This film is part of Free

Conway Castle - panoramic view of Conway on the L.& N.W. Railway

Conwy's bridge, castle and station glide past, as if in a dream, in this beautiful phantom train ride film (no ghosts but apparently no train either) from 1898.

Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Phantom train ride film: no ghosts but no apparent sign of the train either, the camera being attached to the very front of the locomotive. This beautiful film, shot in February 1898, has a dream-like quality and is hand tinted (possibly stencilled). It is believed to have been coloured some time after it was first shown as no contemporary reviews or advertisements refer to what would surely have been a major selling/talking point, 1898 being very early for coloured films.

This film was made in response to the first American phantom train ride film (by the British Mutoscope and Biograph's parent company, the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company), 'The Haverstraw Tunnel', which showed the scenery around the Hudson river and a tunnel and so delighted the audience that the British operation decided to make their own version, which also proved very popular - it showed not only in London but also in Rochester, New York, and then travelled all over Europe, still being shown in cinemas as late as 1910. This film is preserved by the EYE Filmmuseum, Netherlands.