Trains on the silver screen

A festival in France is celebrating the role of railways in the world of the silver screen, but why are there so many trains in the movies we watch?

According to the CineRail Festival website "Trains exert an unfailing power over filmmakers' imagination the world over...
...As they carry people, trains also convey their stories, which make up our history...
...Trains stand for dreams, struggles, expectations, love and hate. They are the purveyors of life, hope or death"

Trains immediately conjure up images of romance, glamour and adventure and have been used in many classic films to create iconic scenes.

Movies including trains include:
  • Brief Encounter
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Sliding Doors
  • North by Northwest
  • Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Runaway Train
  • The Untouchables
  • Mission: Impossible
Perhaps we love to see trains in movies because we still associate them with the romance and cool of the golden age.

I remember a couple of years ago Virgin Trains ran a couple of ads using classic films, they were brilliantly crafted but the current experience of getting a train doesn't really fit with the image most of us have of the golden age.

Even though I'm not old enough to remember the days of steam railways I can still appreciate the special mystique associated with it. It's just that it's slightly harder to see the glamour of a scene taking place in one of the urine-smelling vestibule areas of a 35 year old HST.

Am I being harsh or is there still a certain something about trains? Vote in the poll on the right.

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