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Wired for Sound Cab Ride Series

Shop | Railways | Locomaster Profiles |  Wired for Sound Cab Ride Series

68 Commuter - Class 68 London Marylebone to Banbury


68 Commuter - Class 68 London Marylebone to Banbury

Ref: LP508D


In 2016, Chiltern Railways’ 17.21 Marylebone to Banbury evening commuter service comprised a Class 68 and Mark 3 stock with ‘drop down’ windows, from which you could hear the loco’s Caterpillar engine hard at work on a tightly-timed schedule. This WIRED FOR SOUND cab ride DVD features 68012 on one such trip. With 3,750 horsepower on tap, the locomotive not only delivers an impressive audio performance, but also demonstrates how quick off the mark Class 68 are. Over the last 20 years, the Chiltern Line via High Wycombe to Aynho Junction has undergone a major transformation. Gone are the days when it was a run-down secondary route - today it is a fast 100mph railway, offering a journey time of just 78 minutes from Marylebone to Banbury. And that includes five station stops!

Immediately after leaving Marylebone, the line plunges into St. John’s Wood tunnel followed by Hampstead tunnel. As the Class 68 gathers speed, it emerges into daylight at Finchley Road to run alongside the London Underground as far as Neasden, where the journey continues past Wembley Stadium and Northolt Park to join the former Western Region route from Paddington at South Ruislip. With 68012 on full power, the line begins a 21-mile climb over the Chiltern hills to the summit at Saunderton. There are full-on standing starts from station stops at Beaconsfield and High Wycombe before the line descends sharply to another station stop at Princes Risborough. With the route now level, there’s some fast running up to 100mph, broken only by further stops at Haddenham & Thame Parkway and Bicester North. There’s a lively run to Aynho Junction where the Chiltern Line joins the Cherwell Valley route from Didcot. Five miles later, Banbury is mid-way through a major transformation, and Banbury South signal box and its GWR semaphore signals are in their last days of operation. Finally the Class 68 arrives at its platform 1 destination.

BONUS FEATURE: having been on board Chiltern Railways' newest piece of kit, their oldest train is the subject of this fifteen minute bonus cab ride. Providing something of a timewarp, British Railways 1961-built green bubble car 121034 is featured on an evening journey from Princes Risborough to Aylesbury.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2016

Running time: 100-mins





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8X09 - Class 20s Asfordby to Banbury


8X09 - Class 20s Asfordby to Banbury

Ref: LP369D


Locomaster waited a long time to add the Class 20s to their ‘Wired for Sound’ series, but it has been well worth the wait. This programme features no fewer than four of them! The train is one of the railway’s more unusual workings - GB Railfreight’s 8X09 Asfordby to Neasden, which is conveying brand new S Stock for London Underground’s Metropolitan Line. The unit is ‘top & tailed’ by DRS locos 20301 & 20302 at one end and 20304 & 20305 at the other. Due to numerous operating restrictions, the 8X09 has to travel from Leicestershire to London the long way round...which is a far more interesting route!

The first stage of the journey is along the short branch from the Asfordby test centre to the loop at Melton Mowbray. There, the train reverses and heads for Syston Junction where it joins the Midland Main Line for a spirited run to Leicester. South of there, the 8X09 enters Knighton loop where it reverses again – this time onto the 30-mile ‘freight only’ Leicester & Burton Line via Coalville. This is a fascinating route famous for its mining subsidence and the climb up Desford bank has Class 20s at full bore. Although the eastern end of this route is still busy with aggregate traffic from the quarries at Stud Farm and Bardon Hill, the only trains to use the route beyond Coalville via Moira West are the S Stock moves. So this particular section is rare track!

At Birmingham Curve Junction the 8X09 takes the little-used curve to Branston Junction where it joins the Derby to Birmingham main line. At Kingsbury Junction the train takes the route to Whitacre Junction. The journey across the West Midlands is via Water Orton, Washwood Heath, Tyseley and a pathing stop in Dorridge Loop. After that it passes through Solihull and Warwick to Leamington Spa. From there the Class 20s power their way uphill for the following 14 miles through Harbury cutting to Fenny Compton. Because the programme was filmed in June, it was still light as the train arrived at Banbury at 21.20. Not so when the train left there an hour and 20 minutes later, and so the programme concludes with a series of atmospheric lineside shots as the train passes through various stations on the last leg of its journey to London.

ROUTE FEATURED: Asfordby-Banbury via Melton Mowbray, Leicester, Coalville, Water Orton, Dorridge and Leamington Spa.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2011

Running time: 210-mins





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A Day on the Clay plus the Golden Ochre Years - Class 52 Western Champion


A Day on the Clay plus the Golden Ochre Years - Class 52 Western Champion

Ref: LP405D


A Double-Feature DVD featuring two programmes on D1015 Western Champion

A DAY ON THE CLAY

When D1015 Western Champion spent a day working china clay trips off St Blazey depot in Cornwall on August 30th 2002, it became the first diesel-hydraulic to haul a revenue-earning freight train for more than 25 years. Combining exclusive footage from the footplate and a series of superb lineside sequences, this programme is a detailed record of the day when D1015 re-wrote the history books. The days activities begin at St Blazey, from where the ‘Thousand’ sets off light engine to Fowey Docks to collect a rake of china clay wagons. With D1015 Wired for Sound to capture the distinctive Maybach music, the loco departs with the 6G11 to Goonbarrow. The view from the cab features the scenic run along the Fowey estuary, the climb to Treverrin Tunnel, the spectacular climb through the Luxulyan Valley and the arrival at Goonbarrow sidings. Lineside views then capture the sight and sound of Champion as it works the 6G10 china clay back to Fowey Docks. Packed with Cornish nostalgia, this is a fascinating record of the day that time stood still.

THE GOLDEN OCHRE YEARS

D1015 became the first diesel hydraulic locomotive to return to the main line since the demise of the Class 52 ‘Westerns’ in 1977. This 45-minute programme features the best of Western Champion’s main line workings in its unique golden ochre livery which began on January 28th 2002 with a test run from Kidderminster to Sheffield. Over the following four years D1015 appeared on 22 railtours and special charters, most of which are featured here. As well as re-visiting classic ‘Thousand’ haunts, the loco is also seen off the beaten track at locations such as the S&C, Hest Bank, Euston, York and Abergele. Other scenes feature D1015 blasting its way up the Luxulyan Valley en route to Newquay, double-heading with steam and on freight and mail trains. Also featured is Champion’s infamous passenger rescue in October 2002 when it assisted a failed First Great Western HST into Swindon!

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2002, 2008 DVD

Running time: 110-mins





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All the Way - Class 55 Deltic Royal Scots Grey London Kings Cross to Edinburgh


All the Way - Class 55 Deltic Royal Scots Grey London Kings Cross to Edinburgh

Ref: LP427D


THE ultimate footplate experience - a 100 mph Deltic on the main line!

This ‘Wired for Sound’ cab-ride was originally released in 1997, but has now been digitally re-mastered to provide enhanced picture quality as well as the inclusion of around 20 minutes extra footage.

The journey on board D9000 Royal Scots Grey is over legendary Deltic territory - the East Coast Main Line, all 393 miles of it! The train is the "Deltic Scotsman" from King’s Cross to Edinburgh on 6th September 1997, the first Deltic-hauled passenger train between the two termini for more than 15 years. After easing out of ‘The Cross’, D9000 gathers speed through the North London suburbs of Finsbury Park, Harringay and Barnet. After a stop at Stevenage, D9000 is off again for a rousing run through Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire before calling at Peterborough. That’s followed by a spirited run up to Stoke Summit.

After descending to Grantham, Royal Scots Grey continues north through Newark and Retford, before blasting through the centre road at Doncaster. With a new driver at the controls from York, the famous four-track racing stretch to Northallerton has the twin 18-cylinder Napiers roaring away at full bore.

