Romance of Rail

The passionate affair between film and the train has given us some of the most moving moving images ever shot.

There's something inherently romantic about rail travel. Lovers parting and reuniting; long journeys to exotic places; the rush past beautiful scenery; chance encounters (brief or otherwise) in station cafes, dining cars or private compartments - and that's before we get to the Freudian symbolism of trains and tunnels... No wonder filmmakers of all kinds have embraced trains so passionately. And of course the trains themselves, especially in steam's golden age, have a romance all their own, now preserved in celluloid forever.

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The Kiss in the TunnelThe Kiss in the Tunnel

Comedy18992 mins

A snatched kiss in a railway tunnel, played by real-life married couple GA Smith and Laura Bayley

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Railways for Ever!Railways for Ever!

Documentary19707 mins

Sir John Betjeman reminisces about the phasing out of the mainline steam operation.

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The Great BarrierThe Great Barrier

Western193781 mins

Ambitious, stirring British Western that pits man against the elements in the battle to drive a railway through the Canadian Rockies

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The Liverpool Railway CentenaryThe Liverpool Railway Centenary

Non-Fiction19301 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

Transports of delight as the Liverpool and Manchester Railway celebrates its centenary

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Journey on the Coronation ScotJourney on the Coronation Scot

Amateur film193712 minsSilent Location: Euston Sta

Princess Alice' hauls her passengers to Scotland aboard the streamlined Coronation Scot in this dazzling film from the late 1930s

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The Ghost TrainThe Ghost Train

Comedy193139 mins

Surviving footage of the first sound version of Arnold Ridley's famous railway station comedy thriller

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Night MailNight Mail

Documentary193624 mins Location: Euston Sta

The flagship of the GPO Film Unit's output and a cornerstone of British documentary, featuring music by Benjamin Britten and the verse of W.H. Auden.

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Animation & Artists Moving Image19669 mins Location: Barry/Barri

Impressionistic homage to the sound and fury of the steam engine, creating an illusion – a dream – of a locomotive rising again from the Barry scrapyard.

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Documentary197516 mins

Geoffrey Jones's extraordinary accelerating montage celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, scored by Steeleye Span.

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Pathways of PerfectionPathways of Perfection

Travelogue193717 mins

The Royal Scot, the Flying Scotsman, the Cornish Riviera and the Golden Arrow: famous trains considered to be upholders of a great British tradition

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Worth Valley RailwayWorth Valley Railway

Non-Fiction19822 minsSilent Location: Keighley

Be transported back in time through Brontë country, looking out from the footplate as passengers hang their heads out of the windows with the steam blowing through their hair.

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A4s at HaymarketA4s at Haymarket

Amateur film196317 minsSilent Location: Haymarket Sta

Watch these once mighty streamliners still hard at work in steam's twilight years

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Song of ToledoSong of Toledo

Musical195331 mins

This merrily musical short film takes a jovial trip across picturesque 1950s Spain aboard the Talgo Express

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Old Steam RailwaysOld Steam Railways

Amateur film193817 minsSilent

Enjoy this nostalgic steam-hauled jaunt through the West Sussex countryside as we travel on rural lines soon to suffer the Beeching axe.

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Petworth, Midhurst & Petersfield LinePetworth, Midhurst & Petersfield Line

Amateur film195521 minsSilent Location: West Sussex

The twenty miles of rural railway that once lay between Pulborough and Petersfield is wonderfully immortalised in this film from the mid-fifties

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Elizabethan ExpressElizabethan Express

Travelogue195420 mins

Relive the summertime express between Kings Cross and Waverley, which covered 393 miles in just 6 hours non-stop.

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NYMR News No. 1NYMR News No. 1

Non-Fiction19734 mins Location: Pickering

No money incentives required for the dedicated volunteers bringing the defunct Whitby to Pickering up to speed for re-opening, and for the arrival of the iconic Flying Scotsman.

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Kate Plus TenKate Plus Ten

Crime193880 mins

Laughs and thrills come thick and fast in this Edgar Wallace comedy-thriller with a hair-raising car versus train chase.

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The Gold ExpressThe Gold Express

Crime195558 mins

Claustrophobic train-set comedy-thriller with a gang of crooks intent on stealing a gold shipment on a Scotland to London express.

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Playground ExpressPlayground Express

195517 mins Location: Brighton

Kids face the closure of their Brighton playground but fight back to reclaim it, with a little help from the iconic Volks Railway

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Death Was a PassengerDeath Was a Passenger

War195818 mins

A chance meeting on a train brings back memories of a wartime escape.

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The Mail Goes ThroughThe Mail Goes Through

Animation & Artists Moving Image194710 mins

Witness the no-so-great train robbery in this post-war cartoon, produced "in glorious monochrome"

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Heywood, Lancs. and Chesterfield CelebrationsHeywood, Lancs. and Chesterfield Celebrations

Non-Fiction19481 mins Location: Heywood

A centenary commemoration of George Stephenson - the father of the railway.