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

Old Steam Railways
Old Steam Railways

Old Steam Railways 1938


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Old Steam Railways 1938

16 mins United Kingdom

Spanning several decades this remarkable film by Eric J. Sparks, takes us along a number of rural railway lines in West Sussex. Beginning with the route from Pulborough to Petersfield via Midhurst before going to the line from Horsham to Shoreham. There are treats in store including several Brighton Atlantics on the mainline, Brighton Terriers crossing the road and various tank engines engaged on motor-trains. A train carrying giraffes also puts in an appearance.

This film by the late Eric J. Sparks, provided by Robert Bamberough, features numerous M7s, D1s and D1Ms, Ivatt Class 2 tank engines, Wainwright H Class engines, Drummond Bulldogs, Billinton Large Radial tanks engines, British Rail Standard Class 4MT tanks, a lone Brighton Terrier and a number of the famous Brighton Atlantics speeding past on Southern lines. Many of the stations seen in the film have long since disappeared, though a number have been converted into domestic dwellings. The station at Fittleworth is one such example. Midhurst Station, however, has been completely erased and today the site it once occupied is covered by a housing estate.

Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.


Amateur film


Villages Countryside Rivers Railway stations Steam trains Steam trains Women


Romance of Rail




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

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