Continuing north through Darlington, Ferryhill and Durham, D9000 pauses briefly in Newcastle station before a performing a rousing run past Heaton depot. Next the train crosses the famous Royal Border Bridge at Berwick. As the train ran on the day of the Princess of Wales’ funeral, as a mark of respect the train stopped for a 2-minute silence on the England/Scotland border. And not at a signal either, but right next to the border sign. The final leg of the journey sees the Deltic storm through the Borders Region and into Lothian before arriving at Edinburgh’s Waverley station.

An outstanding performance that proves, even by today’s standards, the Deltic is a legendary machine - in sight, sound and power. So, climb ‘up front’ for this spectacular and historic journey!

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1997 VHS, 2006 DVD remastered.

Running time: 110-mins





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A Load of Rubbish - Class 31s London Northolt to Calvert Bin Liner


A Load of Rubbish - Class 31s London Northolt to Calvert Bin Liner

Ref: LP421D


The third in the series of ‘Wired for Sound’ re-releases on DVD features a cab-ride on a pair of EWS Class 31s on the once-legendary Northolt-Calvert ‘Binliner’. In this programme, which was filmed in July 1998 (and released in 1999) locomotives 31 207 + 31 308 are given a thorough workout over the Chilterns with a trailing load of 1,648 tonnes. The climb to the summit at Saunderton is through Denham and Beaconsfield to High Wycombe. From there a series of double curves coupled with a stiff gradient has the 40-year old Type 2 veterans at full bore for the remaining 6 miles to the summit. After that, the line drops sharply down to Princes Risborough where the 31s take the scenic single line route through Little Kimble to Aylesbury. From there the train continues over the former Great Central route which is now a single track freight-only line to Claydon Junction. Shortly after Quainton Road station, the trains progress is halted when a herd of sheep escape from their field and onto the line in front of the train – causing the driver to perform an emergency stop! Despite the valiant efforts of the train crew who do their best to usher the sheep off the line, the animals are hemmed in by the lineside fences. In the end the Class 31s themselves have to gently cajole the sheep all the way to Calvert! It’s an extraordinary end to a fascinating journey.

Like the preceding two re-releases (ALL THE WAY and UNPLUGGED EXTRA) this programme has been completely re-edited from scratch and features additional scenes not included in the original VHS version.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1999 VHS, 2007 DVD

Running time: 80-mins





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Black & Blue - Class 56 Immingham to Scunthorpe & Return


Black & Blue - Class 56 Immingham to Scunthorpe & Return

Ref: LP400D


Class 56s have been a familiar sight hauling coal trains on Humberside for more than 20 years.

This programme features BR corporate blue-liveried 56 006 ‘WIRED FOR SOUND’ on a working synonymous with the class in more recent years - the Immingham to Scunthorpe coal.

The outward 7C77 working conveys imported coal from Immingham Bulk Terminal to the Corus steelworks at Scunthorpe. The trailing load is 1,600 tonnes, which provides a stiff test for the Rumanian-built 56. The train first weaves its way through the fascinating rail complex serving lmmingham Docks before heading towards Ulceby and Brocklesby Junction. At Barnetby, a location renowned for its superb collection of semaphore signals, the 7C77 bears right at Wrawby Junction to tackle the short but sharp climb of Elsham bank.

Manual crossing gates and more semaphores follow at Elsham and Appleby before the 56 encounters the most challenging part of the journey - the severe climb of Appleby bank which has the Grid at ‘full chat’. After that comes Scunthorpe and another fascinating maze of trackwork. After negotiating its way across an almost endless series of points, the 7C77 finally arrives in Scunthorpe Yard to deliver its wagon-loads of ‘black gold’. 56 006 then swaps trains by attaching to the 6C75 empties for a spirited non-stop run back to lmmingham Bulk Terminal.

The 46-mile round trip was filmed on a glorious winter’s afternoon, the blue Grid reviving memories of the late 1970s and early ‘5Os. With Class 56 operation on the Scunthorpe coal now at an end, this programme provides a nostalgic reminder of what was once an everyday sight.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2004

Running time: 90-mins





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Boulby Grid - Class 56 56115 Boulby Mine to Tees Dock


Boulby Grid - Class 56 56115 Boulby Mine to Tees Dock

Ref: LP365D


Part of the former North Eastern Railway route from Whitby to Saltburn has survived as a freight-only line to carry vast tonnages of potash and salt from Boulby mine to Teeside. This programme features a cab-ride on board EWS’s 6F65 Boulby to Tees Dock, conveying potash mined from under the North Sea. The splendid views from the cab of 56115, filmed on a glorious summer’s day in 2003, feature the scenic North Yorkshire and Cleveland countryside and the contrasting industrial landscape of Teeside.

The first stage of the 22-mile journey is the short, sharp climb out of the Boulby terminal up to Grinkle Tunnel. We then pass the sites of the closed stations at Easington and Loftus, after which we cross the embankment that was once a viaduct spanning Kilton Beck. After passing Skinningrove steelworks, the single line ‘token’ from Boulby is surrendered to Crag Hall signalbox, which still retains an array of semaphore signals. With a 1,000 tonne trailing load, the Class 56 is then at full power for the taxing 1 in 64 climb up Warsett Hill where the line skirts the top of Hunt Cliff, which towers 300 feet above the coastline of the North Sea. After descending past the sites of Brotton and North Skelton stations, we cross the impressive 783-foot long Riftswood Viaduct before arriving at Saltburn West Junction. There we join the Tees Valley Line, originally the world’s first public railway - the Stockton & Darlington Railway - and travel through Marske, Longbeck and Redcar Central to Grangetown. There the Class 56 runs round its train before proceeding along the freight-only branch to Tees Dock.

There is some nice thrash to enjoy as the Class 56 tackles some nice gradients with a decent load. Two months after this programme was filmed, Class 66s took over this long-standing Class 56 working. Today, the workings out of Boulby are operated by Freightliner Heavy Haul so this is a double helping of Teeside freight nostalgia.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2012

Running time: 80-mins





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Brighton Brush Farewell - Class 47 47851 Brighton to Birmingham


Brighton Brush Farewell - Class 47 47851 Brighton to Birmingham

Ref: LP408D


To commemorate the end of the reign of Class 47s on its CrossCountry services, Virgin Trains specially re-painted four of its locomotives in historic liveries in the autumn of 2001. One of these was 47 851 which was transformed into two-tone British Railways green livery and re-united with original number – D1648. The locomotive made its public debut in its late-1960s identity on the 1S76 09.20 Brighton-Edinburgh on November 23rd – only three days before the service went over to Voyager units. This ‘Wired for Sound’ cab-ride video is a record of the first 185 miles of that journey, the loco having eight Mark 2 coaches and a dead Class 47 in tow.

The first stage of the journey is along the Brighton main line. After the climb from Haywards Heath to Balcombe Tunnel there’s another uphill run between Gatwick and Merstham via Quarry Tunnel. From East Croydon the 1S76 threads its way in and out of London via a myriad of lines through Selhurst, Streatham Common, Balham and Clapham Junction before joining the West London Line at Latchmere Junction. After crossing the Thames at Battersea Bridge, the journey continues through Kensington Olympia and West London Junction to Acton Wells Junction where D1648 takes the connecting chord to the Great Western Main Line. Full power is resumed for the run along the relief line from Acton Main Line to Southall, and again from Slough to Reading. The run through the Thames Valley continues to Didcot where the 1S76 heads north through Oxford and Banbury to Leamington Spa. From here, the ‘Brush’ takes the steeply-graded single-line ‘roller coaster’ to Coventry. Now ‘under the wires’, the veteran locomotive makes a spirited run through Berkswell and Hampton-in-Arden before pausing at Birmingham International. The final leg of the journey concludes as the Class 47 plunges into the depths of Birmingham New Street station.

This is a reminder of what was an everyday sight and sound for nearly 40 years – a Class 47 powering an ‘Inter-Regional’ passenger train. With a delightful touch of 1960s nostalgia, D1648’s Sulzer engine is faithfully captured hard at work on a route packed with interest, amid the golden colours of late autumn.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2002

Running time: 110-mins





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Day Rover - Class 47s Rover Longbridge (Birmingham) to Highworth (Swindon) and Return


Day Rover - Class 47s Rover Longbridge (Birmingham) to Highworth (Swindon) and Return

Ref: LP428D


This programme, which was filmed in July 1997, has more history in it than any other Locomaster ‘Wired for Sound’ title. And that’s because most of what’s in it has gone….the Longbridge Rover car plant, the regular trainloads of car components, Tinsley TMD and it’s Railfreight Distribution Class 47s, Saltley depot. Sadly, they are all now but a memory. But this cab-ride was filmed in happier times, when RfD’s Longbridge-Swindon-Longbridge car component trains travelled out and back via different routes, both of which were packed with interest and challenging gradients.

