16 June 2024

The Most Popular Steam Trains

Steam trains were pivotal in the Industrial Revolution and were a symbol of progress and innovation. Their extraordinary functionality and mechanisms meant they were adored not only by train fanatics but anyone with a love of masterful engineering. But which steam trains have become renowned for their popularity? Let’s take a closer look.

Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine has been delighting generations for decades. Modelled after a real life steam locomotive, Thomas became a hit for avid readers and was later brought to life on TV in Thomas & Friends, which was based on The Railway Series books. As a small blue tank engine with red lining, the number 1 on his side and a friendly, cheeky face, it’s easy to see why Thomas became such a distinctive cultural icon. Hardworking and curious, Thomas can also be mischievous at times, with adventures often teaching him valuable life lessons.

Rusty in Starlight Express

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical, Starlight Express, features an ambitious steam train called Rusty. He longs to be the fastest engine in the world, but is filled with doubt when he compares himself to more modern locomotives - until he meets Starlight Express. Rusty’s determination to overcome the odds and succeed has made him one of the most beloved steam trains of all time. Defeating archrivals Greaseball and Electra and winning over first-class coach, Pearl, Rusty proves that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

The Starlight Express musical is currently showing at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, so why not book tickets today?

The Polar Express

The Polar Express is a magical steam train that transports children to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The train is instantly recognisable thanks to its classic design, large smokestack and powerful, nostalgic presence. The steam train itself is integral to The Polar Express story, representing the magic of Christmas and taking little ones on a fantastical journey to meet the man in red himself, Santa Claus,

Hogwarts Express

The Hogwarts Express is a symbol of magical adventures and appears throughout J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The train itself is a steam engine and its job is to take students from platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The train that appears in the films is actually named ‘The Jacobite’ and seats can be booked for a sightseeing experience along Scotland’s west coast.

Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotsman is often considered to be the most famous steam train of all time. Built in 1923, it was the first steam locomotive to reach 100 mph, making it a flagship invention for the British engineering sector. It also set a record for the longest non-stop journey by a steam train, travelling 422 miles in Australia back in 1989. This wonderful invention has travelled extensively, exploring the United States and Canada as well as Australia, achieving international recognition.

Starlight Express theatre tickets are on sale now from KX Tickets - book today to avoid missing out.