in York when this came through in March 2019. Whenever I see steam trains I get a bit of a lump in my throat. It's like seeing an old dog still doing his job (I know this isn't an 'old' engine, but the feeling is the same). Anyone else get this almost instinctive response, almost as though they are alive?View attachment 34343
Equally not a ghost but an odd coincidence on York station. I used to commute into Stratford on the Shenfield line and regularly saw a young man waiting on the platform at Maryland as we came into that station. During that time I went on holiday to Scotland with my husband. Coming in to York station on the way back to London, there was the same young man, standing on the platform exactly as I often saw him in London. My husband told me we both looked equally startled, as well we might.
 

eburacum

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It is spooky when that happens. One time I caught the last train from York to Hull, worked there all night, and caught the first train back in the morning - and saw the same chap on both trains. He must have thought I was stalking him, or a ghost, or something.

It never occurred to me that he might be a ghost, because he looked so startled. Do ghosts look startled?
 

Vardoger

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It is spooky when that happens. One time I caught the last train from York to Hull, worked there all night, and caught the first train back in the morning - and saw the same chap on both trains. He must have thought I was stalking him, or a ghost, or something.

It never occurred to me that he might be a ghost, because he looked so startled. Do ghosts look startled?
Or he worked the same shift as you, but not same employer?
 

Sogna

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It is spooky when that happens. One time I caught the last train from York to Hull, worked there all night, and caught the first train back in the morning - and saw the same chap on both trains. He must have thought I was stalking him, or a ghost, or something.

It never occurred to me that he might be a ghost, because he looked so startled. Do ghosts look startled?
I think I’ve read stories where it’s reported that ghosts did react, I might see if I can hunt some out
 

Ghost In The Machine

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I once read the tarot for the crew of a Virgin train (Birmingham - London). I'd been alone in a carriage and so got out and was looking at a tarot deck and one of the staff passed me, saw me and asked me if I'd come to the bar and read for them. This would have been around 1999. Free drinks were mentioned. So I went. The reading I did for one of them - I think the man who had asked me if I could read - I saw they had this really horrible boss. Can't remember the gist of the reading now, just that. They offered me free drinks whenever any of them were on the bar. No ghosts as such but I managed a remarkably good reading for once (that wasn't a cold reading either).
 

Mythopoeika

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I once read the tarot for the crew of a Virgin train (Birmingham - London). I'd been alone in a carriage and so got out and was looking at a tarot deck and one of the staff passed me, saw me and asked me if I'd come to the bar and read for them. This would have been around 1999. Free drinks were mentioned. So I went. The reading I did for one of them - I think the man who had asked me if I could read - I saw they had this really horrible boss. Can't remember the gist of the reading now, just that. They offered me free drinks whenever any of them were on the bar. No ghosts as such but I managed a remarkably good reading for once (that wasn't a cold reading either).
Perhaps you need to be mildly inebriated for the 'spirits to flow'.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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I wonder if railway stations could be perceived as 'liminal zones' like staircases and doorways, which seem to attract a higher number of hauntings and ghostly stories? People moving from one 'thing' to another? Also roads and roadways...
 

Spookdaddy

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I wonder if railway stations could be perceived as 'liminal zones' like staircases and doorways, which seem to attract a higher number of hauntings and ghostly stories? People moving from one 'thing' to another? Also roads and roadways...

I think this is spot on. Reminds me of something I posted on the Timeslip At Waterloo Station? thread some time ago:

I wonder if sometimes the fact that a place exists because of its connection to - or more accurately, connecting of - other places, creates a feeling that the area is somehow unsettled. And as that space establishes itself as an individual place in its own right we experience a not necessarily conscious uneasiness about something coming from nothing: this place was nowhere, then it connected some somewheres, now it too has become a somewhere. There’s something almost alchemical about it - life out of other life...a spatial golem. (God, that sounds pretentious – but the phrase ‘spatial golem’ popped into my head and I couldn’t help myself.)

The other environments that come to mind, for the same reasons - and it might sound odd comparing them to railway stations at first - are staircases and corridors: they would simply not be there if it was not for the need to connect different spaces. Clearly staircases are another common focus of oddness; we have several threads which indicate this. And corridors: how many movies have expoited the oddly unnatural parallel lines of a corridor disappearing into the distance – all connecting somewhere to somewhere else, but somehow suggesting a frightening emptiness, to be filled at some point with god knows what?

