British Railways - The Early Years - 1948 to 1961

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British Railways - The Early Years: 1948 to 1961


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This is the original release from 2010, available exclusively from Videoscene.

This is a definitive archive film led history of the early years of Britain's nationalised rail network.

With Colin Divall - Professor of Railway Studies and Head of the Institute Of Railway Studies And Transport History at York University and the National Railway Museum.

Post-War, the 'Big Four' Railway companies struggled with a backlog of maintenance of permanent way, engines and rolling stock borne of the under-investment and acute demands made on them during the Second World War.

Nationalisation as 'British Railways' came in 1948 and brought with it steam locomotive standardisation and the beginnings of the wholesale transition to diesel and electric traction as outlined in the 1955 Modernisation Plan.

The story of this time of intense and controversial change is told in definitive detail with archive film, period newsreels and testimony and interviews with both railwaymen and railway historians.

Among the locomotives featured are the A4 Pacific Class, the First diesel-electric loco no. 10000, the BR standard Britannia class, 9F class 'Evening Star', the Deltic prototype, the Peak D1, D.M.U's, Warships, Westerns, the Blue Pullman and the Glasgow Blue Electrics.


  • The formation of the British Transport Commission
  • A review of post-nationalisation motive power and the locomotive trials
  • An overview of the resulting BR Standard Class steam locomotives
  • The 1955 'Modernisation Plan'
  • First generation diesel-electric locomotives
  • The Western Region diesel-hydraulics
  • The relative merits of steam and diesel traction
  • Various suburban electrification schemes
  • Freight, marshalling yards, goods depots, mail trains, cars by rail and many more...


  • Alan Pegler OBE - railway preservation pioneer and saviour of the Flying Scotsman
  • Jim Rees of the National Railway Museum
  • Engine drivers of the mainline steam era John Fletcher and Ted Abear

Produced by - Strike Force Entertainment
Running time - 163 Minutes
DVD only
Released - 2010 & 2017

Browse DVD Producers


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