Film: 5922

Railways | 1960 | Sound | B/W


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Beeching closures of branch line and loss making stations and lines 1960's

Opening scene - large railway yard. Then we see Dr. Beeching - British Rail losing vast amount of money. He then spent a year studying British Rail. Still diagram and map of U.K. Heavy traffic on rail between large industrial cities, but little in rural areas. (Half of British Rail network carries just a twentieth of the traffic). Branch lines lose money. Low demand, competition from cars. (Diagram shows this). Railway once competed with the horse - old print of horse-cabs etc. Shot of old steam train. Goods are seen moving from train to horse-van for local movements. Scenes of railway line with lorries on road, of men moving wagon in shunting yard. 'Very costly compared with lorries'. Passenger trains at branch station.

Solution is to cut rural services. Shot of buses on road and at bus-station. Beeching explains that cuts will cover most of this. Compensation for those sacked. Shots of engine-driver at work. Fast inter-city train on track. Passengers at large station board train. Train travels on long viaduct. Scenes at city station - commuters arrive a.m., later business is very slack till p.m. rush - loses money. Goods depot - marshalling yards. Coal-trains are seen at power station. Map shows road and rail routes - British Rail wants to get more traffic. Spend dedicated trains will serve big firms. Containers can move from wagon to lorry. More shots of passengers at station - ticket collectors. Beeching: 'We hope to be in profit by 1970'.

Many good shots of trains, railways, goods-yards, stations, 1960's (of changing attitudes to road versus rail transport).

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