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Train to the Future

All change! The railways embodied the spirit of modernity in the 19th century, and technology has wrought huge changes ever since.

Railways always point ahead. At least before the digital revolution, it's hard to think of any industry so preoccupied with its own future. No other industry has survived such comprehensive change. From steam to diesel to electric and the introduction ever more sophisticated signalling, Britain's railways are always a work in progress. But passion for the railways runs so high that modernisation has always been double-edged - some still tremble at the name of Dr Beeching...

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Solutions?
Solutions?
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Solutions?

Documentary19728 mins

A musical illustration of life where road traffic chaos breeds anger and frustration, but the rail network is fast, smooth and relaxing

Farewell to Steam
Farewell to Steam
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Farewell to Steam

Amateur film19663 mins Location: Hampshire

A film maker's attempt to record the last steam-hauled passenger and freight trains running along the West of England mainline from Waterloo

Track Testing
Track Testing
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Track Testing

19768 mins

Testing times as we make a journey on board British Rail's High Speed Track Recording Coach.

Training Diesel Drivers
Training Diesel Drivers
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Training Diesel Drivers

Non-Fiction19626 mins Location: Derby

Farewell to the faithful steam war-horse as modernisation brings diesel power to the railways of Britain.

Inter-city Magic
Inter-city Magic
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Inter-city Magic

Documentary19771 mins

Not-so-special special effects add the magic touch to this kitsch British Rail commercial.

The George Bennie Railplane System of Transport
The George Bennie Railplane System of Transport
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The George Bennie Railplane System of Transport

193023 mins

High-speed luxury travel up to 150mph: the future of rail travel is in the air and it's going to be great for British steel

Inter-city 1250
Inter-city 1250
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Inter-city 1250

Travelogue19825 mins

King's Cross to Peterborough at 1250 miles per hour on board the Intercity 125

Making of Woking
Making of Woking
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Making of Woking

Amateur film198515 mins Location: Woking

An award winning amateur film tracing the transformation of Woking, from open heath to modern commuter-belt town. The film also features the famous Brookwood Necropolis.

Woman Train Driver
Woman Train Driver
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Woman Train Driver

News19803 mins Location: West Somerset Railway

Amy enters traditional male preserve of train driving

Anglia Electrification
Anglia Electrification
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Anglia Electrification

Sponsored film198219 mins Location: Norwich

Electro-rock background music plays as engineers work on the rail lines to deliver electrification in East Anglia, for this is the “high speed eighties!”

Great Western Ports
Great Western Ports
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Great Western Ports

Industry sponsored film192986 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd

"Any Ware to Anywhere" - a film advertising the thoroughly modern merits of the Great Western Railway ports (e.g. Cardiff, Newport, Barry, Port Talbot, Swansea, Fishguard).

Last Goods Train from Sheringham
Last Goods Train from Sheringham
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Last Goods Train from Sheringham

Amateur film19646 mins Location: Sheringham

The very last freight train departs from Sheringham Station on 28th December 1964, following the withdrawal of the service in the wake of the Beeching Report.

The Introduction of the InterCity 125 to Truro
The Introduction of the InterCity 125 to Truro
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The Introduction of the InterCity 125 to Truro

News19801 mins Location: Truro

The Mayor of Truro John Farndon at the launch of British Rail’s new InterCity 125 high-speed train

Cambridge - St Ives
Cambridge - St Ives
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Cambridge - St Ives

Amateur film19688 mins Location: Cambridge

Amateur film capturing the Cambridge to St Ives Eastern Rail route prior to its closure following the Beeching Report.

Threat of Closure
Threat of Closure
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Threat of Closure

Amateur film196810 mins Location: Aldeburgh

Amateur filmmaker Chib Thorp captures scenic views of the Norfolk countryside and familiar landmarks as his train zips along on the Dereham Central to Norwich Thorpe rail route.

Enterprise
Enterprise
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Enterprise

Amateur film19703 mins Location: Belfast

There are no signs of steam locomotives as amateur film maker A. H. Martin captures a new age in rail travel.

Neville Chamberlain Opens New Railway Station
Neville Chamberlain Opens New Railway Station
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Neville Chamberlain Opens New Railway Station

Non-Fiction19264 mins Location: Welwyn Garden City

Empire News Bulletin record the Conservative Minister Neville Chamberlain at Welwyn Station's official opening ceremony.

Any More For Birdbrook?
Any More For Birdbrook?
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Any More For Birdbrook?

Amateur film196121 mins Location: Yeldhams

Picturesque views of the East Anglian countryside, often the view from a train chugging along accompany the filmmaker’s wry commentary about the Birdbrook Station closure.