Also, kind of relevant - from the same thread:

I've been thinking about this quite a lot the last couple of days and one thing that's struck me is that while very many older buildings have shifted in purpose over time (often several times), or have become preserved in the aspic of heritage and/or been turned into museums, gallerys and that kind of thing, railway stations are one of the few Victorian/Edwardian edifices that serve precisely the same purpose that they did when they were built, and are still used for millions of individual journeys virtually every single day of the year - year in year out. (I'm not suggesting that every station is in it's original form - but many are, or at least enough so to be recognisable to the original passengers.)

(Obviously there are other examples of such continuity - theatres would be one, but the footfall for such buildings is utterly tiny, compared to metropolitan railway stations.)

I just wonder if this might psychologically or, if you like, paranormally, make railway stations prone to a certain chronological looseness (or 'thin places' - as my terrifying Irish grandmother might have said). Certainly, from a psychogeographical point of view they should be rich habitats - and yet oddly, from my reading in that area, they seem to be under-represented environments; maybe we are just so familiar with the places that we unconsciously assimilate their atmosphere without thinking about it.

I am not at all a train buff, but I love railway stations - and have done since I was a kid: the whole of human life in all its variety, the contemplation of which is inexhaustible, and all that stuff. (I've mentioned recently that Marylebone Station always looks to me - especially on a misty late autumn or winter afternoon - that it is only just about clinging to the present time. And, as I've mentioned in the past, one of the oddest - but really quite nice - things that ever happened to me happened at a station.)
 

Spookdaddy

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Actually, while I'm quoting myself from other places...

I knew I'd mentioned the following experience somewhere, but thought it was lost in the mists of time. However, it's actually still around - way back on the Minor Strangeness thread.

There's no ghost I'm afraid (at least, I don't think it was a ghost) but there is a railway station, and in its way, it's still one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. And GNC's response to the story was perfect - I find myself thinking about the experience all the time:

This happened to me quite a while back, but I was just reminded of it this morning. It's not that strange - probably just a convergence of minor coincidences - but I've found myself thinking about it quite often since it happened.

One grey February morning a couple of years back I was travelling to Chester on one of those miserable trains that looks like an Eastern European tram (circa 1970). We were held up for some reason at Nantwich station and I was absent-mindedly scanning the people on the opposite platform when my gaze snagged on the figure of a young woman - late teens, or possibly early twenties - and I had one of those bizarre thoughts that appears to come fully formed, uninvited and absolutely out of nowhere: 'If I had a daughter, that's exactly what she'd look like'. Anyway, although this apparently independent thought had taken me a bit by surprise, I didn't really dwell on it; I looked again at the girl, shrugged mentally at the random nature of imagination, went back to my book, probably muttered something under my breath about the weather and public transport, looked at my watch, looked back again at the girl and did what you generally do in order to stay sane on trains that aren't going anywhere. (I should point out that at no time did I catch her eye, and I wasn't staring at her - I would swear that she didn't notice me noticing her.)

Anyway, there's a jolt, which I assume means the train is either just setting off or in the early process of falling apart, and I pull myself away from the book for one last glimpse of the riches Nantwich station has to offer only to see the girl on the platform looking straight at me with a big smile on her face and waving shyly. For a moment I'm completely taken aback. I look around me, but the carriage is virtually empty; there are a couple of people at either end, but I'm the only passenger in the entire middle section of the carriage - there's no-one else to wave to. I looked back at the girl - she still had her hand raised, so I pointed to my chest and pulled one of those 'who, me?' frowns, and she nodded.

So I waved back.

So, there you go. Nothing much really, but the whole episode still intrigues me.
 

RaM

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Maybe railways have a effect on young women, or just that they feel safe with old codgers,
I have had them come up and start a conversation as though I was there best friend
and at least one fell asleep on my shoulder, the last one didn't even wake when I propped
her up to get off at Preston, didn't cross my mind to wake her and ask her stop, likely ended up
in Scotland but were she was going , not a clue.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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Maybe railways have a effect on young women, or just that they feel safe with old codgers,
I have had them come up and start a conversation as though I was there best friend
and at least one fell asleep on my shoulder, the last one didn't even wake when I propped
her up to get off at Preston, didn't cross my mind to wake her and ask her stop, likely ended up
in Scotland but were she was going , not a clue.
Young women travelling solo on a train may well find themselves 'teaming up' with someone for the perceived protection it can afford. Young(ish) men travelling without their wives really can be most persistent in trying to atttract the attentions of women. If the woman in question can pretend (or even really) to be in conversation with someone else, it makes it that little bit harder for the chancers.

*source - was a young woman once.
 

Spookdaddy

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Maybe railways have a effect on young women, or just that they feel safe with old codgers,
I have had them come up and start a conversation as though I was there best friend...

