Film ID:
NEFA 21738



Visitor Tabs


This film by railway enthusiast and filmmaker Chris Lawson records steam engine traffic in and around the North East in the mid 1960's. The film also may be capturing some of  the last passenger steam services to run as on the 12th August 1968 British railways imposed a ban on all mainline steam traffic.

The film begins with a high angle view as a steam train emerges from a tunnel into deep cutting. The passenger train passes a signal box is pulled by a Black Stanier 4-6-0 built in 1945 and it leaves the cutting by entering another tunnel.

A long view follows showing a road bridge over a valley. Underneath the bridge a steam train speeds towards the camera, pulling a passenger train.

On a steep hillside enthusiasts try to get a good vantage point  as a steam train speeds over a viaduct. Possibly the same passenger train seen earlier, which maybe a special excursion service. It passes under a road bridge and continues down the valley.

General long distance views follow of steam trains in the distant countryside. A trackside view of one particular engine and train reveals that it is engine no. 70013 Britannia class 4-6-2 'Oliver Cromwell'.

A trackside view follows as a steam train goes under a viaduct, possibly another special enthusiasts excursion train. The engine is a Black Stanier 4-6-0, and it continues its journey to another tunnel in the distance. A high angle view from a bridge follows as the same Black Stanier heads towards the bridge. A high angle shot shows a view of fields and a housing estate. In the distance, houses cooling towers and a tall chimney, this may be Ferrybridge power station in Yorkshire. 

The film then cuts to a trackside view of a railway cutting as a steam train, heads towards a track signal. This is another shot of 70013 Oliver Cromwell, pulling a special excursion train(?). The film changes to a signal pointing upwards, the camera pans down to show Oliver Cromwell heading towards the camera across a viaduct.

A high angle view from a distance and the camera captures a 'double header' train. Two steam engines are at the front of the train, but only one seems to be in steam.  A trackside view follows as a steam train approaches the camera. This maybe the same 'double header' seen previously. The first engine maybe a 45673 Jubilee class Stanier 4-6-0, the second engine unknown. A long shot follows of the same train as it passes over a viaduct, both engines seem to be in steam.

A high angle view of a steam train follows as it makes its way along a country railway. The camera pans left to right following its progress.

The film cuts to a more urban setting amongst cooling towers and chimneys as a trackside view shows a steam train heading towards the camera and speeding past, possibly another special excursion train (image blurred).

A high angle view from a distance shows two linked locomotives speeding past a power station (?). Another steam train appears travelling in the opposite direction.

A phantom car ride with Chris Lawson driving and a hand attempts to cover the lens. This is followed by a steam train crossing a viaduct over a wooded valley. The train disappears around a curve in the distance.  The film cuts  to a double header as it comes over the same viaduct. The lead or 'pilot' engine controls the speed etc of the whole train. They head towards a short tunnel.

The film cuts to badge on the side of a bus which reads 'Todmorden Joint Omnibus Committee' which incorporates the badges of Todmorden Corporation and the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company.

A trackside view follows as a steam train approaches, possibly engine no 44979 a 4-6-0 Black Stanier the pilot engine of a double header set up. The trackside view follows the train into the distance.

A high angle view follows as a steam train comes out of a tunnel into a cutting, again a double header, the train heading off into the distance. A trackside view in a railway cutting follows as another double header speeds past.

In the distance a double header travels in reverse along an embankment, pulling its train of passenger carriages. A trackside view, shows  a British Rail steam passenger train speeding by.

The film cuts to an evening view of a station, this is quite dark except for a red light on the track in the middle distance. A steam train appears heading towards the camera [rest of the sequence is very dark and indistinct].

The film cuts back to the deep cutting seen earlier in the film, a steam train heads towards the camera and disappears into the tunnel beneath the vantage point. Eager enthusiasts stand or lie by the trackside for another photo opportunity as another steam train speeds past.

A high angle view in hilly country follows as a steam train goes across a viaduct. Enthusiasts watch from the hillside as the train speeds down the valley.

A double header passes through open country bathed in summer sun. An old Midland Railway information sign outlines the penalties for trespassing on the railway line. The sign is dated  1899(?).

The film cuts to a lone steam engine slowly passing a signal box on a country line, photographers get in each others way to get a good shot, the engine is Oliver Cromwell, a significant engine in the last days of steam passenger services. As the photographers look down the line as the engine moves off, a diesel engine patiently waits on the opposite track. 

The film cuts to a middle distance view of a boat on a river, possibly the Tyne. It is possibly a tug. A ship in the foreground, the 'Compass Spirit', obscures the view of the tug as it moves along the river. A long distance shot sees the ship in more open water on the river.

The film cuts to an evening shot (quite dark) of a steam engine coming towards the camera, and finally the camera as phantom passenger in a car ends the film.