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Branch Line Video Memories

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Branch Lines Around Midhurst (75-mins)

Branch Lines Around Midhurst (75-mins)


Ref: BL253D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
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Midhurst was the focal point for three separate branch lines, none of which served the town particulary well since they failed to provide the town with a much needed link to London resulting in their early demise. However each line had an individual character and this is explored and examined in detail.

Although passenger services were withdrawn between Chichester and Midhurst as early as 1935, and from Pulborough to Petersfield via Midhurst in 1955, this video has a wealth of excellent black and white archive cine film footage from the Southern Railway era and early 1950s depicting the steam operated push and pull rail motor services on the two surviving passenger lines.

Goods trains continued from Pulborough to Midhurst until the 1960s and these are shown in detail. Colour cine film shows a brake van ride behind steam and includes scenes of shunting at Midhurst, Petworth and Selham. Alos included is a trip working to the aggregate terminal at Lavant on the truncated Chichester line as well as scenes showing special excusion trains run to Midhurst after passenger services ceased.

A brief history, station survey and "then and now" sequence is complemented by the reminiscences of former railway folk whose fond memories bring colour and charm to life on the Midhurst branches.




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Deltics (60-mins)

Deltics (60-mins)


Ref: BL251D


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Introduced in 1961, the English Electric 3,300hp Deltic locomotive was a true thoroughbred - an all-powerful performer that transformed Britain's East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh from the early 1960's to the 1980's. Hauling Anlo-Scottish express trains, these impressive locos are seen in the heyday of their 'blue period' as BR's Class 55's from 1976 until 1981. Using rare and previously unpublished archive film, the programme includes footage of each member of the class, numbering 22 in all. Cine-enthusiast Chris Wright captured the Deltics in a wide variety of locations including King's Cross, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Edinburgh. Whether it was storming out of King's Cross, dominating the skyline with their silhouette on top of a viaduct or gliding gracefully into York's magnificent station, the era of the Deltic is a never-to-be-forgotten chapter in Britain's glorious railway heritage. Highlights include many unusual workings, with Deltics operating in tandem and with other loco types, on freight turns and in the depths of winter. With a comprehensive archive of original Deltic recordings to add impact to the images, the superb synchronisation of sound and vision captures the atmosphere of the period to prefection.




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Classic Southern Region Vol.1 - South East (60-mins)

Classic Southern Region Vol.1 - South East (60-mins)


Ref: BL275D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 16.58 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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Includes the Hawkhurst Branch, Westerham Branch, All Hallows on Sea Branch & the workings on the narrow gauge system at Bowaters paper mill at Sittingbourne. Each branch is looked at using archive cine-film and photographs plus a look at what remains to day.




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Classic Southern Region Vol.2 (60-mins)

Classic Southern Region Vol.2 (60-mins)


Ref: BL271D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
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The counties of Hampshire and Dorset have a rich railway history and here we chart the rise and fall of four classic lines.

Section 1 takes a look at the Brockenhurst to Lymington Branch Line. A brief history of the branch is followed by over 8 minutes of cine film including scenes of M7s working push pull services in the early 1960s through to the final days of steam working with BR Standards when the branch became famous as the last steam worked branch in the country.

Section 2 follows the "Old Road" from Brockenhurst through Ringwood and Wimbourne to Broadstone. Again a brief history is followed by 7 minutes of superb archive cine fine showing each of the stations and the rich diversity of traffic that used the line before its closure to passenger traffic in 1964.

Section 3 looks at the line from West Moors to Salisbury. This little known line followed the River Avon for most of its route passing through pretty stations at Verwood, Daggons Road, Fordingbridge, Breamore and Downton. Filmed in 1964, the last days of the line are captured before we take a look at Salisbury and its amazing variety of traffic.

Section 4 takes a look at the southern end of the Somerset and Dorset from Broadstone to Templecombe. Over 18 minutes of archive film shows each of the stations and halts on the line. The milk traffic at Bailey Gate is shown in detail and sets the tone as most of the traffic seen on the S & D JR comprises goods trains In all there is over 40 minutes of colour archive cine film brought to life by a full commentary and the reminiscences of locos crews who worked the line.




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Classic Western Region Vol.1: Exe Valley Railway, Culm Valley Light Railway, Tiverton Branch (60-mins)

Classic Western Region Vol.1: Exe Valley Railway, Culm Valley Light Railway, Tiverton Branch (60-mins)


Ref: BL248D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 16.58 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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A look at ex-GWR branch lines in the West Country centred on Tiverton in Devon during their steam operated days in the 1960s.

