Film: 4872

Railways | 1960 | Sound | Colour

Synopsis:

John Betjeman discusses the end of steam railways in Britain. Good stills of stations including Euston. Very good where he predicts in the future ie 1970's, there will be the invention of trains travelling at 150 miles per hour with a funny model of a tubular futurist train.

"Sunday August 11th 1968 - The very last train to operate on standard gauge track pulled by a British Railways steam locomotive".
Crowds of onlookers stand on the platform and grassy banks. View of the engine taken from the window of one of the last carriages. The train steams round a bend and over a viaduct. John Betjeman tells us that the train ran from Liverpool to Carlisle and back, over the Pennines.
Montage of engine shots: the boiler is stoked, views from the cab and of the driver, the passing track, passing station platform, pressure gauges, bridges, waving people, the coal. Many people stand about with cameras and tri-pods. A young man operates a cine camera. The train steams towards and past camera. Passengers hang out of the carriage windows and the train whistles as it goes into a tunnel.
Shot of an advertising poster for an exhibition "New Trains for Old". Train buffs wander round looking at photos and models of trains and locomotives, and also paintings. One father carries his anoraked son around the exhibition. Men peer at written details by the black and white photos. The stills detail railway history and the characters involved, up to modern day with a colour photograph of passengers in first class. Moving footage of modern passenger trains - interiors and exteriors. A goods train pulls open wagons carrying cars. Wide shot of the train travelling through the countryside. A train passes along a coastline in front of terraced houses. Shot of old posters including an advertisement for Skegness. Stills of futuristic trains which would be possible in the mid 1970s - high speed - travelling up to 150mph. A railway model of one of these emerges from a tunnel.
Shots of countryside taken from a moving train. Dramatic shot of a steam train going over a viaduct and on through the countryside.


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