The outward journey is filmed on board a pair of immaculate Tinsley Type 4s – 47 236 & 47 375. After leaving Rover’s Longbridge sidings the 900 tonne train travels south (after a loco run-round at Kings Norton) descending the famous Lickey bank to Bromsgrove before continuing on to Cheltenham. At Standish Junction the 47s take the scenic Golden Valley route where they tackle the tortuous 12-mile climb of Sapperton bank. With gradients as steep as 1 in 60, the locos blast their way into the tunnel at the summit on full power! After descending through Kemble, the train continues over the single-track section to Swindon where it travels along the truncated remains of the Highworth branch to reach its destination at the Pressed Steel factory sidings. On departure from Swindon with the loaded train, the 47s travel east along the Great Western main line as far as Didcot, before heading north on a storming run to Oxford. The journey continues via Banbury, Fenny Compton, Leamington Spa and the steeply-graded Hatton bank before reaching the outskirts of Birmingham, where the train is routed via Solihull and Tyseley to Washwood Heath yard. After a short break for a locomotive change, there is a stirring finale as 47 286 & 47 285 tackle the notorious Camp Hill incline en route to Longbridge sidings.

Soon after this programme was filmed, RfD disappeared following its purchase by EWS and the Rover trains subsequently went over to Class 66 haulage. The car component traffic ceased following the closure of the Longbridge plant in April 2005, by which time the fleet of RfD 47s had also disappeared. As with our other re-releases on DVD, this programme has not only been completely digitally re-mastered from the original footage but because so much has changed in the intervening years, there is also an updated and revised script. We’ve also included some additional footage from inside the then-thriving Longbridge rail terminal - all of which has since been lifted! So this is a programme packed not only with traction nostalgia but also a significant piece of Britain’s car manufacturing history.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1997 VHS, 2008 DVD

Running time: 115-mins





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Double O - Class 37s Cardiff to Rhymney and Cardiff tidal to Aberthaw


Double O - Class 37s Cardiff to Rhymney and Cardiff tidal to Aberthaw

Ref: LP401D


Class 37s have been synonymous with South Wales since the first examples of the class arrived for trials at Cardiff Canton in September 1962. Forty years later the class were still hard at work on their old stamping ground. Fittingly, this double ‘Wired for Sound’ extravaganza features the unmodified Class 37/0 variant – the ‘standard’ original design that arrived in South Wales in the early 1960’s. For variety and comparison, one journey features a single 37 on a passenger train, the other a pair on a heavy freight!

PASSENGER: 37 055 is the featured loco on the passenger run which is from Cardiff Central to Rhymney. This was filmed in September 2000 at a time when, although the Cardiff Valley services were booked for Class 37/4s, they were frequently producing anything but. Although the train only comprises four mark 2 coaches, the 25-mile run is not only uphill all the way but there are no fewer than 15 station stops. And there’s a tightly-timed schedule to boot! With Mainline Freight-liveried 37 055 in fine fettle, it all makes for a highly-entertaining 60-minute run!

FREIGHT: 37 131 and 37 229 provide a complete contrast to the passenger run as they tackle the 6B89 Cardiff Tidal-Aberthaw tanks. Filmed on September 23 1999, both 37s came out of store from Cardiff Canton to work the train as a means of testing the two locos prior to the pair being re-instated for use on autumn ‘sandite’ duties. With a trailing load of 1,100 tonnes, the 37/0s never get the train above 40mph as the pair are given a serious workout over the Vale of Glamorgan Line.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2003

Running time: 110-mins





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Double Scotch - Class 40 40145 Aberdeen to Inverness and Kyle


Double Scotch - Class 40 40145 Aberdeen to Inverness and Kyle

Ref: LP463D


This ‘double-disc’ DVD set features a ‘Wired for Sound’ cab-ride on board 40 145 on a 190-mile journey from Aberdeen to Inverness. This was filmed during the ‘Whistlers’ marathon Scottish trip in August 2005. Thanks to the co-operation of the Class 40 Preservation Society and EWS, our cameras and microphones were on board the loco to capture the Class 40 as it tackled the challenging gradients of two impressive routes. The cab footage is complimented by lineside views of the train as it heads for Kyle where it became the first ‘Whistler’ to reach this remote Scottish outpost in 24 years

DISC 1 : Aberdeen-Inverness features 40 145 on the108-mile route from Aberdeen to Inverness. It begins with the 32-mile climb through Dyce, Inverurie and Insch to Kennethmont summit. After dropping through Huntly the line climbs again through Keith to run through the heart of ‘whisky country’ to Tauchers summit. After descending to Elgin, a series of varying gradients carry the line through Forres and Nairn to Inverness. With all but 5 miles of the route single track, and with all but one of the stations still equipped with semaphore signaling, this line still retains much of its charm from when Class 40s regularly plied the route.

DISC 2 : Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh. After setting off from Inverness and crossing Clachnaharry swing bridge, 40 145 is at full bore as it powers alongside the Beauly Firth towards Muir of Ord. After a spirited run to Dingwall, the train leaves the Far North Line to take the 63-mile branch to Kyle. And that’s where the serious stuff begins. The four miles of 1 in 50 up to Raven Rock summit have the 40 slipping on a wet rail. The 1 in 50 climb from Garve to Corriemoillie summit is equally loud, as is the 15-mile slog from Lochluichart to Luib summit. The last 18 miles are truly picturesque as 40 145 whistles its way along the shores of Loch Karron before arriving at Kyle.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2005

Running time: 240-mins





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GBXV - GB Railfreight's 15th.Anniversary Tour Part 1: Victoria - Swanage - Kings Cross


GBXV - GB Railfreight's 15th.Anniversary Tour Part 1: Victoria - Swanage - Kings Cross

Ref: LP509D


GB Railfreight’s ‘GBRf 15’ charity train in September 2016 will almost certainly be the railtour of the decade. The 2,220 mile four-day tour featured an astonishing 19 locomotives and raised £125,000 for charity. This cab ride DVD covers the first day of the tour – and what a day it was. The 365-mile trip started at London Victoria with Railfreight-liveried 20118+20132 setting off for Fratton in Hampshire. 73128+73213 then worked the train forward to Swanage before the two Class 20s headed back to London via Poole, Southampton, Salisbury, Westbury and Reading. With plenty of sunlit landscapes, a fascinating route and some serious thrash, it made for the ultimate Class 20 WIRED?FOR?SOUND cab ride.

The complex route out of London is via Herne Hill, Tulse Hill, Streatham and Tooting to Wimbledon. At Raynes Park, the 20s head to Epsom and continue through the equally unfamiliar locations of Leatherhead and Dorking. They then blast their way across the North Downs to Horsham where they join the Mid-Sussex route through Pulborough to Arundel Junction. From there, the journey continues along the West Coastway route through Barnham and Chichester to Fratton. Our cameras and microphones had a break while lineside footage shows 73128+73213 working the train forward to Swanage. We re-join the Class 20s in the Dorset seaside town and head over the Swanage Railway and through the Purbeck Hills past Corfe Castle to re-join the Weymouth to Bournemouth main line at Worgret Junction. After Poole comes the day’s biggest challenge as the two Class 20s - with load 11 and two dead 73s on the back of the train - tackle the notorious 1 in 60 Parkstone bank. After passing through Bournemouth there’s a scenic run through the New Forest to the fascinating Southampton suburbs. From Eastleigh the wall-to-wall sunshine eventually works against the camera so we skip that section and resume the cab-ride from a standing start at Salisbury. There’s a lively run to Wilton Junction where the train takes the delightful Wylye Valley route through Bapton and Warminster to the freight hub of Westbury. The 20s are on full power again as they tackle yet more rare ‘Chopper’ track - the Berks & Hants route. The sun eventually sets eighteen miles later at Woodborough Loop. After a delightful lineside shot of the train at Newbury, we see the nocturnal arrival at Reading from the cab. The programme ends with the day’s most extraordinary track scratch – the view from the cab of 73213 as it emerges from Gasworks tunnel into King’s Cross station!

