The Missing Passenger is a new exhibition trail from artist and director Geraldine Pilgrim set in the atmospheric Station Hall at the National Railway Museum in York.

The Museum’s unrivalled collection includes iconic trains and rolling stock such as the art deco Duchess of Hamilton, replica of Stephenson’s Rocket, the world speed-breaking Mallard and Queen Victoria’s personal carriage.

The Missing Passenger is a free site-specific exhibition trail where the visitor is at the heart of the action, helping the celebrated crime writer Mary Lavender solve a murder. In the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express, The Lady Vanishes and even The Girl on the Train, The Missing Passenger combines two enduring British fascinations - crime and trains– and Pilgrim uses the museum’s vintage railway carriages and original station platforms to set the scene for this most curious of whodunits.

It’s October 1937 and Mary Lavender had been due to travel on the Sleeper from Inverness to London, but she missed her connection - which means she missed being on the scene of the murder of theatre and film agent to the stars Edward Robey. Baffled, the police have asked for Mary’s help - but she needs people on the ground to be her eyes and ears.

In the role of detective, visitors follow a trail around the scene of the crime, searching for clues. Beginning on Platform 5, they hear snatches of mysterious arguments, study photographs and descriptions of the eight passengers on board, investigate the suspects: who has a motive, who has an alibi, who was where and when. Through the windows of the dining car and sleeper compartments, clues are seen, and in a perfect recreation of a 1930s waiting room, they assemble their evidence and find out if their suspicions are correct – who was the murderer, how did they do it and why?

  • The National Railway Museum commissioned The Missing Passenger as part of its Mystery on the Rails season.
  • From March 23 to September 3, 10am and 5pm. Duration 35-40 minutes; Free, no booking required
  • National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ. T: 0844-815-3139.