The countrywide lockdown in the spring of 2020 posed a few problems for our Big Freight series. As a 'non-essential' project and with many freight trains cancelled, it wasn't possible to complete Big Freight 23. Instead, it's time for reflection and a look back over the past 20-years and the first 22 titles in this series with a special 'Best of…' programme.
Sifting through more than 200-hours of film, this title features the best of the action from the last two decades. The 'Best of'… is presented in the format of long lost liveries, locos and flows, big heavy trains, small trains, double, triple and quadruple headers, thrash and so much more; the Director has chosen the best of the best and this is it!
Presented in a year-by-year format, it all starts at Merehead Quarry in 2001 with 59102 and 7A09 to Acton, which was (and probably still is) the heaviest train in the country - this was the first sequence on Big Freight 1. In the last 20-years of UK freight, we've seen a small company called GBRf acquire a few 66s, Classes 56 and 60 are almost wiped out but make a return, the 58 goes altogether, Eddie and Engine and the Tesco train is the new flow of 2006 whilst pairs of 50-year old Class 20s ply the Cumbrian Coast.
Advenza, Fragonset and Fastline come and go, a BR green Class 09 runs along the streets of Manchester, 86501 is a sub-class of its own, 73s and 90s work mail trains, 57/3s on log trains, Colas 56s to Boston, DCR Class 56s on scrap and the GB explosion - coal, biomass, containers, stone…
Enter the Class 70s, then the 68s, then the 88s and we're into the second decade of the 21st Century. Class 37s return for Colas, the GB Class 66 fleet almost reaches 100 and with ROG and DCR, by the year 2020, there's lots of colour and variety in the UK freight scene.
Filmed at many of Britain's finest locations including Barnetby, the S&C, Dawlish, Peak Forest, Cumbria, Westbury, North Wales, Severn Tunnel, the Scottish Highlands and numerous freight-only lines, this four hour title is crammed full with the finest freight!
Great trains, great locations, great days out, signals and semaphores, junctions and stations, sunshine and night time… This is the Best of Big Freight, and it's also a look at two decades of the ever-changing rail freight scene in Britain.
Produced by - Train Crazy
Running time - 264 minutes
Format - 16:9 widescreen
DVD (2 discs) and Blu-Ray (2 discs)
Released - May 2020