This is without doubt one of the best cab rides we have ever filmed. In fact it was so good that we couldn’t pick the best leg of the day - hence the programme is nearly three-and-a-half hours long!

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2016

Running time: 210-mins





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GBAC - 86101 Crewe to London Euston via Northampton


GBAC - 86101 Crewe to London Euston via Northampton

Ref: LP520D


Seventeen years ago we released our ‘Vac Attack’ cab ride programme, which featured the West Coast Main Line from Glasgow to Crewe. Thanks to the generous assistance of GB Railfreight, we have finally been able to complete the remaining 158 miles of this fascinating route. As was the case with ‘Vac Attack’ (which featured Class 50s) this programme also features authentic heritage WCML traction which regularly worked the route in BR days – a Class 86 AC electric. The locomotive is 86101, which is owned by the AC Locomotive Group and is on long term hire to GBRf. The loco was having a rare break from its Caledonian sleeper empty stock duties, working the Crewe to Euston leg of GB Railfreight’s ‘Absent Shunter’ charity train on 13th August of this year.

The route south from Crewe is via Stafford and the Trent Valley (Tamworth and Nuneaton) to Rugby. From there the train travels through Long Buckby to Northampton before re-joining the main line at Hanslope Junction. The journey south continues through Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard and Tring before entering the London suburbs where it passes Watford Junction, Wembley yard and Willesden TMD before reaching its destination at London Euston.





First published on DVD: Late November 2017
Number of discs: 1 DVD-R

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Harbour Lights - Class 73s Hoo Junction to Folkestone Harbour


Harbour Lights - Class 73s Hoo Junction to Folkestone Harbour

Ref: LP387D


On Saturday 12th April 2008, GB Railfreight sent three of their Class 73 locomotives on a light engine run across Kent from Hoo Junction to Folkestone Harbour. Their novel outing was to help raise money for the Railway Benefit Fund charity through the production of this exclusive cab-ride DVD of the trip to the little-used branch on the Kent coast. Locomaster's cameras and microphones were invited to record the event - and now you can re-live this fascinating journey around Kent from the comfort of your favourite armchair.

The journey begins on the Thames estuary at Hoo Junction as the ED’s set off on the outward route via Higham, Rochester, Chatham and Sittingbourne to Faversham. From there they continue past the surviving semaphore signals at Canterbury East and Shepherds Well before passing non-stop through Dover Priory station. After a scenic run along the coast under the famous white cliffs of Dover, the Class 73s enter Folkestone East sidings where they access the Folkestone Harbour branch. A large crowd greets the arrival of the very first GBRf locomotives to reach the terminus. To mark the occasion, the ED’s depart in suitable style, horns blaring as they set off a series of detonators as they climb the steeply-graded branch on their diesel engines. The Class 73s return back to Faversham via a different route. From Dover, the locos are back on diesel power again from Buckland Junction for the stiff climb up Guston Bank to Martin Mill. From there the journey continues past the semaphore signals at Deal and Betteshanger before passing through Ramsgate, Margate and Whitstable. At Faversham the locos re-trace the outward leg of their journey for the run back to Hoo Junction.

Locomaster decided to include this DVD in the ‘WIRED FOR SOUND’ series simply because the soundtrack clearly portrays the unique electrical and mechanical audio characteristics of the Class 73. There are also parts of the journey where the locos are running on their diesel engines. The DVD also features a selection of locomotive classes and special trains that have visited the terminus at Folkestone Harbour since the early 1990’s.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2008

Running time: 115-mins





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Heavy Metal - Class 37 37603 Fort William to Coatbridge


Heavy Metal - Class 37 37603 Fort William to Coatbridge

Ref: LP410D


June 2001 marked the end of another chapter in railway history when Class 37s ended their association with freight traffic on the West Highland Line. The passing of the class on this traffic is commemorated in this ‘Wired for Sound’ spectacular as cameras and microphones are placed on board Freightliner’s 7D54 Fort William-Coatbridge. The programme not only features footage from the footplate of 37 603 but also a series of superb lineside shots of the train.

Having marshalled the wagons in the British Alcan plant at Fort William, 37 603 hauls the train the short distance into the station, where after a run-round, the loco sets off on a tortuous 140 mile journey with a consignment of aluminium ingots. Thanks to a wet start, skilful driving is needed to ensure that 37 603 gets to grips with its 400-tonne trailing load! The first stage of the journey involves a massive 28-mile climb through Spean Bridge, the Monessie Gorge and Tulloch to the 1,350 foot high summit at Corrour. The 37 takes a well-earned breather in the sunshine on the drop to Rannoch (via the Cruach snow sheds) before growling its way across the desolate uphill landscape of Rannoch Moor to the passing loop at Gortan. Another drop ensues to Bridge of Orchy which marks the start of a 6-mile slog via to County March summit via the spectacular Horseshoe Curve which is taken at full bore. After running downhill through Crianlarich to Ardlui there follows a delightful 8-mile section of route to Arrochar and Tarbet as the train skirts Loch Lomond in a series of ‘ups and downs’ and tight curves. The departure from Arrochar and Tarbet marks the start of a four-mile 1 in 57 climb to Glen Douglas, a climb so severe that the Class 37 begins to wheelslip as it slogs its way towards the summit.

At Craigendoran the train reaches the shores of the Clyde estuary which it follows through Cardross, Dalreoch and Bowling. The Glasgow suburbs are reached at Dalmuir where the 7D54 weaves its way across the city via Westerton, Cowlairs and Springburn. There then follows a short sharp climb to Stepps before continuing to Gartcosh Junction and Gartsherrie South Junction. Arrival at the Coatbridge Freightliner terminal signals not only the end of the 140-mile journey, but also the end of an era.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2001

Running time: 110-mins





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Hot & Heavy  - Class 56 56032 Margam & Llanwern to Shotton on Deeside


Hot & Heavy - Class 56 56032 Margam & Llanwern to Shotton on Deeside

Ref: LP455D


Take 1,700 tonnes of hot rolled steel, haul it over 140 miles of fierce gradients with a single Class 56, and you have all the ingredients for a train that is hot, heavy, long and LOUD! Add some fine scenery and plenty of semaphore signals and you have the fascinating journey on board the 6M84 Llanwern-Dee Marsh steel train. It is also a journey of contrasting landscapes, from the lowlands of South Wales to the delightful countryside of the Welsh Marches. This is a digitally re-mastered and extended version of the VHS title which was filmed in May 1996.

Traction for the train is provided by 56 032 which was specially Wired for Sound for the trip. The journey starts at Margam TMD (which is packed full of 37s, 56s and 60s) from where we travel light engine to Llanwern steelworks to collect a consignment of hot rolled steel destined for British Steel’s finishing plant at Shotton. With a 1,700-tonne load in tow, 56 032 is soon into its stride as it ‘wheelslips’ on the wet rail as it passes East Usk Yard. At Maindee Junction we turn onto on the Welsh Marches route to tackle the stiff climb to Pontypool Road. From Abergavenny it’s semaphores all the way as the 56 pounds its way up the notorious 1 in 82 Llanvihangel bank. With the loco on maximum power and in virtual meltdown, speed is down to little more than 20 miles an hour! It’s then downhill through Tram Inn and Pontrilas to Hereford. After that there’s the 36 mile slog through Ludlow and Craven Arms to the summit at Little Stretton. There are a couple of breathers though – first for a speed restriction at Leominster, then for a brief pathing stop in Wooferton Loop, and finally a signal check on the approach to Craven Arms. All of these require the 56 to be on full power to get the train on the move again. After Little Stretton summit, the 56 descends through Dorrington to Shrewsbury from where departure marks the start of a taxing 15 mile climb to Weston Rhyn. That’s followed by the crossings of the magnificent Chirk and Dee viaducts. After descending to Wrexham, there’s more serious thrash for 56 032 as it tackles the 9-mile 1 in 83 climb through Penyffordd to Buckley, before dropping down to the banks of the River Dee at Shotton. At Hawarden Bridge, we turn into Dee Marsh Yard; journey’s end for our 56 and its Hot & Heavy load.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1998 VHS, 2008 DVD remaster

