The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Choose another collection

Going Places

See Britain by train! There's no better way to explore your own country - as train companies have never been slow to remind us.

However self-serving they may have been, the promotional films made to entice the travelling public to buy tickets capture something comforting and beautiful about Britain. The railways sold dreams of travel for pleasure to beautiful places. But train journeys could be painful too, from teary everyday farewells to the heart-rending separation of families in wartime, with trains taking troops to the Front or evacuating children from the bomb-threatened cities. But later - hopefully - came the emotional reunions on station platforms.

triangle triangle
Going Places

RECOMMENDED

View Wexford Railway Station
Wexford Railway Station
Watch for free 1 mins

Wexford Railway Station 1902

A flurry of activity at Wexford Railway Station as passengers alight an Edwardian steam train.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Bicton Woodland Railway
Bicton Woodland Railway
Watch for free 1 mins

Bicton Woodland Railway 1976

Bicton Woodland Railway reopens to passengers for the summer season

1 mins United Kingdom

View Folkestone's Leas Lift Cliff Railway and the Crab & Winkle Line
Folkestone's Leas Lift Cliff Railway and the Crab & Winkle Line
Watch for free 15 mins

Folkestone's Leas Lift Cliff Railway and the Crab & Winkle Line 1955

A triple treat for rail fans is featured here with signalbox action, a seaside cliff-railway and an eerie walk along the ghost of a line - plus a bonus for aviation enthusiasts

15 mins United Kingdom

View Train Ride to Devil's Bridge
Train Ride to Devil's Bridge
Watch for free 10 mins

Train Ride to Devil's Bridge 1964

12 miles of magic as we journey on the Vale of Rheidol Railway, one of the Great Little Trains of Wales

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Alan J. Willmott

BROWSE THE COLLECTION

View Swansea, Victoria - Pontardulais Railway, 1964 (June)
Swansea, Victoria - Pontardulais Railway, 1964 (June)
Watch for free 12 mins

Swansea, Victoria - Pontardulais Railway, 1964 (June) 1964

“It would be difficult to find a more lovely train journey”, declares Swansea’s Librarian, the film-maker and narrator. Prepare to be beguiled, station by station.

12 mins Wales

View Last Train from Monmouth to Ross
Last Train from Monmouth to Ross
Watch for free 3 mins

Last Train from Monmouth to Ross 1959

Stopping for a glass of Champagne at Symonds Yat was probably against driver regulations but this is a special occasion: the last train to steam along the Wye Valley line.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Phantom Ride on the Furness Railway
Phantom Ride on the Furness Railway
Watch for free 1 mins

Phantom Ride on the Furness Railway 1900

A driver's view of the Furness Railway through Furness Abbey Tunnel and Station.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Heart of Wales Line: Swansea - Shrewsbury
Heart of Wales Line: Swansea - Shrewsbury
Watch for free 12 mins

Heart of Wales Line: Swansea - Shrewsbury 1978

A journey from Bynea to Knucklas, the sights to be seen including a sheep on the line, two viaducts (Cynghordy and Knucklas) and the Sugar Loaf Mountain.

12 mins Wales

View Welshpool and Llanfair Railway
Welshpool and Llanfair Railway
Watch for free 6 mins

Welshpool and Llanfair Railway 1978

The engines, staff, stations and passengers on this narrow gauge line opened in 1903, reduced to freight only in 1931, closed entirely in 1956 and reopened by volunteers in 1963.

6 mins Wales

View Ely to Wymondham by Train
Ely to Wymondham by Train
Watch for free 14 mins

Ely to Wymondham by Train 1968

A train journey beginning at Ely with scenic views of the Cathedral City and passing through many of the smaller stations in rural East Anglia before arriving in Wymondham.

14 mins United Kingdom

View Witham to Maldon East
Witham to Maldon East
Watch for free 13 mins

Witham to Maldon East 1957

Dusty the dog enjoys scenic views of the Essex countryside from the carriage of a passenger train, journeying with amateur filmmaker Chib Thorp.

