121 hours of unused and unseen railway film, recorded between 1981 and 1999! This is NOT something you come across every day of the week!
And… not just any old film… good quality stuff, all recorded with the original audio on tripod-mounted cameras. This is the work of Midlands-based cameramen Paul Forsyth and John Wilkinson.
Starting at the dawn of the 1980s with the likes of Class 03s at Newcastle, Class 25s around Bescot and 40s and 45s in North Wales right through to the end of the century, Sectorisation and Privatisation, why wait until now to release it? "We never intended for the footage to be used commercially" said John. "We were just two enthusiasts out enjoying our hobby and shooting video".
Having approached Videoscene with the idea of releasing the footage on DVD, a year later, the first in the series is to be launched in May 2018. If successful there will be two per year.
Going under the title of British Rail Motive Power 1981-1999, it’s not just diesels and electrics whizzing past the camera, says John. "Paul has an eye for detail. As well as signals and signal boxes, he was keen to record more mundane things like mail being loaded, train spotters trying to 'cab' an engine, passengers alighting, architecture and infrastructure".
Locations on this first DVD include York and Newcastle before the wires, Bescot when it was still a very busy yard and other well known stations and yards, now completely changed, modernised or gone altogether!
Volume 1 goes countrywide with footage from Manchester Victoria, Crewe and Chester; Birmingham New Street, Loughborough and Penistone; Chesterfield, Doncaster and Llandudno Junction; Exeter, Taunton and Weymouth and at these locations we see Class 03 and 08 shunters, 20s, 25s and 31s, 37s, 40s, 45s and 47s, 50s, 55s and 56s, plus 76s, HSTs, DMUs and EMUs.
With 2018 marking the 60th anniversary of the Class 40, this first DVD includes a number of these locos working passenger trains, freight and even being towed for scrap; and from 21st May 1983 comes the "Wessex Whistler Railtour" with 40001 from York to Westbury. Were you on board?
With detailed attention to sound and picture quality, carefully edited and presented in a simple, no-nonsense format, with on-screen dates and locations accompanied by a 12-page booklet of train and loco details, British Rail Motive Power 1981-1999 is a superb new series.
Aimed at anybody who was there 'in the day' and wants to relive the golden years of BR Blue and beyond, these new must-have titles will build into a collection spanning almost 30 years of traditional British-built diesels and electrics, long lost coach and wagon types, freight flows and loco hauled trains and a long gone railway scene… get your copy now!
Highlights of this first title include:
The North West: Pairs of 76s on coal, Class 506 EMUs at Guide Bridge, 40094 at Man Vic and brand new 56024 with 47640 at Chester.
West Midlands: At New Street, 45107+45122, Class 210 DMUs and D200 on the Christmas Cracker railtour in 1985. Snow footage from Proof House Jct.
Midland Mainline: Various 45s at Loughborough and Sileby.
Sheffield area: 37s on coal and steel, 97201 (ex-24061) on a test train and 56072 on an MGR.
East Coast Mainline: Deltics at Woodcroft, 20015 on vans at York, 03094 at Newcastle and 47814 at Doncaster.
Around Llandudno: 40063 on a Freightliner plus 40130, 40036, 40106 and 40009. Railfreight 37686+37683 on ballast and 37/4s from 1995.
The South West: 47436 at Taunton and 33110+33208 at Exeter.
The Wessex Whistler Railtour: On board, in the cab and at stations with 40001 from 21st May 1983.
Produced by - Train Crazy
Running time - 76 minutes
Format - 4:3
Released - May 2018