This film is part of Free

A4s at Haymarket

Watch these once mighty streamliners still hard at work in steam's twilight years

Amateur film 1963 17 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This deeply atmospheric and evocative film visits the last redoubt of the once mighty Gresley A4 streamlined locomotives. After their displacement by diesels, these magnificent engines were re-located to Edinburgh's Haymarket shed, working out their final days on menial duties until their appointment with the cutter's torch. Despite the obvious neglect and grimy state of all the engines on show, they still look sublimely beautiful in snow and the setting winter sun.

While most of the locomotives seen in this film met their end in a breaker's yard, two managed to escape the cutter's torch and can be seen restored to their former glory to this very day. Class A4 Pacific 60004 Union of South Africa is privately owned, and is one of six A4s which survived the end of steam, while former North British Railway J36 65243 is currently on display at the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway.