Set up in 1977, the North West Film Archive preserves moving images made in or about Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria and offers a variety of access services to users in the public, academic and commercial sectors.
This film is part of Free
Railways - Derelict and Preserved
Come and see Rocket 150, and visit a selection of railway locations, past and preserved.
Amateur film 1975 33 mins Silent
From the collection of:
A beautifully shot compilation of colour footage of British railway history. We visit the 1980 cavalcade of steam engines at Rainhill to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Manchester to Liverpool line, and take a look at engines in the sheds at the Steamtown railway museum in Carnforth. The film also records the remains of early railways as well as preserved lines in Shropshire and Devon.
Building a British Railway
Documentary 1959 17 mins
This poetic Free Cinema documentary, filmed near Manchester, reflects on the changing world of the engineman.
Non-Fiction 1976 7 mins Location: Bridgnorth
Is Chris Tarrant up to shovelling a ton and a half of coal to keep the fire burning and the steam up between Bridgnorth and Bewdley?
Industry sponsored film 1939 45 mins Silent Location: Northampton
With the horrific effects of gas warfare still fresh in the memory, rubberised men – like extras from a 1950s British sci fi movie – prepare for more, with 1940s attention to detail.
Industry sponsored film 1974 18 mins
An account, in human and non-technical terms, of the electrification of the West Coast main line railway from Crewe to Glasgow
Documentary 1955 10 mins Location: Bleathgill
Snowploughs are readied to rescue a snowbound train - in one of the most popular of all British Transport Films.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
Telling the story of four British Road Services drivers who lived and worked together for two years.
Non-Fiction 1980 11 mins Location: Rainhill
Rocket 150 was a celebration and re-enactment on 24th, 25th and 26th May 1980 on the 150th anniversary of the Rainhill Trials.
Amateur film 1970 11 mins Silent Location: Rainhill
Railways great and small, past, present and preserved - a snapshot of rail in Britain in the 1970s.
Documentary 2021 13 mins
A poetic response to the experience of the Coronavirus pandemic, drawing on the collections of 12 UK film archives.
Promotional 2021 1 mins
The 65th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.
1955 17 mins Location: Brighton
Kids face the closure of their Brighton playground but fight back to reclaim it, with a little help from the iconic Volks Railway
Children's 1954 59 mins Location: Goudhurst
Child actor Mandy Miller shines in this children's adventure set in the traditional hop picking season in Kent.
Drama 2020 4 mins
A driver tries some small talk to connect with his Uber passenger, but ends up raising bigger issues.
Performance 1979 36 mins Location: Liverpool
Black music and culture in the community
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location