Film ID:
YFA 3045

83. TRAINS AT YORK

1958

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a record of a day in 1958 in York, then the headquarters of the North Eastern Region of British Railways. York, being situated on the East Coast Main Line approximately half way between London (King's Cross) and Edinburgh, with branches to Scarborough and to Leeds via Harrogate, had been a major railway centre for more than a century.

The opening sequence captures a modern station lamp inscribed YORK, against the ornate north end of the station, where six loco spotters relax on a bench below an LNER-style station nameboard. Streamlined ex-LNER Class A4 4-6-2 No.60021 Wild Swan (newly equipped, in April 1958, with a double chimney) passes through the south end of the station on the non-stop up Flying Scotsman express from Edinburgh to London. Immediately after its northbound counterpart approaches from the south headed by a sister engine, No.60031(?). There is a glimpse of the station pilot, ex-North Eastern Class J72 0-6-0T No.68477. Close by was the old Queen Street Railway Museum, and there is a close up view of the wooden sign, which indicates Admission Adults 6d, Children 3d. A school visit is seen in progress with the ex-NER Tennant 2-4-0 with Great Northern Railway 4-2-2 No.1 behind. A teacher then escorts some children into the cab of NER 2-2-4T No.66 Aerolite. Four spotters are then seen at the south end of the station with much freight rolling stock visible beyond. Ex-NER Class B16/1 No.61447 appears in close up with its fireman standing on the top of the tender, and is later seen setting off on the Scarborough line with a passenger train. From the station footbridge, an ex-LNER Class V2 2-6-2, No.6082, approaches from the north with a passenger train which stops. From platform level, recently built BR Class 9F 2-10-0 No.92142 also travels south. At the north end of the station, a family sit on a station barrow, Leeman Road and the future site of the National Railway Museum are visible beyond. A diesel multiple unit (DMU) departs, probably for Scarborough. A grimy Peppercorn Class A1 4-6-2, No. 60132 Marmion, sets off with an express for the north. Three spotters sit by the water crane at the north end of the station. Peppercorn Class K1 2-6-0 No.62059 passes south on a mineral train. Class A2/2 4-6-2 No.60505 Thane of Fife (rebuilt from a P2 2-8-2) departs north, followed by a grimy Thompson Class A2/3 4-6-2 No.60511 Airborne, which slips visibly as it passes close to the camera. Following is a broadside view of a clean A2/3, No.60524 Herringbone, passing the north end of the station platforms and the future site of the NRM, the carriage immediately behind the tender is of Gresley wooden-bodied design and painted crimson and cream. The film closes with 0-6-0T No.68477 going about its humble duties. END

Historical Notes:

Although this film was made some three years after the announcement of the British Railways Modernisation Plan (January 1955), it had clearly made no significant impact at York as yet. The operations were still almost entirely worked by steam locomotives, although this would soon change very rapidly. Strangely not a single Gresley A3 4-6-2, the mainstay of the ECML since the 1920s, makes an appearance, even though 78 were still extant. The only diesel seen is a DMU, the first of which actually appeared on the North Eastern Region in 1954. Although recognisable as the York Station we know today (2007), by comparison almost fifty years ago it was distinctly grimy. Additionally, the journey to London or Edinburgh would have taken much longer than the present day travel time of two hours.