This film is part of Free

Old Steam Railways

Enjoy this nostalgic steam-hauled jaunt through the West Sussex countryside as we travel on rural lines soon to suffer the Beeching axe.

Amateur film 1938 17 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Spanning several decades this remarkable film by Eric J. Sparks, takes us along a number of rural railway lines in West Sussex. Beginning with the route from Pulborough to Petersfield via Midhurst before going to the line from Horsham to Shoreham. There are treats in store including several Brighton Atlantics on the mainline, Brighton Terriers crossing the road and various tank engines engaged on motor-trains. A train carrying giraffes also puts in an appearance.

This film by the late Eric J. Sparks, provided by Robert Bamberough, features numerous M7s, D1s and D1Ms, Ivatt Class 2 tank engines, Wainwright H Class engines, Drummond Bulldogs, Billinton Large Radial tanks engines, British Rail Standard Class 4MT tanks, a lone Brighton Terrier and a number of the famous Brighton Atlantics speeding past on Southern lines. Many of the stations seen in the film have long since disappeared, though a number have been converted into domestic dwellings. The station at Fittleworth is one such example. Midhurst Station, however, has been completely erased and today the site it once occupied is covered by a housing estate.