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Railway footage in feature films and television...

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Prompted by the timely mention over in the Dapol thread of the NBL Class 29 footage in 'Ring Of Bright Water', I thought it might be fun to see how many films and TV programmes we can recall with railways in them.... anything goes, home grown or foreign, ancient or bang up to date, whether it be a brief snatch of something passing by in the background or with the railway as a central feature.


I'll kick things off with one of my favourite examples....


'Bedazzled', the orignal feature film made in 1967 with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eleanor Bron and Rachel Welch.... in one of the early scenes our heroes Pete and Dud are stood talking in the street near to Westbourne Park station, a growling sound becomes apparent in the background when lo and behold, a filthy Hymek potters by on the other side of the brick wall, on one of the empty carriage lines heading towards Paddington. It's a 'blink and you'll miss it' moment but the whole scene is typical of the area at the time, with it's run down buildings and an air of neglect. The approaches to Paddington were about to be remodelled and the Westway section of the A40(M) was yet to appear....


Over to you chums ;)


PS : Goerge Spiggot for PM!

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I think we did something similar to this before in the "what would you recreate" thread.


Nevertheless, here's a start:


The Ladykillers (1955) Alec Guiness, Peter Sellers - King's Cross?

Two-Way Stretch (1960) Peter Sellers, etc

Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

Oh, Mr. Porter (1937)

The Great Train Robbery (1979) Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland

The Railway Children (1970)

Richard III (1995)

Harry Potter and the *** (multiple)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - GWR

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) - LT Underground


I haven't touched the non-UK ones.

Edited by Ozexpatriate
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In a broader space (not limited to the UK) there are countless movies that significantly feature railways.


Dr. Zhivago (1965)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The General (1926)

The Train (1964) Burt Lancaster Paul Scofield

North by Northwest (1959)

Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

A League of their Own (1992)

The Polar Express (2004)

The Silver Streak (1976)

Around the World in 80 Days (1956) David Niven

Rain Man (1998)

Some Like it Hot (1959)

Pride of the Marines (1945) Pennsy GG1s in Philadelphia

White Heat (1949) James Cagney - starts with a SP train robbery

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Goldeneye (1995) - armoured class 20 command train

Octopussy (1983) - circus train


And Westerns which deserve a whole category of their own:

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

High Noon (1952)

Red River (1948)

The Train Robbers

Once Upon a Time in the West (C'era una volta il West) (1968)

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - circus train

How the West was Won (1962)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)


...just to begin.


I guess the 'international' movies are off topic because this is the "UK Prototype" thread.

Edited by Ozexpatriate
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There was an episode of Minder on ITV4 tonight, full of genuine mid-80s grot (I'm guessing the date based on the newest car I saw - a very early MkII Golf). At one point, a passenger train in good old blue'n'grey trundled by, headed by a pair of 45s. That was the only train I noticed, but it brought back a small wave of nostalgia. In some ways, though, the cars were more interesting - so many models, both European and Japanese, that have barely been seen on our roads for 20 years.

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Don't forget music videos either, there's a bit of EMU action at the start of this:

and some tube action around 2:20.


As an aside, that's a great video to watch for anyone wanting to capture the period details of the early 90's.

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Lots of nice late 1970's railway stuff around London turns up in the likes of The Sweeney and also The Professionals. The former has the classic episode 'Stoppo Driver' where the opening scene with Ford Consul chasing blaggers in Mk II Jag seems to feature a lot of Clapham Junction including the old suspended signalbox.


The Professionals has one episode where our two heroes, minus their Capris or Escort RS2000 are holed up in a safe house which is in fact a SR PMV converted into a mess van, the subsequent fire fight with the bad guys showing a very nice collection of mostly ex SR Departmental stock with some of the interior and close up shots of some of the lettering looking particularly useful for modelling reference purposes.

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Does the Metroloink crash in Coronation Street count?


Also the train crash in Casualty - Class 25 or 31 and Mk1's?


The totally ludicrous "helicopter chasing the TGV through a tunnel scene" in Mission Impossible


and of course, we can't forget Top Gear's version of cheap trains.............




Edited by newbryford
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Buckdancer, that is a fantastic find! :clapping_mini: :clapping_mini: :clapping_mini: And part 2 continues over Shap to Carlisle and Kingmoor, then back over the S&C and down to Blackburn.

Edited by pH
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I was watching an old episode of the Sweeney and they were meeting up with some informant around the ealing area and a Thousand in blue roared past behind them. Wasn't expecting that.


