Never before seen on DVD, the first Oakwood programmes, marking the last 20 months of BR main line steam, are back by popular demand – complete with improved picture quality, maps, sound and the benefit of DVD navigation.
Covering the last eight months of BR main line steam, when increasing diesel availability led to less and less work for BR’s run-down steam locomotives, by now all operating from LMR sheds in north-west England. The story begins on New Year’s Day 1968 with a motive power survey and steam depot directory.
Bygone Buxton – Classic archive of the last week of steam at Buxton, one of just 13 depots to retain a steam allocation into 1968, finds Stanier ‘8F’ 2-8-0s in the snow, bathed in sunshine!
Daily Duties – Some of the more interesting duties include Manchester’s last regular steam-hauled express, the ‘Belfast Boat Express’ between Heysham and Manchester (Victoria). Also featured is freight around Carnforth, ‘Black Fives’ and ‘8Fs’ on a variety of traffic, and other locations include Preston, Bolton, Lostock Hall, and Manchester.
Rose Grove in Retrospect – A tribute to Rose Grove shed in Burnley, including reminiscences from Desmond Melia (Running Shift Foreman) and Jim Walker (the last fireman on a Rose Grove engine). Archive of Rose Grove duties includes the Padiham trip, the Wyre Dock coal trains, steam on shed, and scenes from the cab of an ‘8F’ as it powers towards Copy Pit summit, all complimented by then & now views.
1968 – A Special Year – As booked freight and passenger services declined, the railtour programme increased, preserved ‘A3’ Flying Scotsman on the East Coast main line contrasting with the BR railtour scene. Star attraction in this section is the last Pacific in BR ownership, No 70013 Oliver Cromwell, but also included is the last named ‘Black Five’, BR Standard 4-6-0s, and a score of double-headed tours on the penultimate weekend.
The End of an Era – At Fifteen Guineas – On 11 August 1968 Nos 45110, 44781, 44871 and 70013 Oliver Cromwell were chosen for the last BR steam railtour, the ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ from Liverpool (Lime Street) to Carlisle via Manchester (Victoria), Blackburn, and the Settle & Carlisle route, and return. This brought down the final curtain on BR-owned standard gauge steam. Classic British Transport Films archive complements amateur lineside action.
Produced by - Oakwood Video Library
Running time - 59 Minutes
Aspect Ratio - 4:3
Released - 2016