Train to the Future
All change! The railways embodied the spirit of modernity in the 19th century, and technology has wrought huge changes ever since.
Railways always point ahead. At least before the digital revolution, it's hard to think of any industry so preoccupied with its own future. No other industry has survived such comprehensive change. From steam to diesel to electric and the introduction ever more sophisticated signalling, Britain's railways are always a work in progress. But passion for the railways runs so high that modernisation has always been double-edged - some still tremble at the name of Dr Beeching...
Industry sponsored film196024 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Amateur film19663 minsSilent Location: Hampshire
A film maker's attempt to record the last steam-hauled passenger and freight trains running along the West of England mainline from Waterloo
Non-Fiction19626 mins Location: Derby
Farewell to the faithful steam war-horse as modernisation brings diesel power to the railways of Britain.
Industry sponsored film19579 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
Amateur film198515 mins Location: Woking
An award winning amateur film tracing the transformation of Woking, from open heath to modern commuter-belt town. The film also features the famous Brookwood Necropolis.
Sponsored film198219 mins Location: Norwich
Electro-rock background music plays as engineers work on the rail lines to deliver electrification in East Anglia, for this is the “high speed eighties!”
Industry sponsored film192986 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
"Any Ware to Anywhere" - a film advertising the thoroughly modern merits of the Great Western Railway ports (e.g. Cardiff, Newport, Barry, Port Talbot, Swansea, Fishguard).
Amateur film19646 minsSilent Location: Sheringham
The very last freight train departs from Sheringham Station on 28th December 1964, following the withdrawal of the service in the wake of the Beeching Report.
News19801 minsSilent Location: Truro
The Mayor of Truro John Farndon at the launch of British Rail’s new InterCity 125 high-speed train
Amateur film19688 minsSilent Location: Cambridge
Amateur film capturing the Cambridge to St Ives Eastern Rail route prior to its closure following the Beeching Report.
Amateur film196810 minsSilent Location: Aldeburgh
Amateur filmmaker Chib Thorp captures scenic views of the Norfolk countryside and familiar landmarks as his train zips along on the Dereham Central to Norwich Thorpe rail route.
Non-Fiction19264 minsSilent Location: Welwyn Garden City
Empire News Bulletin record the Conservative Minister Neville Chamberlain at Welwyn Station's official opening ceremony.
Amateur film196121 mins Location: Yeldhams
Picturesque views of the East Anglian countryside, often the view from a train chugging along accompany the filmmaker’s wry commentary about the Birdbrook Station closure.
Industry sponsored film197418 mins
An account, in human and non-technical terms, of the electrification of the West Coast main line railway from Crewe to Glasgow
Amateur film196518 minsSilent Location: Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain
One of the last journeys on the Llanfyllin Branch Line which, like the Oswestry and Newtown Railway, was cut by Beeching in 1965, both having been in use for just over a century.
Amateur film195916 minsSilent Location: Crumlin
Owen Humberstone Prosser, an expert on railways and canals, captured the Crumlin Viaduct on film in 1959, before its demolition in 1967, a victim of the Beeching rail cuts.
News19764 mins Location: West Somerset Railway
The West Somerset Railway Company attempts to revive the line
Industry sponsored film196119 minsSilent Location: Ponteland
Interest in the renewing of railway track might be confined to a select group, but the bewildering variety of equipment on show here cannot help but impress and fascinate.
Documentary196351 mins Location: Settle
Not just a chance to see locomotives steaming over viaducts, with the axe hanging over both, here we have the full glory of the Settle to Carlisle line, and its place in rural life.
Non-Fiction196720 mins Location: Birmingham
The first electric train glides out of the rebuilt New Street Station in Birmingham - the culmination of years of engineering work that brought a new standard of travel to Britain.
Margam Marshalling Yard - the system of automatic controlMargam Marshalling Yard - the system of automatic control
Industry sponsored film196120 mins Location: Margam
Skill, ingenuity and gravity, combined with a ‘hump’ or slope, have produced Europe’s first automated yard for organising thousands of railway wagons at Margam, Port Talbot.