There's also some blue & grey carriage action in John Cleese's Clockwise film.


The Sweeney episode I'm thinking of relates to this Craig.... it's 'Faces' from the second series, filmed in 1975, and the location is Southall Gasworks where a Western speeds by with about eight or nine Mk1s and 2s in tow. In a later episode called 'I Want The Man' with Roy Kinnear, the Flying Squad catch up with the villains near Battersea and a fight ensues with Dennis Waterman chasing one them along the top of some BR 21ton mineral wagons loaded with coal!


In an episode of The Professionals Bodie and Doyle meet one of their snouts in Stratford Carriage Sidings, where there's a brief glimpse of a spilt box 37 trundling by in the background.


One of my favourite films is 'Villain' (made in 1970) with Richard Burton, Ian McShane and Nigel Davenport amongst many other stirling British actors, which features a few scenes filmed at Acton Central station, and the ending was filmed on the site of Nine Elms Shed. One of the 'D&E On 35mm' DVDs features out-takes from this part of the film, showing a blue Warship and several SR units passing by above the arches where the villains have stashed their loot.


Not forgetting 'Get Carter'.... with the opening credits playing against a backdrop of in cab footage, filmed aboard a Deltic heading north on the ECML, sometime between March and October 1970.


Smashing stuff!

Edited by Rugd1022
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Wot abaht 'Brief Encounter' (or did I miss it in the copious lists above?).


However a recent highlight on tv was an older version of Agatha Christie's '4.50 From Paddington' with Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple and in it the railway embankment scenes were filmed alongside the Western mainline - fairly certainly east of Reading but I'm not sure of the exact spot although between West Drayton and Iver or around Taplow were the most likely I reckon. Anyway the highlight was a train passing on the Down Main - hauled by a very shiny and clearly almost new D6XX

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Off the top of my head:


Various Inspector Morse episodes featured Oxford station, with the occasional excursion to London. One episode also featured a preserved railway (Didcot?) when an American tourist goes AWOL and turns up there (hopefully haven't spoiled for anyone).

There was a famous (infamous) Cracker episode with a dead person found on a train or beside the tracks - seem to remember an NSE 50 was involved and just about everything about the scene was wrong in terms of train formation, location etc. I seem to recall the stock changed between shots - an overhead view of the train at the end of the scene shows something quite different to what was seen initially.


On the international scene, Lee Van Cleef stops the train he is on, collects his horse from the horse box and starts the body count ticking over in "For a Few Dollars More" and there is also a train scene in "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" with Eli Wallach as a prisoner of the Northern forces in the US Civil War.


On the music scene, I remember someone pointing out that the video for a one-hit wonder (It's Immaterial - Driving Away From Home) from the 1980s shows some rail scenes including a rare survivor of a type of brake van. This was originally mentioned on RMWeb.

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It Always Rains on Sundays (1946) has a hair-raising climactic scene in an East End goods yard with characters chasing each other in between hurtling wagon.


La Bete Humaine (1938) has some of the most authentic railway footage you are ever likely to see. The opening scene on the footplate of a loco approaching Le Havre is breathtaking.

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Superb Avengers clip Michael!


Mike - I'd forgotten about the D6xx appearing in the Miss Marple film (it's on my shopping list), and I think the embankment sequence is most likely the section near Twyford, my other half's Dad took several photos around there so it looks very familiar.


Just thought of another... 'The Wrong Arm Of The Law', another Peter Sellers classic with the signal box / level crossing scene filmed somewhere in South West London.

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'get carter' has been mentioned - good interior shots of mk2a FK and mk1 dining car as well as the deltic cabride!


bill forsyth's 'that sinking feeling' has a scene where characters meet on a disused platform on the edin-QS line and a class 27 push-pull set goes hammering past


ABC's 'all of my heart' video has a 501 going past


The Young Ones episode 'bambi' has them tearing about a station (bristol temple meads?) and leaving on a 125, all accompanied by motorhead doing 'ace of spades'!

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Just remembered another 'Avengers' one thanks to Michael's earier link... can't recall the name of the episode but I'm sure it's one of the later Tara King ones.... T.P.McKenna and another actor are hanging around a very delapidated ex-LMS country station that looks like it's in the middle of nowhere, possibly on the Bedford - Northampton line (?). I doubt it's any further away from London than that as Brian Clemens and team would usually use locations close to their studios wherever possible.

Edited by Rugd1022
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