Film: 8309

Railways | 1960 | Sound | Colour


Fairbourne railway on the coast of Cardigan Bay, Wales 1960s.

Main line railway train pulling into a station at Fairbourne. Several people have their arms held out of the window in readiness to open the railway carriage doors. Twenty somethings dismount from penultimate carriage. Train guard stands on platform in background. People walk past railway station sign 'Fairbourne'. People walk out of the picket gate of the station and through the entrance to the Fairbourne Railway. Little train reverses into covered station. Voiceover tells us there is a train every 30 minutes on weekdays during the Summer season, which runs from Fairbourne to Penrhyn Point, a distance of two miles. It connects with the Barmouth Ferry which crosses the estuary. People get out of open carriages as others get in. The engine reverses to a line changing point. It is pushed sideways to place it on another line, and quickly steams off. Children sit in open carriage, one with an ice cream cornet.. Engine driver checks railway couplings. Guard or ticket seller sells tickets to four boys on the train. The start of the journey. Approaching the Bar next to the sea (a sand dune). Good close up of driving pistons on train. Group of smiling scouts in train. Tracking shot alongside passenger on train as we pass chalets in the sand dunes. First stop is at the bathing beach. Guard sells more tickets. Train starts off slowly. From the train we see holidaymakers us and the train. Some wear swimming costumes. Man with white poodle dog on a dog lead gets off train at Golf House stop. The Loop where two trains meet and pass one another. The Up Train. Drivers swap staff to enable train to travel on single track line. Views of the sea, coast, Barmouth Estuary and Cader Idris mountain in mid-Wales. Panning shot. Good low angle shot of train as it rounds bend and passes camera. Filmed from rear of train as we round a bend at end of ride long sand dunes, we see the rest of the train ahead of us. Slowing down. People get off train, one man carrying a pushchair. The Barmouth ferry has landed - a small wooden boat with a gang-plank leading to the sandy beach. People walk down gang-plank. Welsh flag flies from flag pole. Several boats drawn up near beach. Children in a railway carriage with their father. Little girl kisses father on cheek. He smiles. Engine and tender reverse along track. Taking engine slowly forward. Coupling engine to carriages and connecting the brake line. Boy watches as engine driver puts three small shovels of coal in coal box. Sign 'Barmouth ferry'. In motion, a close up of couplings. Nice shot along engine in motion. Man changing points. At the Loop, engine drivers change staffs, one driver standing waiting with his train. On the train the guard sits sideways in middle of train and turns a wheel with train in motion. Looking down on the driver as steam pours out behind him. At Fairbourne, the train backs into covered station. The ice cream stand in the station. Outside the shed, the diesel engine 'Dingo' passes the steam engine. It travels to Penrhyn Point. Out on the sands Dingo stops and a carriage is opened up to act as a mobile shop. The shutter is lifted up. A woman opens door and steps out holding a dog bowl with the letters R.S.P.C.A. on the side. Woman gets back in wagon. The shutters are held up with poles to act as an awning. People at the 'Shop'.
In the close season. Barmouth in the distance and with sand blown over parts of the railway line together with driftwood. On a wooded hillside a man carries a log which he throws to the bottom of the hill. The trees are silver birches. It looks like winter. The wood is cut up on the spot to be supplied as fuel to the surrounding villages. A heavily loaded lorry with many sacks and two men standing at the back drives very, very slowly down a forest track. Man holds a sack open and two other men fill the sack with logs. The heavily laden lorry drives away from the camera position. The lorry enters a village. Woman stands on her front path as a line of sheets dries on her washing line. A man walks by with a big sack of logs to deliver as fuel (It could be taken for a man delivering coal - a coalman). Another man directs man carrying sack through his front door, as he stands behind his picket fence and hedge. Man on back of lorry assists other man to pick up sack on his back. Two men at back of truck take cash or bank notes out of a biscuit tin to presumably hand as change to the householder.
Man wearing a flat cap and smoking a cigarette holds a tin of paint. He paints over the rail sign 'Fairbourne'. Men working alongside rail track mix concrete and ballast as a train passes. Children cross the line. Man paints other sign: 'Vehicles must not be parked within six feet'. Men use shovel and pick on line. Repairing track. Checking the levels of the line. Man looking down line with head resting on rail. Men use spirit level on track. Man lifts spirit level as train comes with few passengers passes. He puts level back on track. Clearing out the smoke boxes of two engines. Two men engage in boiler washing out, tube cleaning, firebox cleaning and other tasks. Man wearing engine driver's leather hat smokes a pipe as he cleans out engine. Cleaning the brass in the cab. Lying down next to engine and checking under engine. 'dingo' the diesel travels off with a full compliment of passengers. 'Prince Charles' a 4-6-0 locomotive from the Midlands visits the Fairbourne Railway. 'Count Louis' is the Fairbourne engine. They stand side by side in steam. Boy stands behind the two and looks. Engine driver on Prince Charles. Shovelling coal into the fire box. Oiling the pistons. Taking on water at the water tank. Shovelling coal in. Prince Charles steams off. Coupling up the two trains for a double header. The train pulls off. Low shot as cars pass by in foreground. Train re-enters Fairbourne at the end of journey. As train slows to a halt we see passengers on train. Views of coast. Boy looking over the estuary.

A journey from Fairbourne to Barmouth Ferry involves two of the steam locomotives and the diesel that was used on the line after WW2. Arrival at Fairbourne is behind 'GWR' '4300' 2-6-0 No 7314.

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