Watching the Trains Go By
A trackside view: see the railway as witnessed by the passenger, the enthusiast and the amateur cine-camera.
Sir John Betjeman, for one, wrote movingly about the glorious indulgence of watching trains go by. For others, the joy of this hobby was enhanced by a particular piece of equipment - hail the railway enthusiast with a cine camera! The decline of steam traction and the mass line closures of the 1950s and 60s coincided with the introduction of affordable film cameras, and many enthusiasts took to the rails to record scenes that would soon change beyond recognition. Their films, however crude or shaky, are now priceless history.
Amateur film195212 mins Location: Welshpool/Y Trallwng
Jim Fraser of Bristol, with great affection for his subject, introduces the viewer to the “quaint little railways and tramways” of Wales.
Amateur film196637 mins Location: Maldon
Shy and testy retired signalman Wally Trigg chats to amateur filmmaker and railway enthusiast Chib Thorp, as Micky the Collie happily ambles along the overgrown railway line.
Amateur film19294 minsSilent Location: Darlington
A full size replica of Robert Stephenson’s world famous locomotive, The Rocket, steams up a 1920s crowd at the North Road Works in Darlington.
Documentary196515 mins Location: Talyllyn Railway
At the heart of the Talyllyn Railway are the volunteers – e.g. schoolboys, bus drivers, actors – whose commitment ensures the line’s continuance, despite the odd derailment.
Amateur film19582 minsSilent
The West Sussex Downsman railtour visits Midhurst, eminent Victorians appear in Petersfield and part of the town's railway fabric is demolished just before its centenary
Non-Fiction19787 mins Location: Royal Leamington Spa
Church bells, organs and choirs are all sounds you'd expect to hear at a church - but what about the sound of a steam locomotive at full tilt?
John Betjeman Goes by Train: King's Lynn to HunstantonJohn Betjeman Goes by Train: King's Lynn to Hunstanton
John Betjeman revels in the pleasures of travelling along the small branch line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton.
Amateur film19743 minsSilent Location: Brighton
There's an impressive line-up of preserved steam at Brighton Station in this film from the early seventies
Amateur film196712 minsSilent Location: Cambridge
A train journey beginning at the Cambridgeshire capital and terminating at the tiny station of Kennett, where the train staff enjoy a cup of tea.
Amateur film19282 minsSilent Location: Chichester
This amazing footage captures a unique little railway at work during its declining years in the late 1920s
Amateur film19501 minsSilent Location: Carmarthen/Caerfyrddin
A young boy, fascinated by town life after being brought up in a mining village, captures on film the comings-and-goings at Carmarthen Railway Station.
Amateur film195610 minsSilent Location: Ffestiniog Railway
Coach restoration, weed killing and Bessie Jones, wearer of Welsh costume, gathering visitors for tea at her station cottage at Tan-y-Bwlch on the Ffestiniog Railway.
Trains, the Deep Dyffryn Diddler and the East Moors Works DemolitionTrains, the Deep Dyffryn Diddler and the East Moors Works Demolition
Home movie197917 minsSilent Location: St Fagans
Enthusiasts take their places in coal wagons for a tour of the NCB's internal rail network between Newport and Cardiff, the wagons hauled by both diesel and steam engines.
Amateur film195716 minsSilent Location: Ffestiniog Railway
It’s all go to get the Ffestiniog Railway back on track after its 8 year closure (1946-1954). The Ffestiniog Railway Company, the new owner, is undertaking its restoration.
Factual TV19794 mins Location: North Norfolk Railway
“It’s a living creature, not just a load of metal. It’s alive and warm - you’ve got to nurse it.” Tom fulfils his ambition to drive a steam locomotive.
Amateur film19688 mins Location: King's Lynn
A whistle-stop venture from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton via rail, in the company of Chib Thorp, amateur filmmaker and rail enthusiast from Leigh on Sea.
Amateur film196620 mins Location: Woodford Halse
Amateur filmmaker Chib Thorpe clutches his train bible – a British Railways timetable, accompanied by willing travellers, wife Edna and Micky the Border Collie.
Home movie196011 minsSilent Location: Welshpool & Llanfair Light Rly
Beware the iron horse – locomotive 822 [The Earl] – lumbering through the streets of Welshpool, no barriers to keep it at bay, and emerging, ghost-like, from its shed at night!
Amateur film193717 minsSilent Location: Dulwich
An aptly named scrapbook film featuring a train spotter's view of King's Cross around 1937, river journeys and Home Guard training
Non-Fiction19735 mins Location: Cadeby
At a vicarage in Leicestershire a little bit of the old Great Western Railway lives on.
Amateur film19773 minsSilent Location: Dorking
There's slam-door action aplenty in this film which chronicles the end of mid-Sussex expresses being routed through Dorking Station
Non-Fiction19756 mins Location: Stapleford Park
At Stapleford Park near Melton Mowbray Lord Gretton has fulfilled a dream in running his own railway.
Amateur film196212 minsSilent Location: Wrexham/Wrecsam
The last passengers to travel the Wrexham Central to Ellesmere Line on 8/9/1962 are recorded by a railway and film enthusiast.
Amateur film19883 mins Location: Belfast
Plumes of smoke join the clouds again as a steam train races across Northern Ireland. If steam trains retired in 1970 is this one is eighteen years late?
