This film is part of Free

Remodelling Church Fenton North Junction

With not a high vis vest in sight, dozens of men in overcoats, welding shovels and crowbars, seemingly just lolling around, get to work replacing large sections of railway track.

Industry sponsored film 1948 15 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


With so much essential maintenance work being neglected because of wartime exigencies, there was a backlog of work for railway engineers. With nationalisation British Rail took over on 1st January 1948, and the work proceeds apace here in Church Fenton in the autumn of that year, with a major renewal of track. The whole enterprise is characterised by a lack of proper workwear, with little evidence of concern for health and safety, and is seemingly massively over-staffed.

This is one of a large collection of films created by the Photographic Unit of the Chief Civil Engineer of the LNER in York, and his successors on British Railways. The films were inherited by the track renewals company Fastline in 1996, and when Fastline was sold to Jarvis in 1999 the films were sold on to Andrew Dow and Richard Hall who took over the running of Fastline Photographic Ltd in 2010. Church Fenton Junction was very busy at this time, although traffic had significantly reduced from pre-war levels. As well having a line to Harrogate, which closed in 1964, it also catered for the large Royal Ordnance factory at Thorp Arch which was built in 1940.