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Running a Railway

2612 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dwb
I picked up a copy of the latest volume of British Transport Films which is being released by the British Film Institute. I found it to be an interesting and varied mix of films and subjects. The two DVDs are essentially two time periods - the first is late 60s to mid 70s, the second mid 50s early 60s.

Highly recommended.
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I agree with David, having got my own copy recently.

Warmly recommended for the detail of use to modellers and to those who remember those times.

John Webb
>for the detail of use to modellers
From that point of view the second disk was of great interest to me as I model the mid to late 50s. "Terminus" is a bit like an edition of "Airport" with the exception that there is no voice over. All the other elements are present - lost boy; celebrities (didn't actually recognise them, I think I'm too young); "Home Office party"!

"Fully fitted freight" was also a good source of material too.

Basically the message is "everything and everyone goes by train".

The RRP may be pricey but I think it is much better value than other rail DVDs.

I've just noticed over teatime that the 'Railway Magazine' (which arrived two days ago) has an advert for Vol. 4 'Reshaping British Railways'. I hope to pick this up at the CMRA Exhibition at St Albans in a couple of weeks time - there are usually two or three people selling DVDs etc at this exhibition.
John Webb
>an advert for Vol. 4 'Reshaping British Railways'.
Thanks for the tip.
Buying these has become a "no brainer" for me now.

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I got this a couple of months back.

Having driven the WCML, I really enjoyed the "Wires Over the Border" item, which allowed me to see the route, including the old Carstairs and Beattock boxes et al before Electrification and Remodelling/Re-signalling.
I now have all four volumes. All interesting although volume 2 has few railway parts but good to catch up on the scenery, and dress of the 1050s. If you are mdelling the 1950s it does help to get the right flavour for the settings which I think is important as much as the basic models.

Somebody thought pricey: not so sure. About four hours of good quality film for £20 (the last two I got discounted at about £15 each) which compares very favourably with £16 just spent on a TVP offering with 70 minutes. The TVP offering is good (Steam through the Garden of England - I have green blood in me!) and I am not complaining but the BTF series are very good value especially as some of the items were totally new to myself. I actually only had about six on video and some of those were taken from the TV series Going Loco which was put out by C4 a long while back. Early 1990s I think.

Does any one know if there are any more BTF volumes planned? I would have thought a lot of the BTF output would have been purely instructional for staff and also would have covered other transport apart from rail.
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Got my copy of Vol 4 'Reshaping British Railways' a week or so ago.
Ther's one 'Video Nasty' on it, which is the item which gives the volume its title - half of it is Dr Beeching talking to camera about his 'plan' for poor old BR. With the hindsight of 40+years it is easy to see that the Dr. almost certainly came up with the answers the politicians of the time wanted him to.

Interesting to consider what would have happened if the cutting-back had not been so severe, with reports this week that our railways are carrying the passengers in numbers of 60 years ago on half the track.

I believe more are planned, but I don't know the detail.

As far as some of the instructional films are concerned, some have been released by Fastline Films on a 2 DVD set and deal with mechanical signalling matters. Advertised in the current Railway Modeller by Midland Counties Publications.

John Webb
I've just got hold of the DVD/Video Catalogue from 'The Signal Box' at Anstey in Leicestershire. This lists a number of BTF films available on VHS video. It would seem that the new DVD sets are, in effect, a reissue of these videos but with about twice the running time for only about a £5 rise in purchase price. They would still appear to have a number of films to re-release on DVD - there are 9 videos listed.
John Webb
A name and address for obtaining DVDs that relate to the diesel and electric era. Am I correct to assume that DVDs are published by areas of the UK.
Information will be most appreciated.
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'The Signal Box' address is 1, Albion Street, Anstey, Leicester, LE7 7DD
Telephone 0116 236 2901
e-mail: [email protected]
(They do not have a website)

Their catalogue is set out in sections: Railways of the UK, Overseas, Minature/Model, Children's, Feature films & Misc.
Within each section the DVDs are listed in order of Production Company, for each company the titles are in alphabetical order. So this does make searching for specific areas/eras a bit of a problem.
Hope this is of help,
John Webb
May 30th 2007: John's pointer elsewhere has prompted me to qualify my earlier comment slightly

>Buying these has become a "no brainer" for me now.
If you are only interested in railway operation, I don't think Volume 3 "See Britain by Train" will be to your taste. The trains in this volume are support acts only for a series of travelogue type documentaries.

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