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Steam Dreams

A Show of Vintage Toy Trains and Movie Images

The Gallery, Saturday 3rd – Saturday 24th December

Experience the magic of trains that featured in many famous movies, at this interactive, insightful family event.

A special event for the Christmas Holiday featuring working models and images from classic movies including The Adams Family, Thomas and Friends, Harry Potter and Polar Express. Hundreds of famous cinema films have included train travel as an essential part of the plot from thrillers by Hitchcock to comedies such as Some Like it Hot and the romance of Brief Encounter.

Hogwarts Castle model locomotive by LIonel USA. See it run at Newcastle Arts Centre.

One of the 1st movies was a train arriving at a station by the Lumiere Brothers in 1896 and since then both Cinema and toy trains have developed side by side for over 120 years.

This exhibition looks both at the history of toy trains and movies that had trains as a central theme, a delight for children of all ages.

Thomas & Friends with the Polar Express

The stars will be vintage models by world famous makers including Hornby, Lionel, Bassett Lowke, Bing and Exley.

The show will have a timetable for each theme featuring both famous movies and trains. A working O gauge model railway is being built specially for this event. Programmed events will be scheduled for a fortnight before Christmas at the Arts Centre. Tickets will be available online from December 1st

Younger visitors will be able to have a go at driving the trains themselves in programmed events running from Thurday 15th – Saturday 24th December (Tickets will be available for online purchase from 1st December)

Also included in these events will be a series of themed talks covering ‘trains in films and products developed from the movies’ and ‘the history of model trains and their technical development’. In addition, visitors can hear about the history of how steam and electrical engineering was developed in Newcastle to power the industrial revolution and the modern world.

Continue Reading:

The power of fire and water that developed in Newcastle

3 Famous Toy Trains

Text and Exhibition by Mike Tilley, Founder and Director of Newcastle Arts Centre.
Backscene painting by Rebecca Purnell.

Model railway and painted scene under construction

Steam Dreams Timetable:

Exhibition model railway under construction December 3rd – 14th. 11am – 4pm, admission free. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Trains running:

Friday 16th, Saturday 17th,
2pm – 4pm

Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd,
2pm – 4pm

Saturday 24th Christmas Eve,
1pm – 3pm

Tickets for running sessions £3 – accompanied children Free



Saturday 17th ‘History of Toy Trains’ 1pm (40mins) £2

Tuesday 20th ‘Steam on Tyneside’ 1pm (40mins) £2

Saturday 24th Christmas Eve Special – ‘The Polar Express and other stories’

From Chris Van Allsburg’s original story and pastel illustrations to Tom Hanks ever popular movie. With a look at Thomas and Friends and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express.

12pm £3 Including running session. Accompanied children free. (this event may be repeated on Thursday 29th)


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