Non-Fiction19725 mins Location: Shrub Hill Sta
With eighty trains a day stopping at Shrub Hill station in Worcester the staff haven't become the fastest dispatchers in the West of England region for nothing.
Trying (but failing) to avoid the jokes about curled up sandwiches, John Swallow finds out if the food's really as bad on the West Coast Main Line as people say it is.
Non-Fiction19655 mins Location: Consallforge
With the railway line gone the only access to Consall Forge is via a private toll road. Will the tiny Staffordshire hamlet survive?
Non-Fiction19654 mins Location: Kineton
Dr Beeching has ensured that the last train has now departed from Kineton so what is there to do but drink tea and enjoy the quiet life?
Promotional19547 mins Location: Loughborough
Through blazing sun and monsoon rain new British built diesel locomotives keep communications open on the far off island of Ceylon.
Non-Fiction19645 mins Location: Derby
A sentimental sale or simply for profit? British Railways sells off the history that doesn't fit with the swinging sixties.
Amateur film196210 minsSilent Location: Coniston
A filmic lament to the closure of a railway line located amidst the beautiful Cumbrian countryside captured by East Anglian amateur filmmaker Ron Wing.
Documentary198726 mins Location: Norwich
There are many hands on the job as new replaces old on the Great Eastern rail route, including replacing the magnificent Trowse Swing bridge in Norwich.
Amateur film197017 minsSilent Location: Ardee
Steam locomotives await their fate as a new era dawns. Witness final working year of steam and the burgeoning nostalgic tours of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.
Documentary198224 mins Location: Norwich
1982 was a particularly bad year for rail commuters, with five weeks of rail strikes to contend with. Anglia Television asks, “What shall we do with the railways system?”
Amateur film193740 minsSilent
This stunning film by Eric J. Sparks, features a variety of steam and electric action for fans of the Southern Railway - from luxury Pullmans to humble shunters at Brighton works
Amateur film19679 minsSilent
Sit back and watch the world's only all Pullman, electric train service make its luxurious way up and down the Brighton line in this film from the mid-sixties
Amateur film195422 minsSilent Location: Mullan
Travel through the ages and experience the last horse drawn tram in Ireland. As steam and horses give way to diesel and electric witness N. Ireland whilst they still share the road.
Amateur film19617 minsSilent Location: Bala/Y Bala
A very Special goodbye to the Bala-Blaenau line organised by the Stephenson Locomotive Society.
Who Voted for This? - The Nationalisation of the RailwaysWho Voted for This? - The Nationalisation of the Railways
Campaigning film19481 mins
Little lad Sam innocently sets the scene for some stern political pronouncements on rail nationalisation
Camwell Personal Film no. 129: Shropshire and Montgomeryshire RailwayCamwell Personal Film no. 129: Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway
Amateur film19623 mins
Stephenson Locomotive Society members visit the former Colonel Stephen’s railway for a Last Day special.
Camwell Personal Film No. 61: Reopening of Welshpool & Llanfair RailwayCamwell Personal Film No. 61: Reopening of Welshpool & Llanfair Railway
Amateur film19632 mins
The Earl and Countess are in the limelight as the Welshpool and Llanfair railway is declared open as a preserved railway.
Camwell Personal Film No. 62: Welshpool Raven Square RailwayCamwell Personal Film No. 62: Welshpool Raven Square Railway
Amateur film19631 mins
A short colour glimpse of preserved Welshpool steam on the ‘other’ side of Raven Square.
Camwell Personal Film No. 44: August Bank Holiday 1959Camwell Personal Film No. 44: August Bank Holiday 1959
Amateur film19593 mins
A whistle-stop trip along Great Eastern lines as we take in many closed and long-lamented stations.
High-speed luxury travel up to 150mph: the future of rail travel is in the air and it's going to be great for British steel
Industry sponsored film195720 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Industry sponsored film19787 mins
A high speed Inter-City train is the star of this impressionist film in which picture and music are brought together to hail the arrival of 125mph regular passenger services.