Running time: 115-mins





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Jet Set - GB Railfreight's Rail Head Treatment Train Cab Ride


Jet Set - GB Railfreight's Rail Head Treatment Train Cab Ride

Ref: LP507D


It has been a while since we last had a brand new ‘Wired For Sound’ cab ride, so we are particularly pleased to be able to announce advance details of this one. As well as being seasonally topical, it is also something a little different! Network Rail’s autumnal Rail Heat Treatment Trains frequently take locomotives to routes and branches that are normally ‘unit only’. This year’s operation has seen Class 20s and Class 73s used in Sussex to keep many of the routes free of fallen leaves. This forthcoming cab-ride programme will feature both loco classes on one of GB Railfreight’s Tonbridge-based RHTT’s, as it sets out to cover some rare and unusual Sussex track.

Running as 3W91 and ‘top & tailed’ by 20901 and 73119, the first leg of the journey is on board the Class 73 as it heads through Godstone to Redhill. There, it takes the Quarry Lines to South Croydon. A reversal has the Class 20 leading south along the Brighton Main Line through Gatwick Airport to Three Bridges, where it takes the rural 31-mile Mid-Sussex (or Arun Valley) route to Horsham. The single Class 20 is frequently at full power as it hauls the ‘jets’ through Billingshurst, Pulborough and Amberley to Arundel Junction where it takes the two-mile branch to Littlehampton. There, another reversal follows as the newly re-painted 73119 Borough of Eastleigh sets off under the surviving semaphore signals for a run along the south coast to Brighton. The fascinating 20-mile West Coastway route is dotted with eleven intermediate stations as it passes through Angmering, Goring, Worthing and Shoreham. For the final mile of the journey from Hove, the ‘jets’ take the Cliftonville Spur to journey’s end at Preston Park.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2015

Running time: 110-mins





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Joint Diversion - HST Cab Ride over the GN&GE Joint Line


Joint Diversion - HST Cab Ride over the GN&GE Joint Line

Ref: LP501D


By the autumn of 2013, the 87 miles of route between Werrington Junction (north of Peterborough) and Bessacarr Junction (south of Doncaster) was the longest remaining stretch of semaphore signalled track left in Britain. This cab-ride over the former GN&GE Joint Line, filmed on a glorious autumn day on a diverted East Coast HST, shows this delightfully antiquated route at its best. Despite the line undergoing extensive modernisation, there were still numerous signal boxes, semaphore signals and manually operated crossing gates still in operation, most of which were due to go by 2014.

The first three miles of the journey are along the East Coast Main Line from Peterborough to Werrington Junction where the diverted Kings Cross to Aberdeen HST takes the Joint Line to head through the rural backwaters of Lincolnshire to Spalding. North of Spalding the route is dotted with numerous wooden crossing gates which are still operated by crossing keepers. At Sleaford (which still had four manual signal boxes) we avoid the towns Avoiding Line and instead pass through the station before taking the single track section to Sleaford North Junction. The journey continues across the Fens through Metheringham before passing through the busy rail hub of Lincoln. After Pyewipe Junction, the semaphore signals and manual boxes at Saxilby and Stow Park are in their final months of operation, while at Gainsborough Lea Road the derelict signalbox awaits demolition. Just around the corner we cross the Grimsby to Sheffield route at Gainsborough Trent Junction, where several semaphores are in their final months of operation. The last leg of the journey is through Beckingham and Finningley to Bessacarr Junction on the southern outskirts of Doncaster. A series of junctions follow in quick succession as we pass Decoy and Belmont Yards before briefly re-joining the East Coast Main Line at Sand Bank Junction to travel the short distance into Doncaster station.

The programme was filmed in 16:9 widescreen and the accompanying soundtrack is that of HST power car 43319’s MTU power unit.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2013

Running time: 110-mins





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Medway Crompton - Class 33 33030 Strood to Hoo Junction


Medway Crompton - Class 33 33030 Strood to Hoo Junction

Ref: LP429D


A nostalgic cab ride over one of Britain’s more antiquated rail routes – the Medway Valley line between Strood and Paddock Wood. It was filmed in September 1996 when the route still had plenty of semaphore signals, manual crossing gates and an array of vintage signal boxes – some of which date back to the late 1800’s. The semaphores have now all gone, as have several of the boxes, and the remaining ones will be swept away by further modernisation in 2015. Many disused sidings and rail terminals were still evident at the time of the journey, recalling days when cement production was buoyant in the area. This journey back in time was filmed on board a train that has also been consigned to history - the 7T56 Hoo Junction to East Peckham Civil Engineers trip. The featured locomotive for the journey is 33030 - one of only eight Crompton’s that remained in traffic with Mainline Freight at the time.

The outward run is via Strood, Cuxton, Snodland, Maidstone West, Wateringbury and Yalding to Paddock Wood. There, the Class 33 runs round its train in the station before heading back north the two miles to the disposal point at East Peckham where the train reverses into the siding. After the ‘Rudd’ wagons have been unloaded, the Crompton re-traces its steps along the Medway Valley Line through East Farleigh, Aylesford and Cuxton back to Strood. There’s a rousing finale from the Class 33 as it blasts through Strood and Higham tunnels before arriving back at Hoo Junction. For good measure the locomotive was ‘Wired for Sound’ to capture the once-familiar sound of a Crompton hard at work on the Southern Region. As well as the antiquated railway infrastructure along the Medway valley, slam-door EMU’s were still regularly plying the route at the time. They are now long gone – as are the fleet of ‘Rudd’ wagons which formed the train.

This programme has been digitally re-mastered and includes an extra 30 minutes of footage not included in the original VHS version. It also has a new and updated narration provided by David Maxey.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1997 VHS, 2013 DVD

Running time: 90-mins





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National Grid - Class 56 56096 Hunterson to Dunfermline & Alloa (Longannet)


National Grid - Class 56 56096 Hunterson to Dunfermline & Alloa (Longannet)

Ref: LP415D


Join the footplate of 56096 for a nostalgic 104-mile coast-to-coast trip across the lowlands of Scotland from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth. The Grid is hauling the 7G80 Merry-Go-Round, conveying 1,150 tonnes of imported coal in HAA hoppers from the port of Hunterston on the Ayrshire coast to Longannet power station in Fife. To capture the full audio characteristics of the Type 5, the loco was specially Wired for Sound!

The journey begins with the stiff climb out of the Hunterston loading terminal up to West Kilbride. After skirting the coast at Saltcoats, the train heads through Dalry and Johnstone to reach the outskirts of Glasgow at Paisley. There then follows a complex 20-mile trek across the city via Shields Junction, Polmadie, Rutherglen, Coatbridge and Garqueen North junction. At Cumbernauld, the 7G80 continues onto the (then) freight-only line to Greenhill Lower Junction before encountering the semaphore-signalled junctions of Carmuirs West and East. It continues via Falkirk Grahamston, Polmont and Dalmeny before crossing one of Britain’s great railway structures - the magnificent Forth Bridge. Full power is resumed at North Queensferry for the run through Inverkeithing and Rosyth. The 56 is at full bore as it tackles the notorious 1 in 74 climb through Dunfermline up to Townhill. The 7G80 enters the sidings at Townhill where the loco runs round its train of HAA hoppers. After heading back through Dunfermline, the train diverges onto the (then) remains of the truncated line to Alloa. This 10-mile freight only branch provides some delightful scenery as it skirts the shores of the Forth before reaching Longannet power station. 56096 takes the East Arrival road to access the tightly curved track of the power station loop before the loco is put into ‘slow speed’ for the unloading operation. As the train enters the discharge terminal, the wagon doors are automatically opened so that the coal can drop onto the conveyor belt beneath the track. As the train exits the discharge terminal the wagon doors are then automatically closed.

