Setting off from Paddington this films visits the busy steam depot at Old Oak Common, where a variety of ex Great Western locomotives can be seen arriving and departing after taking on coal and water. Among the motive power seen are Kings, Castles, and Halls as well as numerous saddle and pannier tanks. There is some amazing footage filmed on the footplate while travelling back and forth along the West London line, with calls at Kensington [Olympia] and Clapham Junction.
This film is all the more remarkable because it shows steam enthusiasts being given access to the depot at Old Oak Common as well as signal boxes and engine footplates with, one imagines, the encouragement of their crews as well as other railway staff. This generous level of access has enabled the enthusiasts to capture some amazing scenes of working locomotives - whilst both stationary and travelling up and down the line - including shots through the cab's spectacle windows that give the driver's and fireman's point-of-view. Also notice how railway paraphernalia, like semaphore signals, water columns and coaling stations, now long disappeared, all adds to the nostalgic atmosphere of railway steam.
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.