Our 'Steam Still at Work' series of films (formerly called 'Return to Steam) features the steam scene after the end of main line steam on British Railways in 1968. The series continues until the 'Return to Steam' tours on BR in October 1971. In this second part, we cover the period 1968 to 1969 and include some preserved railways that started then. Their early preservation scenes contrast starkly with what we see today! From 1968 to 1971, 4472 'Flying Scotsman' was the only steam loco permitted on the main line and so we feature a number of its tours.
We begin, on 11th August 1968, with that last steam hauled train on BR, the '15 Guinea Special' seen on the Settle and Carlisle along with views of the last steam locos at Carnforth. In the Autumn 1968 we visit the Severn Valley and Keighley and Worth Valley railways for early preservation scenes plus 4472 on the ECML. Next, a maritime interlude for rare footage of paddle steamers on the BR owned Humber ferry! Then to the Wallingford and Cholsey line for steam with the GWS's 1466 and auto-trailer. A visit to the Longmoor Military Railway for views of blue 0-6-0ST 'Errol Lonsdale' and 2-8-0 'Gordon' in use. At Tyseley Open Day we see 'Clun Castle' and 'Kolhapur' on shuttles with 4472 arriving on the main line. Count the number of steam whistles on display!
In France, steam was still in everyday use and we see SNCF 141Rs on rail tours and service trains. Back to the UK for 4472 on the 'Yorkshire Harvester' train from Kings Cross to York and a visit to the old York Museum. At Bath Road Depot Open Day, we see steam visitors and electric loco AL4 E3044! We visit Bulmer's at Hereford to see newly restored No.6000 'King George V' pulling their Pullman train. Then to Bury depot for 5596 'Bahamas' and, despite the ban, its transfer trip (in steam) along BR lines to a new home at Dinting!
We visit Northamptonshire for the industrial workings in the quarries and steelworks and special trains. Then more early views in 1968 of the KWVR and the Bluebell Railway. At Bressingham Gardens, a 'caged' 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' is seen giving cab rides plus scenes of the narrow gauge lines there. More 4472 tours include the Midland, ECML, Ely and March. At Finsbury Park Shed, the narrator is seen cleaning 4472's nameplate!
Finally a few visits in 1969 to Dinting, the KWVR (for a glimpse of unrestored 46115 'Scots Guardsman'), the Bluebell Railway and lastly to the newly reopened Dart Valley Railway for auto-trains with 'engines in the middle'.
All the archive film used is in colour and an extensively researched commentary and authentic soundtrack has been added.
Produced by - B & R Video Productions
Running time - 60 Minutes