So much has changed since this programme was filmed in 1999. Both EWS and their Class 56s are long gone. So have the vast fleet of HAA coal hoppers and the Carmuirs semaphores. Coal trains no longer cross the Forth Bridge…and Longannet power station has now closed, with the result that trains over the Alloa to Dunfermline route are now few and far between!

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2000 VHS, 20xx DVD

Running time: 115-mins





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North Star South West - Class 47 47840 Penzance to Birmingham


North Star South West - Class 47 47840 Penzance to Birmingham

Ref: LP404D


47 840 "North Star" was the fifth and final Virgin Trains Class 47 to be repainted into an historic livery to commemorate the end of Class 47 haulage on Cross Country services. Representing the corporate blue era, the locomotive was a regular performer on Western Region passenger services during the 1970s and early 1980s when it was numbered 47 077. On 19th.August 2002, the loco reverted to this historic identity wehn together with 47 847, it departed from penzance with Virgin's final loco-hauled 1M56 08:46 service to Manchester. Three days earlier, North Star was given a final solo outing on the same train. This programme combines cab and lineside footage from both journeys to provide a nostalgic record of Virgin's last long distance Class 47 hauled service.

To capture 47 840's "Sulzer" engine hard at work, the loco was specially "Wired for Sound". With a demanding set of timings, North Star is soon put through its paces as it tackles a series of Cornish gradients - the 10 mile climb from Hayle to Redruth, the 1 in 78 standing start from Truro, the short sharp climb from Par to Treverrin Tunnel and the impressive slog up to Largin Bank. After crossing the Royal Albert Bridge, 1M56 passes through the Plymouth suburbs before encountering the fearsome banks of Hemerdon and Dainton. There's a broef respite for the 47 as the train skirts the coastline aloing the seawall at Teignmouth and Dawlish before reaching Exeter, after which there is a spirited run up to Whiteball summit. Some fast running ensues to Bristol from where there is a rouding ascent to Filton. At Westerleigh Junction, 1M56 heads north through Yate and Cheltenham to Bromsgrove which is at the start of the infamous Lickey Incline. After reaching the summit at 40mph, the journey continues through the Birmingham suburbs to reach New Street station via Proof House Junction. The programme concludes with further scenes from 19th.August's commemorative farewell as 47 077 & 47 847 haul an additional 1Z56 Birmingham to Derby before both locos take their place in an historic livery line up at Toton MPD.

A wired-for-sound cab ride from Penzance to Birmingham in blue 47840.

Introduction by Chris Green

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2003

Running time: 120-mins





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One Four Seven - Class 47 47818 Liverpool Street to Ely & Norwich


One Four Seven - Class 47 47818 Liverpool Street to Ely & Norwich

Ref: LP395D


The closure of Ipswich Tunnel for eight weeks in the summer of 2004 provided the opportunity of travelling between London and Norwich with Class 47 haulage once again. This time though, the diversionary route away from the East Anglian main line presented a far more interesting journey. Thanks to the co-operation of Anglia passenger operator ‘one’ and locomotive owners Cotswold Rail, our cameras and microphones were on board 47 818 to record one of these fascinating short-lived journeys from the locomotive footplate.

Immediately after leaving Liverpool Street with the 11.47 departure for Norwich, 47 818 is tackling the short, sharp 1 in 70 climb up Bethnal Green bank. The journey through the north London suburbs continues along the Southbury Loop via Hackney Downs, and Seven Sisters to Cheshunt. From there, it joins the Lea Valley route where the 47 is on full power for virtually all of the 22-mile climb through Broxbourne, Harlow Mill and Bishops Stortford to Elsenham summit. After slowing for Cambridge, there’s a spirited 15-mile run across the Fens to Ely, during which it passes the southbound 47-hauled passenger service. At Ely the train bears right to take the antiquated route through Brandon, Thetford and Wymondham to Norwich. Gated crossings, jointed track and telegraph wires accompany the manual signal boxes and semaphore signals along this delightful stretch of track. And it’s all filmed on a glorious summers afternoon! The fascinating 125-mile journey concludes with arrival at Norwich station, and brings back memories of the days when Class 47s ruled the roost on East Anglia passenger services.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2006

Running time: 110-mins





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Silver Bullet Syphons - Class 37s Burngullow (Cornwall) to Newport (Wales)


Silver Bullet Syphons - Class 37s Burngullow (Cornwall) to Newport (Wales)

Ref: LP453D


Re-mastered and extended from the original VHS version, this DVD is a Wired for Sound cab ride filmed on board the last booked Class 37s on Britain’s longest-distance freight train – the Burngullow to Irvine china clay. This programme, filmed on 22nd July 1995, features their journey to Newport from where a Class 60 took over the train the following day.

The programme begins at St Blazey depot where 37 669 + 37 670 are fired up before setting off light engine to the ECC terminal at Burngullow to collect 10 loaded china clay tanks. With 1,100 tonnes in tow the 37s set off across Cornwall to do battle with the challenging climbs of Treverrin and Largin. After crossing Brunel’s Saltash Bridge into Devon, there’s more meltdown as the 37s pound their way up Hemmerdon. That’s followed by more serious thrash as the locos continue to the summit at Wrangaton After descending to Totnes, there’s the taxing climb up Dainton. There’s a brief respite as the train runs along the sea walls at Teignmouth and Dawlish. At Exeter, another 180 tonnes are added to the load in Riverside Yard before the train sets off for the climb up to Whiteball summit. After Taunton, speed restrictions Highbridge and Worle are followed by ‘full on’ bursts of English Electric power. After passing through Bristol, Filton Bank has the Type 3s at full tilt again. But arguably the best thrash of all takes place at the bottom of the Severn Tunnel as the pair turn on the power for the stiff climb up to Severn Tunnel Junction and into South Wales. That’s followed by a short run through Newport to Alexandra Dock Junction Yard where the train recesses to allow the 37s to be detached from the train for the last time.

This digitally re-mastered programme not only contains an extra 20 minutes of previously unreleased footage, but it also has a revised and updated script, narrated by David Maxey. So, sit back and enjoy some classic traction nostalgia – accompanied by a truly spectacular soundtrack!

Arrival at Alexandra Dock Junction concludes the 6-hour journey, the "Bullet" continuing to Scotland the next day behind the new order - a Class 60 - thus ending another chapter in locomotive history. This video brings you the best of the "Bullet" and the results are spectacular! It’s exceptionally noisy.., and it lasts for 90 nerve-shattering minutes! You have been warned!!

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1995

Running time: 110-mins





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Short Cuts - Six cab rides on one DVD


Short Cuts - Six cab rides on one DVD

Ref: LP521D


Ever since we produced our first cab ride programme in 1994, our cameras have filmed around fifty subsequent journeys. For a variety of reasons, not all of them have seen the light of day but among the countless hours of tape lying on the cutting room floor is some really interesting, unusual and – in many cases - historical footage. This programme comprises six mini cab rides featuring rural branch lines and busy main lines. All six were filmed on different types of traction - ranging from a 1961-built Class 20 and a 1984-built Class 58 to a modern high-speed Virgin Pendolino. The cab rides were filmed between 2001 and 2017.

HOLYHEAD-BANGOR on 57309: Filmed during the period when Virgin Class 57s were diagrammed for a daily Pendolino drag between Crewe and Holyhead, this sequence features the 25 miles of route in North Wales from Holy Island across Anglesey and onto the mainland. It is a section of route that has plenty of interest - semaphore signals, jointed track, request stops, Britain’s longest station name...and the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Straits.

HOPE CEMENT WORKS-EARLES SIDINGS on 20056: This rural backwater in Derbyshire, which connects Hope Cement Works to the Hope Valley Line, is virtually hidden from view. A single Class 20 over the 1.5 mile branch line compliments the surroundings. On this occasion it was an unsilenced 20056 that was on the trip duties rather than the usual silenced Class 20.