The Exe Valley Railway from Exeter St.Davids to Dulverton with its push-pull Autotrains was a typical Western branch linking local stations and village halts with main line services at Exeter. Using archive cine-film to retrace a journey along the line, we capture the atmosphere and character of this much loved rural byway. Highlights include scenes at Tiverton, Bampton and Dulverton, the latter showing connecting services with the Taunton to Barnstaple line in steam days.

From Tiverton, the "Tivvy Bumper" as it was known to locals, is filmed on its four and a half mile branch from the main line at Tiverton Junction. Propelled by regular 14xx Class locomotive, the single coach autotrain is seen at Tiverton and Halberton Halt, the only intermediate stop on the line.

At Tiverton Junction, we travel to Hemyock on the Culm Valley Light Railway, seven and a half miles long, meandering through glorious Devon countryside at 15mp! Scenes of the train crew dismounting to open and shut the crossing gates on the line capture its idyllic charm. Mixed traffic was a regular feature on the branch with milk tankers to and from the dairy at Hemyock.

The programme features over 40 minues of archive cine-film, together with a survey of the principal features at each station. Other highlights include film of "The Westcountryman" rail tour of the lines in 1963 with scenes of the train en route to and from Exeter hauled by 60022 "Mallard" starkly contrasted with grain hoppers being shunted at Thorverton Nills sidings by tractor power!.

Finally a "Then and Now" sequence shows what remains of the railway today, including many hsitorical utems on view at Tiverton's Museum of Mid-Devon Life. Together with reminiscences of railway folk who worked the lines, plus an informative commentary.




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Isle of Wight, Electric Dawn (60-mins)

Isle of Wight, Electric Dawn (60-mins)


Ref: BL276D


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Isle of Wight Electric Dawn is the sequel to Isle of Wight Sunset and charts the years 1966 & 1967 with the final demise of steam and and the change over to electric traction.

1966 also saw the closure of the Cowes line as well as the section from Shanklin to Ventnor and it is with these sad events that the DVD starts. In this section are many poignant views of the closed stations taken some months after closure. Rusting rails and silent signal posts stand guard over weed strewn platforms whilst paint peels from the rotting woodwork.

We then take a closer look at the remaining section of line between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin. The final summer of steam haulage could still boast the frantic activity that had taken place for so many years and the locomotives and rolling stock were well cared for and clean.

With the end of the summer timetable Ryde Pier closed to all traffic for a complete overhaul ready for the introduction of electric services. Scenes of steam cranes working on the pier as well as steam hauled works trains, makes for some fascinating viewing.

As 1966 drew to a close more and more signs of electrification began to appear and many sequences show such rare scenes as No. 24 "Calbourne" with the first electric coach at Sandown on gauge tests, as well as topping & tailing between St.Johns and the Esplanade.

The DVD documents the last day of steam services before looking at the rush to finish the electrification work ready for the new services to commence in March 1967. he final section of the DVD takes a fascinating look at the new electric service during its first summer of operation.




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Isle of Wight, Steam Sunset (60-mins)

Isle of Wight, Steam Sunset (60-mins)


Ref: BL277D


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By the summer of 1956 the map of the islands railways had lost the branches to Ventnor West, Bembridge and Freshwater as well as the through route between Newport and Sandown. Although only the lines to Cowes and Ventnor remained open, the charm and amazing density of summer traffic were to remain strong for another 10 years, serving both the holiday maker and local alike. In "Isle of Wight Steam Sunset" we take a ride along both the remaining lines during this last golden age of steam on the islands railways. We take a long look at the working on Ryde Pier with the trams and heavy summer Saturday trains before setting off on a journey to Ventnor. Whilst at the terminus we see this fascinating station and its workings not only from the platform but also from the superb vantage point high up on St. Boniface Down. We return to Ryde Pier Head to take a trip down the Cowes Line. Highlights include an in-depth look at Newport station with shunting in progress both in the carriage sidings as well as along the remains of the old Freshwater line. The DVD is 100% archive cine film and includes such gems as Newchurch and Alverstone stations some years after closure but with the tracks and level crossing gates still in place. We also take a look at the shipping that served the island including the Paddle Steamers Ryde and Sandown on the Portsmouth route before we catch the Red Funnel Boats working between Cowes and Southampton. Finally we take a brief look at Lymington Pier which served the ferries on the Yarmouth route. The DVD shows the Ventnor and Cowes lines as most people will remember them. Platforms crowded with holiday makers and clean 02s hauling rakes of green and red pre-grouping carriages through the beautiful island countryside.




