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.
Godfrey Davies: The Last Train from Peterchurch
Amateur film19535 minsSilent Location: Peterchurch
Railway services on the Golden Valley line in Herefordshire slip into history.
Folkestone's Leas Lift Cliff Railway and the Crab & Winkle line.
Amateur film195516 minsSilent
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
The Southern Railway Runs a Special! ...To Their Flower Show at Raynes Park
Non-Fiction19291 minsSilent Location: Raynes Park
Pint-sized propulsion on a miniature steam railway delights the young and old
Train Ride to Devil's Bridge
Travelogue196411 mins Location: Aberystwyth
12 miles of magic as we journey on the Vale of Rheidol Railway, one of the Great Little Trains of Wales
Swansea, Victoria - Pontardulais Railway, 1964 (June)
Amateur film196412 mins Location: Pontarddulais
“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.
Midland Montage: 08.01.1959: Last Train from Monmouth to Ross
Non-Fiction19593 minsSilent Location: Monmouth/Trefynwy
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.
Over the Tay Bridge on an Express Train (1901)
Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Tay Bridge
A journey across the well-known Scottish railway bridge, filmed from the engine front.
Ride from Blarney to Cork on Cork & Muskerry Light Railway (1902)
Tranquil scenes of rural Edwardian Ireland, on a rail journey with views of Blarney Castle.
Phantom Ride on the Furness Railway (1901)
Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent Location: Furness Abbey
A driver's view of the Furness Railway through Furness Abbey Tunnel and Station.
Conway Castle - panoramic view of Conway on the L.& N.W. Railway
Non-Fiction18982 minsSilent Location: Conwy Castle
Conwy's bridge, castle and station glide past, as if in a dream, in this beautiful phantom train ride film (no ghosts but apparently no train either) from 1898.
Heart of Wales Line: Swansea - Shrewsbury
Amateur film197812 minsSilent Location: Bynea
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.
Welshpool and Llanfair Railway
Amateur film19786 minsSilent Location: Llanfair Caereinion
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.
Ely to Wymondham by Train
Amateur film196815 minsSilent Location: Ely
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.
Witham to Maldon East
Amateur film195713 minsSilent Location: Witham
Dusty the dog enjoys scenic views of the Essex countryside from the carriage of a passenger train, journeying with amateur filmmaker Chib Thorp.
The Tal-Y-Llyn Railway
Amateur film194910 minsSilent Location: Talyllyn Railway
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.
Amateur film196317 mins Location: Wivenhoe
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.
Menai Strait Regatta, Amlwch Station, Irish Trawler, Slate Train Port Dinorwic
Non-Fiction196015 minsSilent Location: Menai Strait/Afon Menai
Sail (regatta, and Irish trawler hauling in whiting), rail (children and piglets at Amlwch Station) and slate (last slate train at Port Dinorwic).
Great Orme Railway
Non-Fiction19573 minsSilent Location: Llandudno
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.
Amateur film196811 minsSilent Location: Norwich
Amateur filmmaker Chib Thorp captures scenic views of the Norfolk countryside as his train zips along on the Norwich to Sheringham rail route.
Promotional194010 mins Location: Paddington Sta
“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”.
Snowy Journey from Washford to Williton
News19791 minsSilent Location: West Somerset Railway
Snowy Journey from Washford to Williton on the West Somerset Railway
The Devon Belle on the Dart Valley Railway
News19801 minsSilent Location: Staverton
The 1638 Devon Belle steams through Staverton Bridge Station
Worth 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.
Dalriada and Harbour Rail Tours
Amateur film196711 minsSilent Location: Belfast
Swarms of train enthusiasts steal the show as we steam round Northern Ireland.
Full Steam Ahead to Dublin
Amateur film196611 minsSilent Location: Belfast
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.
Oxted, Bowaters & Hayling Island Railways
Amateur film196114 mins Location: Surrey
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
All Aboard: Shane's Castle Railway and the Enterprise leaves Belfast
Amateur film19813 minsSilent Location: Randalstown
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.
Train Journey from Gateshead to Hexham
Amateur film19857 minsSilent Location: Gateshead
A train spotter takes us on a thrilling high speed ride on the Tyne Valley Line.
North Norfolk Holiday Towns Lose Train Service
News198311 mins Location: Hunstanton
“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.
Brighton's Volks Electric Railway
Amateur film198811 mins Location: Brighton
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
Mid Hants Railway: Alresford to Ropley
Amateur film19804 minsSilent Location: Watercress Line
West Country Pacific 'Bodmin' is the star of this short film made at Hampshire's Watercress Line in 1980
Mid Hants Railway: Ropley to Alton
Amateur film19852 minsSilent Location: Watercress Line
West Country Pacific 'Bodmin' hauls a summer service from Ropley to Alton much to the delight of visitors to the heritage railway
488 Was Here - The Kent Coast and Bluebell Railways
Amateur film197221 mins
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
Somerset & Dorset Railway
Amateur film196219 minsSilent
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
Isle of Wight: Calbourne Locomotive at Haven Street
Amateur film19816 minsSilent Location: Isle of Wight Steam Rly
The last remaining O2, number 24 'Calbourne', delights holiday makers at Haven Street Station - headquarters of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Animation & Artists Moving Image19451 mins
Delayed trains, crowded carriages, and standing room only: Blitz spirit makes a parent's nightmare commute a walk in the park
Camwell Personal Film No. 40: Ribblehead
Amateur film19594 minsSilent
A thinly disguised visit to the Stainmore Line, taking in the impressive tubular viaducts of Belah and Deepdale
Camwell Personal Film No. 53: Last Passenger Train Blaenau Ffestiniog - Bala
Amateur film19614 minsSilent Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Heavy clouds as the last passenger train makes its way to Blaenau Ffestiniog, with double headed panniers make light work of a heavy train
King George V and Queen Mary at a Railway Station
Leaving the station becomes a right royal affair when the King and Queen travel by train
View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple
Non-Fiction18982 minsSilent Location: Barnstaple
A 'phantom ride' along a fondly remembered Devon railway, crossing the distinctive Taw Bridge into Barnstaple on the way to Ilfracombe
Preston and District Roll of Honour, 10th Series
Roll of Honour film19152 minsSilent Location: Preston
Moving record of relatives waving a fond farewell to departing loved ones during WWI.
Travelogue195615 mins Location: Rugby
A wonderful short film, produced by British Transport Films, about travelling around Britain by bicycle - with the help of the odd train.
The Bodmin and Wadebridge Branch Railway Line
News19783 minsSilent Location: St Winnow
The last train to Wadebridge before the station closes to passenger trains
Camwell Personal Film No. 28: Sls City of Truro Swindon Works Special
Amateur film195713 minsSilent Location: Slaggyford
It's full steam ahead for the Swindon-bound City of Truro, seen through the lens of 'Cam' Camwell.