I'd estimate I'd have been late thirties when said occurrence took place - so I wasn't ancient. Also I don't think that the thought that popped into my mind was that 'If I had a daughter, that's exactly what she'd look like' at the time the experience took place - just that, at some point in her life that's what she'd look like. If that makes sense.

But I know what you mean. People's initial reaction to me has either been to be a little bit scared, or reassured - I've never really worked out how two such opposite things can operate at the same time, but they do. I think maybe I just look like I might be a bit useful in a situation - but when there's no situation, a bit like I might cause one. How relieved/disappointed would people be if they knew what a pushover I am. Mostly.

Young women travelling solo on a train may well find themselves 'teaming up' with someone for the perceived protection it can afford. Young(ish) men travelling without their wives really can be most persistent in trying to atttract the attentions of women. If the woman in question can pretend (or even really) to be in conversation with someone else, it makes it that little bit harder for the chancers.

*source - was a young woman once.

Oh, yes. I travel a lot by train - or did, before the current unpleasantness - and the train pest is a pretty standard fixture. These days though, I think people are a lot more conscious of this, and intervention is not unknown - usually involving people offering to change seats while said pest is visiting the bathroom or the shop. But sometimes simply involving people telling said pest to wind his neck in. I've seen a small but angry crowd force a bloke off a train at Birmingham New Street when his increasingly pushy behaviour towards a complete stranger clearly began to distress her. Good on them.
 

Cochise

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I'd estimate I'd have been late thirties when said occurrence took place - so I wasn't ancient. Also I don't think that the thought that popped into my mind was that 'If I had a daughter, that's exactly what she'd look like' at the time the experience took place - just that, at some point in her life that's what she'd look like. If that makes sense.

But I know what you mean. People's initial reaction to me has either been to be a little bit scared, or reassured - I've never really worked out how two such opposite things can operate at the same time, but they do. I think maybe I just look like I might be a bit useful in a situation - but when there's no situation, a bit like I might cause one. How relieved/disappointed would people be if they knew what a pushover I am. Mostly.



Oh, yes. I travel a lot by train - or did, before the current unpleasantness - and the train pest is a pretty standard fixture. These days though, I think people are a lot more conscious of this, and intervention is not unknown - usually involving people offering to change seats while said pest is visiting the bathroom or the shop. But sometimes simply involving people telling said pest to wind his neck in. I've seen a small but angry crowd force a bloke off a train at Birmingham New Street when his increasingly pushy behaviour towards a complete stranger clearly began to distress her. Good on them.
I seem to have been - for many years - the sort of person that total strangers attach themselves to in dubious circumstances. Ok, I'm big and I guess fairly safe looking? I don't know. I'm certainly no fighter. There must be some sort of vibe involved. Much of my life has been a puzzle to me :cool:
 

salt-man

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I seem to have been - for many years - the sort of person that total strangers attach themselves to in dubious circumstances. Ok, I'm big and I guess fairly safe looking? I don't know. I'm certainly no fighter. There must be some sort of vibe involved. Much of my life has been a puzzle to me :cool:
Ditto - aparently much more so since I gained a beard.
 

maximus otter

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Ditto - aparently much more so since I gained a beard.

Despite being a big cowardy custard, and generally good-humoured, a check in the mirror confirms that l am afflicted with what in women is known as “resting bitch face”. A bit like Clint’s character in Gran Torino:

“Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.”

ln animals it’s known as Batesian mimicry.

:rofl:

maximus otter
 

IbisNibs

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"Batesian mimicry is the most commonly known and widely studied of mimicry complexes . . ."
A new neurosis diagnosis, or what?

(And what does this have to do with Railway Ghosts? I've been led astray again!)
 

escargot

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Actually, while I'm quoting myself from other places...

I knew I'd mentioned the following experience somewhere, but thought it was lost in the mists of time. However, it's actually still around - way back on the Minor Strangeness thread.

There's no ghost I'm afraid (at least, I don't think it was a ghost) but there is a railway station, and in its way, it's still one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. And GNC's response to the story was perfect - I find myself thinking about the experience all the time:

The old Nantwich station buildings are now an Indian restaurant.
Trains stop alongside and passengers peer in through the windows. A highlight of the Basmati experience is holding up one's meal and beer to show to hungry commuters.
They seem to appreciate it, I'm not sure. :chuckle:
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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The old Nantwich station buildings are now an Indian restaurant.
Trains stop alongside and passengers peer in through the windows. A highlight of the Basmati experience is holding up one's meal and beer to show to hungry commuters.
They seem to appreciate it, I'm not sure. :chuckle:
A place to get a Naanwich?
 
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