'Steam Routes' is a series of films featuring steam traction along specific routes rather than areas, mostly using previously unseen 1960s archive film. Here our third instalment features the West Coast Main Line starting at Lancaster for the 40 mile journey to Shap Summit.
At Lancaster there are many scenes of steam activity and over at Green Ayre we also see 3-car EMUs on the Heysham line electric services. We pay a short visit to the Morecambe to Heysham line with Black 5s on service and special trains plus Lostock Hall breakdown train attending a derailment. Back to the WCML with footage at Hest Bank and its troughs. A variety of steam hauled trains pass by with some picking up water and some with overflowing tenders!
Northwards and we make an extensive visit to Carnforth and its shed. This was the main depot on this route and we show the operations there mainly in 1967 and 1968 when many Stanier Black 5s and BR Standards were being serviced as well as the last few Britannias and 9Fs. There are many scenes of the depot which even include the odd diesel: a Clayton Class 17, a blue Class 40 and Metrovick Co-Bo D5714. Scenes at the station include Bulleid 35012 on a special and Britannia 70013. Plus a very brief glimpse of B1 61306 in a siding!
We continue on through Oxenholme and climb to Grayrigg, Low Gill and Dillicar for its troughs including a view of the troughs from the 4ft! Tebay was the shed for the bankers over Shap and the climb on the 1-in-75 incline is very well covered by this new archive footage. It includes the occasional Princess Coronation, Royal Scot and Jubilee engines as well as the staple Black 5, 8Fs, 9F and Standard classes. We see a variety of passing trains, including doubleheaders and many assisted by banking engines, before we finally arrive at Shap Summit.
All the archive film used is in colour and an extensively researched commentary along with an authentic soundtrack has been added.
Produced by - B & R Video Productions
Running time - 78 Minutes