This programme launched early in summer 2017, with a screening of short films by Rania Stephan (b 1960), Robert Breer (1926-2011) and Artavazd Pelechian (b 1938) – featuring train lines or journeys in Lebanon, Japan and Armenia – alongside Basil Wright’s Night Mail (1936) – scripted by WH Auden and with sound by Benjamin Britten.

Closely Watched Trains will include a series of events drawing on subject matter that invites us to make indirect reference to our location adjacent to Cample Viaduct, overlooking the Dumfries to Glasgow main line. Indeed, Cample Mill was once sandwiched between two lines: the main line and the now-absent mineral line that once operated through Cample, bringing stone down from nearby Gatelawbridge Quarry.

The title of the series – Closely Watched Trains – is something of a tribute to the novella by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997), first published in Czech in 1965 and re-published in English by Penguin Classics in 2017, twenty years on from Hrabal’s death.

Over the next year we will organise occasional screenings and other events that reflect on the cultural power trains continue to hold for us, the journeys we make and experience by rail, and what the presence or indeed absence of a ‘line’ or a ‘stop’ might mean for us.



There are no upcoming events at this time.