However, following changes to the network in the second half of the 1990s, many of the sights we once took for granted are now just a memory.
Thanks to the cameramen who had the foresight to record these scenes from our railway history, we can still revel in those glorious days gone by.
This series of programmes will take us to classic stations, depots and other railway locations around Britain, where the locomotives, liveries and rolling stock are from an era that is now long gone.
Loco-hauled passenger and freight trains are in abundance, but we will see shunters and multiple units as well.
Volume 1 looks at three locations:
Sheffield Midland station in the three years 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Passenger trains are in the hands of Peaks, 47s and 31s but 20s and even a 25 are seen on class 1 passenger duties.
Freights and parcels traffic are also seen, with classes 45/0 and 47 in evidence.
Also seen is the 'Hills and Cities No 2' railtour of 6th June 1987 where 45029 hands over to 45062 for the run back to Euston.
We drop a few hundred miles south now to Basingstoke on Wednesday 20th August 1986.
Here we see 50s on the Exeter trains and 33s on the Salisbury's, but freights also abound with 33s and 47s and there is even a 33+73+33 triple header on a TC set!
North of the border now to Perth to see 20s, 26s, 27s, 37s and 47s in action on passenger and freight.
Ex-works 26025 is seen illustrating the new Railfreight grey livery.
As a bonus we drop down to Dunblane, Stirling and Larbert to view proceedings which include a 37 substituting for a class 27 failure.
Full captions with minimal commentary.