13 mins United Kingdom

View The Tal-Y-Llyn Railway
The Tal-Y-Llyn Railway
Watch for free 10 mins

The Tal-Y-Llyn Railway 1949

The engine ‘Dolgoch’ bumps and bounces its coaches – and two teapots - along the line from Tywyn Wharf Station to Abergynolwyn, before its closure in 1950.

10 mins England

View River Ride
River Ride
Watch for free 18 mins

River Ride 1963

On the Essex line from Wivenhoe to Brightingsea, Guard Proctor checks for tickets as passengers share the wonderful view of yacht racing on the River Colne from their carriage.

18 mins United Kingdom

View Our Holiday
Our Holiday
Watch for free 11 mins

Our Holiday 1934

Mum, Dad, Toddler, and Nanny travel by train to holiday at the north Norfolk seaside in this 1934 home movie.

11 mins United Kingdom

View Great Orme Railway
Great Orme Railway
Watch for free 3 mins

Great Orme Railway 1957

Not for the faint-hearted: a high-speed version of the descent of the Great Orme, Llandudno, on the only cable-hauled, public road tramway in Britain.

3 mins England

View Twilight Time
Twilight Time
Watch for free 10 mins

Twilight Time 1968

Amateur filmmaker Chib Thorp captures scenic views of the Norfolk countryside as his train zips along on the Norwich to Sheringham rail route.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Cambrian Coast
Cambrian Coast
Watch for free 10 mins

Cambrian Coast 1940

“Dear Old Wales” awaits the holiday-makers boarding a train at Paddington Station, offering all that London lacks: “smooth sands, sparkling seas, sunshine and good clean air”.

10 mins England

View The Dart Valley Railway
The Dart Valley Railway
Watch for free 1 mins

The Dart Valley Railway 1977

The Dart Valley Railway operates a quaint steam service on the Primrose Line

1 mins United Kingdom

View Worth Valley Railway
Worth Valley Railway
Watch for free 2 mins

Worth Valley Railway 1982

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.

2 mins United Kingdom

View Dalriada and Harbour Rail Tours
Dalriada and Harbour Rail Tours
Watch for free 11 mins

Dalriada and Harbour Rail Tours 1967

Swarms of train enthusiasts steal the show as we steam round Northern Ireland.

11 mins Northern Ireland Director. A.H Martin

View Full Steam Ahead to Dublin
Full Steam Ahead to Dublin
Watch for free 11 mins

Full Steam Ahead to Dublin 1966

Take a stroll through a forgotten Belfast on your way to catch the steam train to Dublin. Experience the city centre before it is reshaped by violence and regeneration.

11 mins Northern Ireland Director. A.H Martin

View Oxted, Bowaters & Hayling Island Railways
Oxted, Bowaters & Hayling Island Railways
Watch for free 13 mins

Oxted, Bowaters & Hayling Island Railways 1961

There's plenty of steam action in this amazing quadruple bill featuring Kent's farewell to steam, a railway with combustion issues and rides on the late lamented Hayling Billy

13 mins United Kingdom

View All Aboard: Shane's Castle Railway and the Enterprise Leaves Belfast
All Aboard: Shane's Castle Railway and the Enterprise Leaves Belfast
Watch for free 3 mins

All Aboard: Shane's Castle Railway and the Enterprise Leaves Belfast 1981

Relive your memories of the Shane’s Castle railway. Inspired by the Blitz and built in the family castle ruins, Lord O’Neill’s private passion becomes a tourist attraction.

3 mins Northern Ireland

View North Norfolk Holiday Towns Lose Train Service
North Norfolk Holiday Towns Lose Train Service
Watch for free 11 mins

North Norfolk Holiday Towns Lose Train Service 1983

“I wouldn’t travel by bus. I’d go to bed instead I think!” Local News TV speak to Mrs Smith and Mrs Stebbens, passengers who find the Norwich to Sheringham train service essential.