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Memories of Southern Region Main Line Steam (60-mins)

Memories of Southern Region Main Line Steam (60-mins)


Ref: BL391D


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Memories of Southern Region Main Line Steam takes a look at the last main line in the country to use steam locomotives on express passenger diagrams. A superb collection of cine film has been drawn together and includes such varied scenes as Waterloo, Nine Elms shed and Clapham Junction with some scenes dating from 1927 through to the famous Upwey Bank between Dorchester and Weymouth.

The main archive film action comes from the cameras of Edward Griffith and S.A. Peerless. Edward Griffith visited Basingstoke in 1965 and captured various types of locomotive from both the Southern and Western Region. The excellent camera work of Edward Griffith shows the steam locomotives to perfection from the lowly goods train through to the express trains heading for Bournemouth and Exeter.

All this is complemented by the work of S.A. Peerless who made a memorable record of the main line between Wareham and Weymouth in 1964 including the peculiar reversal at Dorchester South, boat trains from the Channel Island Ferries as well as steam engines hard at work on the fierce climb up to Bincombe Tunnel. To finish the journey from Waterloo we have cine film from the collection of Ivo Peters and C.R.L. Coles that shows the boat trains working along the Weymouth Quay branch as well as the Channel Island Ferries at rest in the harbour. The cine film which lasts for over 50 minutes was all taken on 16mm and the results are truly memorable. All the grime, and the glory of main line steam's final stand is here. The archive cine film is complemented by brief views of modem motive power at work on the old Southern Region as well as various main line steam specials and Southern Region steam at work on various preserved lines around the country. Finally we have drawn together many of the men who worked on the steam engines during steam's final stand to give their account of what life was like on the footplate during the final years. The film is a magnificent tribute to Southern Region main line motive power past and present and is sure to appeal to all lovers of steam.




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Memories of the Barnstaple to Ilfracombe Line (60-mins)

Memories of the Barnstaple to Ilfracombe Line (60-mins)


Ref: BL252D


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The Barnstaple to Ilfracombe line was the final 14 miles of the Southern's main line from Waterloo, and the route of the famous "Atlantic Coast Express". With a gradient profile to challenge the most experienced of engine crews (nearly 5 miles at 1 in 40, up the bank to Mortehoe, then 3 miles at 1 in 36 down to the precipitous station at Ilfracombe) the line saw its heaviest traffic in the holiday season with a continuous stream of trains on Summer Saturdays being banked over the summit at Mortehoe. This truly exhilarating spectacle is captured in 35 minutes of archive cinefilm. Southern and Western Region trains are seen pounding up the banks behind West Country, N Class and Mogul locomotives. Highlights include an early journey on the line c.1898 showing the original Barnstaple Quay station, rare footage of the "Devon Belle" shot in the 1950's with views from the Pullman observation car, the "Exmoor Ranger" and the "Exeter Flyer" special excursion trains between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe during the final days of steam plus a driver's eye view of the line after DMU's took over the passenger service in 1964. The video includes a brief history of the line from its earliest days until its closure in 1970, together with "Then and Now" scenes and reminiscences of former local railwaymen whose memories bear witness to the challenging nature of one of the Southern's most spectacular lines in the West Country.




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Memories of the Barnstaple to Torrington and Halwill Junction Line (60-mins)

Memories of the Barnstaple to Torrington and Halwill Junction Line (60-mins)


Ref: BL267D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
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Opened as late as 1925 the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway existed in a world entirely of its own exerting a powerful charm on those lucky enough to travel on it.The railway was linked at its northern end with the Torrington to Barnstaple line which wound its way through the beautiful Devon countryside before emerging on the banks of the Torridge to give the traveller some superb river views. One person who fell under the magical spell of the line was Ian Pringle who set out to capture on cine film the last days of steam hauled passenger workings over the branch. Later he returned to capture the diesel hauled workings to the clay pits at Meeth and Marland and the milk and fertilizer traffic at Torrington. Ian’s memories of his first visit to Watergate Halt perfectly capture the. charm of this country railway. "It was one of those moments you always remember - a first glimpse, caught through the dappled sunlight of a woodland glade. Deep within the heart of North Devon, I came across this tiny wayside halt, no longer than a single carriage length.". With over 40 minutes of superb cine film, the video explores the history and fortunes of these two independent branch lines. Highlights include scenes shot in the final days of steam, the last passenger services over the line and a cab ride to Meeth in the late 1970’s, as well as the steam cranes at work on Fremington Quay.

