This film is part of Free
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Blue Pullman shows one of British Railways’ 90 mph diesel-electric Pullman trains (the forerunner of today’s Inter-City 125’s) in construction and in action. It was said to be the businessman’s train and was designed with his needs in view and with an eye to masculine comfort and taste. The layout, in spite of the need for economy of space, gave a sense of roominess and ease. The train featured adjustable seats, condensation-free double-glazed windows, air conditioning (a first for British trains), fluorescent lighting and noise/vibration insulation. A journey on this train, where relaxation and ease were of vital importance, where each car was a restaurant car and meals served at passengers’ tables, was intended to be a pleasure.
This was a troublesome film in terms of production, as it was only in October 1959 that the unit learned that a film was required and that it would be needed for screening at the launch of the service in January 1960. Shooting began immediately although production was hampered by the persistent development faults that dogged the new train. Shooting halted while the faults were put right and the launch of the service was postponed until the summer, giving BTF the opportunity to go back and develop the script further. With stunning aerial footage taken before the introduction of the low-flying embargo and wearing a shining coat of Technicolor, the film achieved the distinction of opening at the Odeon Marble Arch on the same morning as the Pullman service began in June 1960. Blue Pullman ran at the Odeon for 3 weeks and won numerous awards on the festival circuit.