11 mins United Kingdom

View Brighton's Volks Electric Railway
Brighton's Volks Electric Railway
Watch for free 8 mins

Brighton's Volks Electric Railway 1988

There's no smoke or steam on Brighton's Victorian electric beach railway - one of the world's oldest - though you might need to watch out for the occasional nudist

8 mins United Kingdom

View Mid Hants Railway: Alresford to Ropley
Mid Hants Railway: Alresford to Ropley
Watch for free 4 mins

Mid Hants Railway: Alresford to Ropley 1980

West Country Pacific 'Bodmin' is the star of this short film made at Hampshire's Watercress Line in 1980

4 mins United Kingdom

View Mid Hants Railway: Ropley to Alton
Mid Hants Railway: Ropley to Alton
Watch for free 2 mins

Mid Hants Railway: Ropley to Alton 1985

West Country Pacific 'Bodmin' hauls a summer service from Ropley to Alton much to the delight of visitors to the heritage railway

2 mins United Kingdom

View 488 Was Here - The Kent Coast and Bluebell Railways
488 Was Here - The Kent Coast and Bluebell Railways
Watch for free 20 mins

488 Was Here - The Kent Coast and Bluebell Railways 1972

A railway double-bill is presented here as we visit a locomotive's previous stomping ground before dropping in on its new home - the famous Bluebell Railway

20 mins United Kingdom

View Somerset & Dorset Railway
Somerset & Dorset Railway
Watch for free 18 mins

Somerset & Dorset Railway 1962

Memories of smoke and steam fill this superb film about the Somerset & Dorset during its final years of operation - and watch out for some guest stars

18 mins United Kingdom

View Isle of Wight: Calbourne Locomotive at Haven Street
Isle of Wight: Calbourne Locomotive at Haven Street
Watch for free 5 mins

Isle of Wight: Calbourne Locomotive at Haven Street 1981

The last remaining O2, number 24 'Calbourne', delights holiday makers at Haven Street Station - headquarters of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

5 mins United Kingdom

View Summer Travelling
Summer Travelling
Watch for free 2 mins

Summer Travelling 1945

Delayed trains, crowded carriages, and standing room only: Blitz spirit makes a parent's nightmare commute a walk in the park

2 mins United Kingdom Director. W.M. Larkins

View Camwell Personal Film No. 40: Ribblehead
Camwell Personal Film No. 40: Ribblehead
Watch for free 4 mins

Camwell Personal Film No. 40: Ribblehead 1959

A thinly disguised visit to the Stainmore Line, taking in the impressive tubular viaducts of Belah and Deepdale

4 mins United Kingdom Director. William Arthur Camwell

View Let's Go to Birmingham
Let's Go to Birmingham
Watch for free 6 mins

Let's Go to Birmingham 1962

Paddington to Birmingham in five and a half minutes! A sped up journey filmed from the front of the train.

6 mins United Kingdom Director. Jack West

View Midhurst Railway
Midhurst Railway
Watch for free 5 mins

Midhurst Railway 1955

Journey along the once delightful rural line between Petersfield and Midhurst in this nostalgic film from the mid-fifties

5 mins United Kingdom

View Talyllyn Holiday
Talyllyn Holiday
Watch for free 18 mins

Talyllyn Holiday 1969

A fun-filled day trip on the "historic little Welsh railway" of Talyllyn

18 mins United Kingdom Director. Peter Halket, John Adams

View Great Western Approaches
Great Western Approaches
Watch for free 16 mins

Great Western Approaches 1936

All aboard for a coastal trip - by glorious rail - from Dorset to all points west.

16 mins United Kingdom

View The Arlberg Railway
The Arlberg Railway
Watch for free 4 mins

The Arlberg Railway 1906

If you suffer from altitude sickness look away now - if not, take the scenic route over the Arlberg Pass in Austria

4 mins United Kingdom

View View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple
View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple
Watch for free 3 mins

View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple 1898

A 'phantom ride' along a fondly remembered Devon railway, crossing the distinctive Taw Bridge into Barnstaple on the way to Ilfracombe

3 mins United Kingdom

View Cyclists Special
Cyclists Special
Watch for free

Cyclists Special 1956

A wonderful short film, produced by British Transport Films, about travelling around Britain by bicycle - with the help of the odd train.

United Kingdom

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later