Film ID: YFA 5619 Video of YFA_5619 Remodelling Church Fenton North Junction REMODELLING CHURCH FENTON NORTH JUNCTION 1948 Visitor TabsDescription Part of the Fastline Collection, this film shows the lines at Church Fenton North Junction going into the sidings being removed and remodelled over several successive Sundays in September, October, and November 1948. Intertitle – Improvements effected: 1 simplified layout 2 removal of four sets of diamond crossings with consequent easing of maintenance difficulties. 3 Smoothing out of curves and re-alignment of curves on Church Fenton and Harrogate line 4 4 and a half miles less track to maintain The film begins with a view over the sidings and the main line, and then looking in the other direction towards the station, filmed from on top of a signalling pole. A view from the sidings shows hundreds sleepers, or timber, stacked in a field next to the line. A workman walks across the lines as a coal train pulls out. Intertitle – Sunday 5th September 1948 A section of the track is being relayed, with a couple of cranes and a couple of wagons of new sleepers. Large gangs of workmen are busy aligning the new track and banging in keys. Intertitle – Sunday 12th September 1948 Again the gangs are out laying new track at the crossovers between the sidings and the main line. A section of pre-formed track is lowered into position by a crane while nearby men are screwing in fishplates and packing the track with ballast. The finished work is shown at the end of the day. Intertitle – Sunday 26th September 1948 In this section sleepers and rail are being laid separately and fitted on site. Having laid the track ballast is shovelled between the sleepers. Shovels rest in a line against the track. Many of the workmen look on as another section is laid. Again the finished track at the end of the day is shown. Two men walk along the completed line, possibly checking the keys. Intertitle – Sunday 17th October 1948 More work extending the same stretch of track, with some workmen taking a breather while others are busy. Complex sections of crossover are being replaced. One section is being aligned using a crowbar. Work is taking place at either end of the newly laid track. The crane is seen working close up. Again the results at the end of the day are shown. Intertitle – Sunday 7th November 1948 Again large numbers are working at the next section of track, now mostly all wearing long overcoats. They huddle around, each holding either a crowbar or a shovel, waiting for the crane to bring the next section of track. Intertitle – The complete renewal The whole section of line is shown upon completion, with goods trains going in and out of the sidings. We then see the track filmed from a moving vehicle, presuming a wagon or brake van being propelled. A split screen shows photos of the line, before and after the restoration. The End Context With so much essential maintenance work being neglected because of wartime exigencies, there was a backlog of work for railway engineers. With nationalisation British Rail took over on 1st January 1948, and the work proceeds apace here in Church Fenton in the autumn of that year, with a major renewal of track. The whole enterprise is characterised by a lack of proper workwear, with little evidence of concern for health and safety, and is seemingly massively over-staffed. This is one of a large collection of films created by the Photographic Unit of the Chief Civil Engineer of the LNER in York, and his successors on British Railways. The films were inherited by the track renewals company Fastline in 1996, and when Fastline was sold to Jarvis in 1999 the films were sold on to Andrew Dow and Richard Hall who took over the running of Fastline Photographic Ltd in 2010. Church Fenton Junction was very busy at this time, although traffic had significantly reduced from pre-war levels. As well having a line to Harrogate, which closed in 1964, it also catered for the large Royal Ordnance factory at Thorp Arch which was built in 1940.