Wires over the Border
Wires over the Border
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Wires over the Border

Industry sponsored film197418 mins

An account, in human and non-technical terms, of the electrification of the West Coast main line railway from Crewe to Glasgow

Jan 14 1965 Llanfyllin to Oswestry Branch Line
Jan 14 1965 Llanfyllin to Oswestry Branch Line
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Jan 14 1965 Llanfyllin to Oswestry Branch Line

Amateur film196518 mins Location: Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain

One of the last journeys on the Llanfyllin Branch Line which, like the Oswestry and Newtown Railway, was cut by Beeching in 1965, both having been in use for just over a century.

Owen Humberstone Prosser - Ebbw Vale
Owen Humberstone Prosser - Ebbw Vale
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Owen Humberstone Prosser - Ebbw Vale

Amateur film195916 mins Location: Crumlin

Owen Humberstone Prosser, an expert on railways and canals, captured the Crumlin Viaduct on film in 1959, before its demolition in 1967, a victim of the Beeching rail cuts.

The West Somerset Railway Company Part I
The West Somerset Railway Company Part I
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The West Somerset Railway Company Part I

News19764 mins Location: West Somerset Railway

The West Somerset Railway Company attempts to revive the line

The West Somerset Railway Company Part 2
The West Somerset Railway Company Part 2
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The West Somerset Railway Company Part 2

News19766 mins Location: West Somerset Railway

West Somerset Railway in reshuffle

The West Somerset Railway Company Part 3
The West Somerset Railway Company Part 3
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The West Somerset Railway Company Part 3

News19783 mins Location: Taunton

West Somerset Railway forestalls closure

Plant Display, Ponteland, June 1961
Plant Display, Ponteland, June 1961
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Plant Display, Ponteland, June 1961

Industry sponsored film196119 mins Location: Ponteland

Interest in the renewing of railway track might be confined to a select group, but the bewildering variety of equipment on show here cannot help but impress and fascinate.

The Long Drag
The Long Drag
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The Long Drag

Documentary196351 mins Location: Settle

Not just a chance to see locomotives steaming over viaducts, with the axe hanging over both, here we have the full glory of the Settle to Carlisle line, and its place in rural life.

Your New Railway
Your New Railway
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Your New Railway

Non-Fiction196720 mins Location: Birmingham

The first electric train glides out of the rebuilt New Street Station in Birmingham - the culmination of years of engineering work that brought a new standard of travel to Britain.

Margam Marshalling Yard - the system of automatic control
Margam Marshalling Yard - the system of automatic control
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Margam Marshalling Yard - the system of automatic control

Industry sponsored film196120 mins Location: Margam

Skill, ingenuity and gravity, combined with a ‘hump’ or slope, have produced Europe’s first automated yard for organising thousands of railway wagons at Margam, Port Talbot.

Great Central Railway
Great Central Railway
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Great Central Railway

Non-Fiction19625 mins Location: Chesterfield

Doctor Beeching sounds the death knell for the Great Central main line.

Shrub Hill Railway Station
Shrub Hill Railway Station
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Shrub Hill Railway Station

Non-Fiction19725 mins Location: Shrub Hill Sta

With eighty trains a day stopping at Shrub Hill station in Worcester the staff haven't become the fastest dispatchers in the West of England region for nothing.

Railway Catering
Railway Catering
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Railway Catering

Non-Fiction19796 mins

Trying (but failing) to avoid the jokes about curled up sandwiches, John Swallow finds out if the food's really as bad on the West Coast Main Line as people say it is.

Consall Village
Consall Village
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Consall Village

Non-Fiction19655 mins Location: Consallforge

With the railway line gone the only access to Consall Forge is via a private toll road. Will the tiny Staffordshire hamlet survive?

Kineton Signal Box
Kineton Signal Box
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Kineton Signal Box

Non-Fiction19654 mins Location: Kineton

Dr Beeching has ensured that the last train has now departed from Kineton so what is there to do but drink tea and enjoy the quiet life?

To Build an Island's Future
To Build an Island's Future
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To Build an Island's Future

Promotional19547 mins Location: Loughborough

Through blazing sun and monsoon rain new British built diesel locomotives keep communications open on the far off island of Ceylon.

Sale of Railway Fittings
Sale of Railway Fittings
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Sale of Railway Fittings

Non-Fiction19645 mins Location: Derby

A sentimental sale or simply for profit? British Railways sells off the history that doesn't fit with the swinging sixties.

The End Of A Line
The End Of A Line
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The End Of A Line

Amateur film196210 mins Location: Coniston

A filmic lament to the closure of a railway line located amidst the beautiful Cumbrian countryside captured by East Anglian amateur filmmaker Ron Wing.