ACTON WELLS-WEMBLEY YARD on 58025: A short cut from the North London Line to Wembley Yard. The maze of trackwork starts at Acton Wells Junction and the short journey continues via Acton Canal Wharf, the quirky single-track Up & Down Acton Branch, the Willesden Relief Line and the High Level Goods Line which leads into the busy Wembley Yard.

KILMARNOCK-BARRHEAD on 55022: Deltic Royal Scots Grey tackles the seven-mile climb from Kilmarnock to the summit at Dunlop, hauling a refurbished EMU to Yoker. This rural journey features the impressive collection of semaphore signals at Lugton and some fine scenery. This was filmed during the brief period when some of these workings travelled via Barrhead before being re-routed via Killwinning and Barassie - as covered in our full length ‘Taking Stock’ programme.

EUSTON-WATFORD JUNCTION on Virgin Pendolino 390126: After leaving Euston on ‘Line X’ and climbing Camden bank, the WCML runs alongside the busy Watford DC Lines, past Willesden Junction and Wembley Yard. North of Bushey the Pendolino tilts at an impressive 110mph before passing through Watford Junction. This is a view of this fascinating route from the Down Fast Line and compliments that of the Up Slow Line as featured in our ‘GBAC’ programme.

READING-BASINGSTOKE on 66082: This journey starts on the western approaches to the newly-remodelled Reading. After passing under the new Reading Viaduct onto the remodelled Reading West curve, this DB Cargo intermodal service briefly joins the Berks & Hants route to pass through Reading West station. At Southcote Junction the train takes the former GWR?route through Mortimer and Bramley before joining the South Western Main Line at Basingstoke.





First published on DVD: June 2018
Screen aspect ratio: 16:9
Number of discs: 1 DVD-R
Running Time: 110-mins (1hr 50min)

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Solent Sulzer - Class 47 47827 Portsmouth Harbour to Reading


Solent Sulzer - Class 47 47827 Portsmouth Harbour to Reading

Ref: LP378D


The Portsmouth Direct Line between Havant and Guildford has seen little in the way of locomotives since it was electrified in 1937. Thus, for many years this scenic and steeply-graded route attracted little attention until Virgin CrossCountry introduced Class 47s onto its 14.35 Portsmouth Harbour to Blackpool North service in the summer of 1999. This Wired for Sound cab ride, filmed from the footplate of 47827, features not only that delightful route but also the North Downs line between Guildford and Reading – another line rare for locomotives. Not only was this programme during the brief period when Class 47s were standing in for HST’s on this CrossCountry service, but also before the trains began terminating at Portsmouth & Southsea because of weight restrictions on the harbours wooden pier.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2010

Running time: 100-mins

After leaving the harbour terminus, the 1M32 calls at the nearby stations of Portsmouth & Southsea and Fratton before joining the south coast route at Farlington Junction for the run to Havant. From there, the train heads north over the Portsmouth Direct Route where it passes various slam door EMU’s and Class 442 ‘Wessex’ units. The first task for the Sulzer 47 is to climb the eight miles of the scenic South Downs through Rowlands Castle to Buriton summit, the last two miles of which are at a gradient of 1 in 80. After descending to Petersfield, there then follows another climb – this time for 13 miles over the western Weald through Liss and Liphook to Haslemere. This includes a standing start on a gradient of 1 in 101 at Haslemere station. 47 827 then descends to Guildford and its two tunnels under the North Downs. From there, the 1M32 takes the North Downs route to Reading, where the taxing two mile 1 in 100 climb out of Guildford is made all the more difficult when the train is brought to an unscheduled stand by a track circuit failure half way up the bank! The journey continues across Surrey Heath through Ash Vale, North Camp, Sandhurst and Wokingham to Reading where it takes the ‘Reading Spur’ to connect with the Great Western Main Line.

Filmed over a decade ago, this programme is now a truly nostalgic experience…no more Virgin CrossCountry, no more slam door EMU’s, and no more loco-hauled passenger trains to Portsmouth Harbour or over the Portsmouth Direct Line.





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Taking Stock - Class 55 Deltic Yoker to Kilmarnock


Taking Stock - Class 55 Deltic Yoker to Kilmarnock

Ref: LP504D


Between May 2013 and November 2014, Deltic locomotive 55 022 Royal Scots Grey was used by GB Railfreight on a series of EMU stock moves between Scotrail’s Yoker depot in Glasgow and the Brodie Engineering workshops at Kilmarnock. Thanks to the co-operation of GBRf and Beaver Sports (the locos owner), we were able to travel on board the Deltic-hauled 6V53 in October 2014 which conveyed the 40th and final Class 334 unit for refurbishment. The first stage of the journey is a circuitous and complex trip around Glasgow, from north of the River Clyde to south of the river. After setting off from Yoker depot, the Deltic heads along the Argyle Line through Partick to Finnieston West Junction. Here, we descend under the city on the Low Level Lines via Anderston, Glasgow Central and Argyle Street.

This three-mile section of the journey has to be one of the most bizarre cab sequences we have ever filmed. It includes an exhilarating standing start from Exhibition Centre as the 6V53 waits for the train ahead to clear the underground section, so the Deltic can get a clear run without setting off any of the station’s smoke alarms!

After emerging at Dalmarnock, we cross the Clyde just before Rutherglen North Junction where we take the short non-passenger carrying spur to Rutherglen West Junction. We then briefly head along the West Coast Main Line past Polmadie depot to Larkfield Junction, Terminus Junction and Shields Junction. From there we join the busy ‘Paisley Corridor’ section of the Ayr Line where 55 022 performs an overtaking manoeuvre on a passenger service. Full power is applied under the majestic glass roof of Paisley Gilmour Street station before continuing through Milliken Park and Dalry to Kilwinning. There, we bear left and head through Irvine to Barassie. Royal Scots Grey runs round its train in Barassie yard before continuing over the delightful single-track route through Gatehead to Kilmarnock. After reversing the EMU into the Brodie yard, 55 022 performs a series of shunting moves prior to departing with a refurbished 334 Scotrail EMU. The programme was filmed on a fine autumn afternoon, and as a bonus, the Class 55 was ‘Wired for Sound’ to fully capture the unique Napier sound. The post-BR career of 55 022 has been truly remarkable and this programme is a record of yet another chapter in the locomotive’s long and distinguished history.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2014

Running time: 100-mins





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The Long Short Drag - Class 37 37408 Carlisle to Settle and Leeds


The Long Short Drag - Class 37 37408 Carlisle to Settle and Leeds

Ref: LP458D


A 'Wired for Sound' programme over one of Britain's most scenic routes - the Settle-Carlisle - plus the Aire Valley route!.

After departing from Carlisle station, the train heads for Petteril Bridge Junction which marks the start of the S&C. From here it’s uphill for virtually all of the 48 miles to Ais Gill summit as the line climbs through Langwathby, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen. The S&C is famous not only for its outstanding scenery but also its railway infrastructure and the route is dotted with tunnels and viaducts as it weaves its way across the Pennine Fells. Engineering masterpieces from the 19th century include the viaducts at Dandry Mire, Arten Gill and Ribblehead and the tunnels at Rise Hill and Blea Moor. Manual signal boxes and semaphore signals have survived the passage of time and the line still retains a number of delightfully antiquated stations. The spectacular views are accompanied by the magical sound of an English Electric Class 37 as it tackles the challenging gradients of the ‘long drag’. After Settle Junction, the 1E23 continues south via Hellifield and Gargrave to Skipton from where there’s some spirited running ‘under the wires’, through Keighley and Bingley along the scenic Aire Valley route to the trains destination at Leeds City station.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2005

Running time: 120-mins





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The 50 Terminator - Class 50s London Waterloo to Penzance returning to London Paddington


The 50 Terminator - Class 50s London Waterloo to Penzance returning to London Paddington

Ref: LP447D


To mark the 15th anniversary of the running of the ’50 Terminator’ railtour (and the end of class 50 operation on BR), we re-released the programme of the same name on DVD. This was our very first ‘Wired for Sound’ cab ride, and such was its popularity that it started a whole series of programmes! This digitally re-mastered version on DVD is almost double the length of the original programme, and comes with a new introduction and narration from Plymouth’s former Area Fleet Manager Geoff Hudson.