The video is complemented by a history of both lines as well as then and now views allowing us to see how much has survived in the years since closure. The charm and character of the two lines is captured through the reminicenses of local railwaymen. Their fond memories add colour and humour to the life of the lines and help re-create the special atmosphere that existed on the railway linking North Devon and Cornwall - now sadly lost to the pages of history.

2012: NEW 20 Minutes BONUS FOOTAGE!

  • 1. Return Journey from Barnstaple Junction to Torrington.
  • 2. Exmoor Ranger Railtour from Halwill Junction to Barnstaple Junction

DVD-1: Introduction, Early Days, Stations and Halts, Bonus Footage

DVD-2: Memories, The Railway Heritage




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Memories of the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway (105-mins) (2*DVD-R)

Memories of the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway (105-mins) (2*DVD-R)


Ref: BL396D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
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FEATURING THE WENFORD BRIDGE MINERAL LINE

It is 30th.September 1834. An event is taking place in the county of Cornwall that will shape the destiny of Britain's future. It must have been a momentus occasion when the first steam hauled train ran between Wadebridge and Bodmin, one of the earliest railways in the country.

Driven by a true pioneering spirit, the story of this remarkable railway, which lasted alomost 150 years, is as fascinating today as it must have been at its outset.

With a stunning collection of over 45 minutes of rare archive cine film, this DVD chronicles the life of one of Britain's most famous local lines from its inception, when the concept of a station was still unknown, through its early years, passing at first "illegally" to the LSWR, then to the Southern Railway in 1923 and finally with British Railways through the post-war years to eventual closure in 1983.

Major highlights include cine-film featuring the famous Beattie Well Tanks working goods trains on the Wenford Bridge Branch, shunting china clay wagons at the "Dries" plus sequences at Boscarne Junction and Wadebridge. Passenger services, steam and diesel, are captured netween Bodmin North and Padstow, including the Boscarne Exchange Platform to Bodmin North railbus link introduced in 1964. Finally, special Brake Van trains between Wadebridge and Wenford Bridge are seen winding their way up the densely wood ed and beautiful Camel Valley.

With an in-depth history of the railway, station survey, including the halts and "wharves", plus some wonderful memories caught through the fond reminiscences of former railway staff and a "Then and Now" sequence, the programme offers the definitive story of a truly unique railway that has won a well earned place in the hearts of many local people and railway enthusiasts.




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Memories of the Bridport Branch and the West Bay Extension (79-mins) (Released Nov 2008) (2xDVD-R)

Memories of the Bridport Branch and the West Bay Extension (79-mins)  (Released Nov 2008) (2xDVD-R)


Ref: BL238D


Price:19.90 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 16.58 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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In the mid-nineteenth century the landscape of Britain was changed by the coming of the railways. Cities and towns were transformed overnight bringing a new prosperity to communities as the industrial revolution took hold.

A few places, however were less fortunate in the lottery of railway expansion. After numerous attempts had failed to link Bridport in the county of Dorset, with the emerging railway network, the leading citizens of the town took up the challenge to build their own railway.

Linked to the Great Western Railway at Maiden Newton, the Bridport Railway was opened in 1857 - at nine and a quarter miles long, a branch line of modest but independent means which survived for 118 years.

With over 40 minutes of previously unpublished and rare archive film footage from the early 1960's through to its closure in 1975, this film documents the lines history from its days as an independent company, through GWR ownership, to its final demise under British Rail.

Included are sequences filmed on railway enthusiast's special excursions, among them the infamous Bndport Belle in January 1967, the last steam-hauled train on the line, which stalled on its way back to Maiden Newton.

A detailed station survey, including the West Bay extension, plus Then and Now scenes presented by railway historian Paul Atterbury, is complemented by the reminiscences of former railway staff who worked on the line.

Whilst never linked directly to the local centres of population in West Dorset, the Bndport branch was a remarkable survivor which, given a few more years of life, might still have been part of today's railway network.




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