Amateur film19783 minsSilent Location: Portadown
Amateur film maker A.H. Martin captures the SS Mona’s Isle V at work two years before the ship stars for Hugh Hudson in ‘Chariots of Fire’.
Amateur film19703 minsSilent Location: Belfast
Feast your eyes on this buffet for transport lovers. Squeeze in a visit to the ‘hardboard hotel’ between your train and plane spotting.
Amateur film197427 minsSilent Location: Haywards Heath
Join these ardent amateur navvies as they attempt to double the size of the Beech Hurst Miniature Railway
Amateur film196710 minsSilent Location: Magheramorne
Celebrate the final years of steam by chasing the Spoil Train across Antrim, as yesterday’s quarry waste becomes today’s busiest motorway.
Amateur film19351 minsSilent Location: Wimbledon
Short extract from a home movie featuring children from King’s College School, Wimbledon, visiting the station and seeing the King’s Wimbledon locomotive.
Amateur film197011 minsSilent Location: Rainhill
Railways great and small, past, present and preserved - a snapshot of rail in Britain in the 1970s.
Amateur film196116 minsSilent Location: Old Oak Common
A variety of hard working Great Western motive power is on display in this impressive and atmospheric film shot during the twilight years of steam in West London
Amateur film198216 mins Location: Bluebell Railway
Steam, smoke, grime and oil add to the atmosphere of this award winning film about a day in the life of the Bluebell Railway
Amateur film19607 mins Location: Bluebell Railway
Enjoy this charming film from Trevor White which charts the birth of the Bluebell Railway - from the germ of an idea into a fully functioning steam railway
Amateur film197032 minsSilent Location: Bluebell Railway
Twenty years of the Bluebell Railway are chronicled in this film - featuring open days, journeys on low-loaders, the Golden Arrow Pullman service and even Stephenson's Rocket
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.
Non-Fiction19749 mins Location: Grosmont
Rails are lifted, fishplates fitted and keys hammered into place, as another Sir Nigel Gresley, saved from the scrapyard, gets a second life on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Non-Fiction197522 mins Location: Pickering
A railway year to remember, with celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Stockton to Darlington line, the opening of the National Railway Museum and steam engines aplenty.
Non-Fiction197614 mins Location: Grosmont
Beeching may have had his way in devastating the railway network, but thankfully many railway enthusiasts were on hand to save at least some lines, as here on the North York Moors.
Non-Fiction197710 mins Location: Pickering
All aboard the Silver Jubilee special in the company of Leon Brittan as it wends its way across the North York Moors pulled by a steam loco with the famous name of George Stephenson.
Non-Fiction19687 mins Location: Keighley
The age of steam lingers on as the `Worth Valley Railway Re-Opening Special' pulls into Keighley station, and hardly an anorak in sight.
Home movie19847 minsSilent Location: Bitterne
The Mid Wales Express is on tour with star attraction ‘Sir Haydn’, a Talyllyn Railway locomotive, the aim being to promote Wales as an ideal location for industry and tourism.
Amateur film195714 minsSilent Location: Dolgoch
Down Talyllyn way, 22/5/1957, with the Rev W V Awdry of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ fame and other Talyllyn Railway notables. J Adams films the BBC filming ‘Now’ series footage.
Documentary195713 minsSilent Location: Talyllyn Railway
P B Whitehouse, an authority on railways, extols the virtues of “the little railway” – the Talyllyn - that runs from Rhydyronen to Abergynolwyn and beyond.
Home movie19826 minsSilent Location: Talyllyn Railway
Charles and Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales, take a one-station trip on one of the country’s little trains, Charles riding in the cab from Pendre to Rhydyronen.
Amateur film19796 mins Location: Dolgoch
Alan Willmott cranks up the speed on this Talyllyn Railway Special so that those visitors who wish to “do” Wales in a day can pack more in!
Amateur film196012 minsSilent
A journey through the Valleys on the LNWR line from Nantybwch to Risca and the SLS/RCTS Scottish Rail Tour Week.
Camwell Personal Film No. 59: Diesel brake-van TourCamwell Personal Film No. 59: Diesel brake-van Tour
Amateur film19622 minsSilent
From Ipswich depot to Hadleigh station in a brake van: there's standing room only on this Ramblers special.
Camwell Personal Film No. 54: Special Last Train Kidderminster to Woofferton JunctionCamwell Personal Film No. 54: Special Last Train Kidderminster to Woofferton Junction
Amateur film196112 minsSilent
Whirlwind tour across England and into Wales through the lens of renowned railway enthusiast William Arthur 'Cam' Camwell
Amateur film19643 minsSilent Location: Paddington Sta
Panniers and Prairies work valiantly to prepare coaching stock for the West of England expresses.
Camwell Personal Film No. 106: Crewe Sorting Sidings NorthCamwell Personal Film No. 106: Crewe Sorting Sidings North
Amateur film19653 minsSilent
The wires may be up but there are plenty of steam locomotives in the Crewe area - Patriots, Black 5s and Britannias galore!
Camwell Personal Film No. 15: Blc Visit to CadburyCamwell Personal Film No. 15: Blc Visit to Cadbury
Amateur film195523 minsSilent
A reel of Midlands-based locomotive rail tours including a visit to the Cadbury’s shunter depot.
See through the eyes of a seagull who bemoans how easy it is for humans to have a day out at 'his' seaside.