The Railway Children



  • The current stage adaptation was first staged in 2008 and 2009 at the National Railway Museum in York in a large tent outside the Goods Station.
  • Over 300,000 people saw the show during its 2 season run at Waterloo Station in the disused Eurostar terminal.
  • The Toronto production in 2011 was staged in a temporary 1,000 seat theatre built at the base of the CN Tower. The train, the Locomotive 563, was loaned to the production by the National Railway Museum and shipped to Canada.
  • The Waterloo production won the Olivier Award for  ‘Best Entertainment’ in 2011.
  • The show has so far played over 700 performances across 5 runs since 2008.
  • Over £300,000 was raised by the 2010 and 2011 production for The Railway Children Charity, a charity that was launched in 1995 to stop the abuse of children living alone and at risk on the streets through early intervention. The Railway Children Charity works with over 45 partner organisations with 117 projects worldwide across Africa, Asia, and the UK.



  • In the building of the site, 750 truck loads of Type 1 Fill (crushed granite and limestone) were used to level the site – that is over 12,300 tonnes, equating to 30,000m² with a depth of 4.7m. During the 6 weeks of building the site, 8 different rollers and compaction plates were used to compact the fill
  • More than 3900 man hours have been spent on the building of the site
  • 2375m² scaffolding was used in the building of the theatre



  • The structure measures  a total of 2100 m²



  • There is an adult cast of 16, and a total of 40 children sharing the roles of the ensemble children.
  • There are approximately 80 cast and crew directly involved in every performance excluding production office staff, creative team, marketing, publicity and contractors.
  • The platform is a total of 34 metres in length
  • There are 75 suitcases and trunks used in each performance.
  • The train is moved 6 times during the show.
  • There are 170 props used in the performance.



  • The production features the Locomotive 563, London & South Western Railway, the same train used in the Toronto production.
  • The train was designed by William Adams and was one of 20 LSWR T3 class express passenger 4-4-0 steam locomotives constructed between 1892-1893.
  • The 563 was retired in August 1945 and set aside for preservation. Its permanent home is the Shildon Locomotion Museum.
  • The train is 16.52m long and 4.03m high.
  • The train was driven down the M1 into London on a low-loader, for which special permission from the Metropolitan Police was granted.
  • A team of 48 personnel was on site on the day the train was brought in
  • The coach (carriage) is the Great North of Scotland Railway No.34. It is 36 feet long and is the only Scottish coach operational in England and only one of two complete GNoSR carriages left. It was built in the 1890s and is preserved at the Embasy & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway as part of the Stately Trains collection.