On Line into the Nineties
On Line into the Nineties
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On Line into the Nineties

Documentary198726 mins Location: Norwich

There are many hands on the job as new replaces old on the Great Eastern rail route, including replacing the magnificent Trowse Swing bridge in Norwich.

The Swansong of Steam
The Swansong of Steam
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The Swansong of Steam

Amateur film197017 mins Location: Ardee

Steam locomotives await their fate as a new era dawns. Witness final working year of steam and the burgeoning nostalgic tours of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

Anglia Reports - Railways Transport Special
Anglia Reports - Railways Transport Special
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Anglia Reports - Railways Transport Special

Documentary198224 mins Location: Norwich

1982 was a particularly bad year for rail commuters, with five weeks of rail strikes to contend with. Anglia Television asks, “What shall we do with the railways system?”

Lostwithiel Railway Station in disrepair
Lostwithiel Railway Station in disrepair
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Lostwithiel Railway Station in disrepair

News19761 mins Location: Lostwithiel

Lostwithiel Station in British Railways waiting room

Southern Railway
Southern Railway
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Southern Railway

Amateur film193740 mins

This stunning film by Eric J. Sparks, features a variety of steam and electric action for fans of the Southern Railway - from luxury Pullmans to humble shunters at Brighton works

Southern Electric Brighton Belle Pullman
Southern Electric Brighton Belle Pullman
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Southern Electric Brighton Belle Pullman

Amateur film19679 mins

Sit back and watch the world's only all Pullman, electric train service make its luxurious way up and down the Brighton line in this film from the mid-sixties

The Last Horse-Drawn Tram in Ireland
The Last Horse-Drawn Tram in Ireland
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The Last Horse-Drawn Tram in Ireland

Amateur film195422 mins Location: Mullan

Travel through the ages and experience the last horse drawn tram in Ireland. As steam and horses give way to diesel and electric witness N. Ireland whilst they still share the road.

Rush Hour
Rush Hour
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Rush Hour

Documentary19703 mins

Rush hour at Waterloo Station is condensed into three minutes in this breakneck short from Nick Nicholls.

The Last Train to Blaenau 22.1.61
The Last Train to Blaenau 22.1.61
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The Last Train to Blaenau 22.1.61

Amateur film19617 mins Location: Bala/Y Bala

A very Special goodbye to the Bala-Blaenau line organised by the Stephenson Locomotive Society.

Belief in the Future
Belief in the Future
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Belief in the Future

Training film/TV programme197614 mins

Gripping speech to railway staff by British Rail chief Peter Parker offers a 1970s view of the future.

In Case of Fire
In Case of Fire
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In Case of Fire

Non-Fiction19311 mins

In case of fire, call Mr Morris’ baby fire engine, demonstrated here in the grounds of Cowley works.

Locomotive Jubilee
Locomotive Jubilee
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Locomotive Jubilee

Documentary19626 mins

Prince Phillip drives a Warship loco at an exhibition of locomotive development held at Marylebone Station.

Railways Today
Railways Today
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Railways Today

Documentary194716 mins

Is nationalisation the answer to Britain's post-war railway problems? The Labour government thinks so.

Using Tops
Using Tops
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Using Tops

Industry sponsored film197819 mins

British Rail freight movement made fascinating - and fun.

Who Voted for This? - The Nationalisation of the Railways
Who Voted for This? - The Nationalisation of the Railways
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Who Voted for This? - The Nationalisation of the Railways

Campaigning film19481 mins

Little lad Sam innocently sets the scene for some stern political pronouncements on rail nationalisation

Camwell Personal Film no. 129: Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway
Camwell Personal Film no. 129: Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway
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Camwell Personal Film no. 129: Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway

Amateur film19623 mins

Stephenson Locomotive Society members visit the former Colonel Stephen’s railway for a Last Day special.

Camwell Personal Film No. 61: Reopening of Welshpool & Llanfair Railway
Camwell Personal Film No. 61: Reopening of Welshpool & Llanfair Railway
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Camwell Personal Film No. 61: Reopening of Welshpool & Llanfair Railway

Amateur film19632 mins

The Earl and Countess are in the limelight as the Welshpool and Llanfair railway is declared open as a preserved railway.

Camwell Personal Film No. 62: Welshpool Raven Square Railway
Camwell Personal Film No. 62: Welshpool Raven Square Railway
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Camwell Personal Film No. 62: Welshpool Raven Square Railway

Amateur film19631 mins

A short colour glimpse of preserved Welshpool steam on the ‘other’ side of Raven Square.

Camwell Personal Film No. 44: August Bank Holiday 1959
Camwell Personal Film No. 44: August Bank Holiday 1959
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Camwell Personal Film No. 44: August Bank Holiday 1959

Amateur film19593 mins

A whistle-stop trip along Great Eastern lines as we take in many closed and long-lamented stations.