Film ID:
YFA 3642



Visitor Tabs


This is an excellent film by former railway engineer, Frank Dean of the North York Moors Railway, just before its closure under the Beeching cuts. Filmed over a period of months and from many different vantage points, the film provides a wonderful evocation of the journey from Pickering to Whitby by steam locomotive, complete with all the sounds.

Country Film Unit invites you to join ex LNER locomotives 61276 and 61319
On the Whitby Branch 1964
Driver, Sid Winfield Fireman, J Carling Guard, Wilf Freer
Photography and Recording Frank Dean
Colour by Kodak

The film begins on the footplate of a locomotive, with the furnace glowing. The guard waves the train from off a station platform. The train leaves the station passing a cabin with the name 'Houlbeck .'. A signal turns from red to amber and it arrives at a small station. There is a sign for 'Marshes Road'. There is a close-up of a signal lever. The train continues passing through the countryside and villages, coal being shovelled into the boiler. The train arrives at Pickering, where there is an old engine shed and a level crossing with traffic passing. The gates are closed and points changed for a shunting engine and brake van, with a shunter waiting with his shunting pole.

Passengers are waiting on the station. The train pulls out of Pickering and is seen from over the top of some houses coming to a stop (loco. 61319). The level crossing gates are closed and passengers disembark at another station. The level crossing is closed by the signalman using a wheel located in High Hill signal box. The train passes New Bridge signal box. As it passes the fireman bends down and collects a token from the signalman. The train (loco. 61942) continues along the single track. It passes fields and farms and stops overlooking a valley at Levisham, where there is a tethered horse and cattle cross the line. Passengers pop their heads out of the windows as it travels. The train is seen on its journey down below in a valley. The journey is then filmed from inside the driver's cab.

There is a break whilst showing some of the wild flowers, and a square brick building. The railway line is viewed through an arch, where a boy stands with a pony. A woman stands on the other side of the line in the quiet. Nearby is Newton Dale signal box. The tracks are going rusty. A locomotive approaches and the film is continued from a carriage on the train. At Goathland summit it is quiet and all that can be heard are the birds, cows and a train in the distance. Passengers wait at Goathland station, where there is seen an oil lamp and signal levers. Inside the signal box there is a layout of the lines and points. A signal is pulled off for the down line. The train passes and on arriving at Grosmont passengers get on and off. A semaphore signal is in the down position. The guard waves the train off (loco 61319). A station worker puts some timber on a bonfire.

The train continues under a bridge and around a curve, passing another train going the other way. It goes on to Sleights and towards Whitby, passing alongside the river to arrive at Ruswarp, where a woman passenger waits in an anorak. It continues on, passing The Bridge Inn. Looking down onto a line, a permanent railway worker walks along carrying a keying hammer inspecting the track. The train approaches Larpool Viaduct and arrives at Whitby, where railwaymen can be heard discussing the journey time.

Frank wishes to thank the many people who gave their time and assistance in the making of this film also Mr L Reeves (Motive Power Depot), British Railways, York.

The End
Country Films