Ghost Trains Roar Back to Life in Modern England

Though we've seen the present merged with the past in everything from Sergey Larenkov's WW II series to Shawn Clover's San Francisco earthquake blend, we're still incredibly intrigued when we get to see history presented in this incredibly creative way. We came upon Stuart McPherson's interesting series called M&GN Ghosts just yesterday and felt compelled to share it with you.

M&GN stands for Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, a railway that ran in the eastern county of Norfolk in the UK from 1893 to 1959. Interestingly, it was frequently referred to as the “Muddle and Go Nowhere” because it served a mostly rural region, but after its closure this phrase was commonly replaced with the phrase “Missed and Greatly Needed.”

With smoke billowing high into the air, these old trains seem to be roaring back to life, looking to take present day visitors on an unforgettable journey back into the past.

When we asked McPherson why he started this series he told us this, “I was inspired to try out ‘Ghost' Images after my friend Nick Stone started producing his wonderful ‘Blitz ghost' images. I didn't want to copy his project, so I turned my focus on to an old dis-used railway that I grew up near. At about the same time I also became involved with a group of local history enthusiasts who decided to dig up the remains of a City Center Train terminus that nobody knew was still there (Friends of Norwich City Station). This gave me more material and ideas for more ghost images. I was rather surprised by how popular they became and just carried on producing them.

“The feeling I'm trying to convey with these images is that in the space of about 100 years the railways came along changed the world in an instant. They opened up entire countries to relatively fast and easy transportation overnight and they sparked the modern way of life that we now take for granted.

“They then disappeared just as quickly.

“Nature then got straight back to work in reclaiming the remains, and the whole episode was completely forgotten.
I want to show people that we are a still very young and naive when it comes to the modern world, and that we shouldn't forget what started the ball rolling.

“Hopefully these images help people make the connection.”

Stuart McPherson on Flickr

Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content