Romance of Rail
The passionate affair between film and the train has given us some of the most moving moving images ever shot.
There's something inherently romantic about rail travel. Lovers parting and reuniting; long journeys to exotic places; the rush past beautiful scenery; chance encounters (brief or otherwise) in station cafes, dining cars or private compartments - and that's before we get to the Freudian symbolism of trains and tunnels... No wonder filmmakers of all kinds have embraced trains so passionately. And of course the trains themselves, especially in steam's golden age, have a romance all their own, now preserved in celluloid forever.
The Kiss in the Tunnel
The earliest film kiss held by the BFI National Archive is this stolen smooch aboard a steam train, an important example of Victorian film.
The Great Barrier
Ambitious, stirring British Western that pits man against the elements in the battle to drive a railway through the Canadian Rockies
The Liverpool Railway Centenary
Non-Fiction19301 minsSilent Location: Liverpool
Transports of delight as the Liverpool and Manchester Railway celebrates its centenary
Journey on the Coronation Scot
Amateur film193712 minsSilent Location: Euston Sta
Princess Alice' hauls her passengers to Scotland aboard the streamlined Coronation Scot in this dazzling film from the late 1930s
Pathways of Perfection
The Royal Scot, the Flying Scotsman, the Cornish Riviera and the Golden Arrow: famous trains considered to be upholders of a great British tradition
Animation & Artists Moving Image19669 mins Location: Barry/Barri
Impressionistic homage to the sound and fury of the steam engine, creating an illusion – a dream – of a locomotive rising again from the Barry scrapyard.
Old Steam Railways
Amateur film193817 minsSilent
Enjoy this nostalgic steam-hauled jaunt through the West Sussex countryside as we travel on rural lines soon to suffer the Beeching axe.
Petworth, Midhurst & Petersfield Line
Amateur film195520 minsSilent Location: West Sussex
The twenty miles of rural railway that once lay between Pulborough and Petersfield is wonderfully immortalised in this film from the mid-fifties
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.
Heywood, Lancs. and Chesterfield Celebrations
Non-Fiction19481 mins Location: Heywood
A centenary commemoration of George Stephenson - the father of the railway.
Documentary193624 mins Location: Euston Sta
The flagship of the GPO Film Unit's output and a cornerstone of British documentary, featuring music by Benjamin Britten and the verse of W.H. Auden.
NYMR News No. 1
Non-Fiction19734 mins Location: Pickering
No money incentives required for the dedicated volunteers bringing the defunct Whitby to Pickering up to speed for re-opening, and for the arrival of the iconic Flying Scotsman.
195517 mins Location: Brighton
Kids face the closure of their Brighton playground but fight back to reclaim it, with a little help from the iconic Volks Railway