The 600-mile journey with 50 007 Sir Edward Elgar and 50 050 Fearless traveled over some long-standing routes of the class. Following the departure from Waterloo, the tour heads through the busy London suburbs to Woking and Basingstoke. At Worting Junction it takes the route to Salisbury. From there it then travels via Yeovil and Honiton to Exeter, a route that features some excellent thrash from the 50s on the climbs to Buckhorn Weston and Honiton tunnels. Not to mention a near standing start from the disused Seaton Junction station. From Exeter the journey continues over the tortuous south Devon banks (on one engine!) to Plymouth. After crossing the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall, the two 50s then tackle the challenging climbs to Doublebois, Burngullow and Redruth. Remarkably, arrival at Penzance is 3 minutes early. The farewell tour culminated with a run from Penzance to London Paddington, the highlight of which was the rousing assault on Largin Bank to the summit at Doublebois. Just before midnight, amidst a fanfare of horns, the two 50s arrived at Paddington to be greeted by a large crowd who were there to witness another piece of railway history.

This programme has just about everything – challenging gradients, serious thrash, fine scenery, plenty of sunshine, and perfectly captures the day’s historic events as hundreds of people turned out to witness the last Class 50 hauled train on BR. And you can see and hear it all from the best seat on the train!

Narrated by: Geoff Hudson, BR Area Manager, Plymouth.

First published: 1994 VHS, 20xx DVD

Running time: 115-mins





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Unplugged Extra - Class 37 37901 Llanwern to Ebbw Vale


Unplugged Extra - Class 37 37901 Llanwern to Ebbw Vale

Ref: LP394D


The second in our re-mastered series of re-releases on DVD features a cab ride aboard one of the Mirrlees-powered Class 37/9s on a journey through the most easterly valley of South Wales. The 18-mile branch line from Park Junction to Ebbw Vale (which has since closed) is one of the most scenic routes in the region and boasts a series of taxing gradients. What better way to enjoy this challenging route than on a loaded steel train from Llanwern with traction provided by 37901 Mirrlees Pioneer!

The four Mirrlees-engined Class 37/9s are renowned for their ‘sewing machine’ quietness - no noise, no thrash. But this is a 37/9 as you’ve never heard it before - running on full bore with its exhaust silencer removed! Give it a heavy load and a challenging route, and this machine becomes the perfect candidate for a "Wired for Sound" extravaganza! The results are spectacular as the heavy-weight 37 struggles to haul its 913-tonne load up the valley on a glorious summer morning in September 1997.

37901 sets off from Llanwern with the 6B09 to Ebbw Vale on a 22-mile journey which takes a staggering 95 minutes! After easing out of British Steel’s Llanwern complex and passing through Newport, the train diverges from the South Wales main line at Gaer Junction. From there, the route is seriously uphill all the way. Lime Kiln Junction marks the start of the 8-mile section to Aberbeeg which has now been singled. The last five miles from Aberbeeg boasts a gradient of 1 in 80, on which the train travels no faster than 12 mph - despite a wide - open power handle! The journey ends at the Stop Board at Ebbw Vale, where the loco has to re-start on a gradient of 1 in 75.

Climb aboard the footplate of Mirrlees Pioneer for an audio experience that has to be heard to be believed!

BONUS FEATURE - RUSTON AWAY

A previously unreleased ‘Wired for Sound’ cab ride on board Ruston-engined 37 906 when it visited the Mid Hants Railway diesel gala in March 2000. This exceptionally LOUD locomotive is featured on the uphill climbs from Alresford to Ropley and Four Marks and also from Alton up to Four Marks. Like its companion loco in the programme, 37 906 is also minus its exhaust silencer. You have been warned!

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 1998 VHS, 2006 DVD remaster

Running time: 110-mins





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Vac Attack! Class 50s D431 & D449 Glasgow Central to Crewe


Vac Attack! Class 50s D431 & D449 Glasgow Central to Crewe

Ref: LP413D


On Saturday, 16th September 2000, Class 50s D431 & D449 arrived at Glasgow Central with Pathfinder’s ‘Celtic Hoovers’ railtour on a journey that had brought the two locomotives back to their former London Midland haunts. This WIRED FOR SOUND cab-ride features the return run along the West Coast Main Line on a 243-mile journey from Glasgow Central to Crewe. With a respectable load of 13 coaches in tow, the two ‘Vacs’ set about recreating a piece of railway history on a route that is as challenging as it is nostalgic.

The departure from Glasgow Central is accompanied by a fanfare of horns and that’s followed by a storming run past Polmadie depot. After that, the 50 thrash begins in earnest! A standing start at Motherwell makes for a rousing climb to Craigenhill summit and the ensuing climb up Beattock. South of Carlisle there’s the arduous 30-mile slog up Shap before the big drop to Tebay makes for an exhilarating run through the picturesque Lune Gorge. After a short climb to Grayrigg there’s another spirited downhill run through Oxenholme. A standing start at Carnforth provides an entertaining run past Hest Bank and that’s followed by another impressive climb from Lancaster up Ripley Bank. South of Preston there’s a taxing run from Balshaw Lane up to Coppull Moor summit. Wigan is then ‘thrashed’ from a standing start, after which the train passes lines of withdrawn locos littering EWS’ Component & Recovery Centre at Springs Branch.

The rooftops of the former Vulcan Foundry are glimpsed at Golborne. That’s followed by Winwick Junction after which the ‘Vacs’ blast their way through Warrington before pounding across the bridges of the Mersey and the Weaver. Appropriately, the train is finally checked at Weaver Junction, which in the late-sixties and early-seventies, marked the northerly point of the route’s electrification. The programme concludes with an atmospheric arrival at the loco’s spiritual home - Crewe. To reinforce the nostalgia factor, both locos were transformed into original BR blue livery for this trip, thus turning the clock back 25 years to the days when Class 50s ruled the West Coast route between Glasgow and Crewe.

Like many of these re-releases on DVD, this programme has been be digitally re-mastered, and contains approximately an extra 25 minutes of footage that was not included in the original VHS version. David Maxey has also provided a new and updated narration for the programme.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2001 VHS, 20xx DVD remastered.

Running time: 115-mins





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VXC 125 - HST 43093 Aberdeen to Edinburgh


VXC 125 - HST 43093 Aberdeen to Edinburgh

Ref: LP390D


The Scottish East Coast route from Aberdeen to Edinburgh must be one of the most under-estimated routes in Britain. Pleasant scenery, impressive structures and semaphore signalling combine to produce a 130 mile journey that is packed with interest. And what better way to view it than from the driving cab of an HST. With the route also presenting a series of varying gradients, power car 43 093 was specially Wired for Sound to capture the once-familiar sound of the Paxman Valenta engine. This journey was filmed on September 23rd 2003, during the final week of HST on this service prior to going over to ‘Voyager’ operation.

After setting off from Aberdeen at 08.55 in glorious morning sunshine, the train climbs its way south through the Grampian countryside, skirting the coastline past Cove Bay before pausing for the first of nine stops stop at Stonehaven. The journey continues uphill again through Carmont before dropping through Laurencekirk to Montrose. From there a single track viaduct carries the line across the River Esk before climbing up to Lunan. After Arbroath the route continues through the golf links at Carnoustie before descending into Dock Street tunnel prior to arriving in Dundee station. On leaving the city, the HST crosses the spectacular two-and-a-quarter mile long Tay Bridge which carries the line into Fife. More stops follow at Leuchars and Markinch after which the train is routed onto the scenic half of the Fife Circle. Following another stop at Kirkcaldy the line then skirts the shores of the Forth estuary through Kinghorn, Burntisland and Dalgety Bay. After Inverkeithing is the short sharp climb up to North Queensferry. There then follows a leisurely amble across the routes most impressive structure – the Forth Bridge. Full power is resumed at Dalmeny as the HST speeds towards Edinburgh with a final stop being made at the city’s Haymarket station. The last mile of the journey is through the Mound Tunnels and Princess Gardens before journeys end in Waverley station.

Narrated by: David Maxey

First published: 2007

Running time: 110-mins





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