An Interesting Film: Diesel Trainride (1959)

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by pitdiver, 10 Apr 2015.

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  1. pitdiver

    pitdiver Member

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    I have trying to track down this film for months. As observant ones amongst you will note it starts off in East Anglia then suddenly mountains appear. During my many visits to Norfolk I have never come across any worthwhile hills let alone mountains.:D I hope you enjoy watching as much as I have.

    [youtube]DXtK_h9rygk[/youtube]
     
  2. QueensCurve

    QueensCurve Established Member

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    Many thanks for alerting this.

    This superb film is from the British Transport Films unit run by British rail and sadly disbanded in 1982. My late father, before my time, used to screen these films in the pubs and clubs of West Cumberland. I am hoping to acquire the full collection. The quality of this online video is better than for many BTFs out there.

    The opening sections are obviously Norfolk locations whereas the mountain in frame 12633 [I don't know how to attach the screenshot] (about 8m 44s) is obviously Causey Pike in the Lake District which Identifies the route as the Cockermouth Keswick and Penrith Railway. There is a continuity error in that the film then jumps back to a view of Blencathra at a station which may have been Blencow.

    I can't help but see myself in the boy asking questions of his old man who - as in my own case - appears to have a certain amount of inside knowledge.

    Film very much to be commended.
     
  3. DeeGee

    DeeGee Member

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    Fascinating to see the big windows giving a view of the cab. Did they really exist? Would you be able to have such a thing nowadays?
     
  4. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

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    Yes. The driver's eye view of the road ahead was the biggest appeal of the 1960s DMU (and, coincidentally, the biggest thing wrong with all modern trains) and I have little doubt this film was in part meant to sell them on that basis.

    It was refreshing, on a trip to Germany a while back, to travel on an electric high speed inter-city train (not sure of the branding) with exactly such a view from the First Class area at the front.
     
  5. hulabaloo

    hulabaloo Member

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    The ICE 3 certainly has that "extended view"
     
  6. Wyvern

    Wyvern Established Member

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    Trouble is peope would mess about distracting the driver, causing him to pull the blinds down for privacy.

    As usual the few spoiling it for the many.

    And nowadays you've got the sm**a**ses with Twitter spreading ill-informed commentaries far and wide.
     
  7. John Webb

    John Webb Established Member

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    This film is on Disc 1 of Volume 4 of the BTF Films collection as remastered and sold by the British Film Institute in recent years. It's a while since I looked at it, but besides the Lake District and Norfolk there are also views in the Peak District, I recall.
     
  8. eisenach

    eisenach Member

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    What strikes me is the good condition that the track and the railway in general appears to be in.
    Riding behind the cab with a view like that of the track takes me back to my 70s youth !
    I bet the passing steam trains weren't rammed, either. Plenty of places on a six or seven coach train.
     
    Last edited: 10 Apr 2015
  9. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    It's a Derby-built Class 108 dmu. Surprising the shots of Norfolk with a destination blind for what appears to be a Norwich-based set, because as far as I recall the 108s were never in use there. By it's cleanliness the car appears brand new. Two of the oncoming trains are Britannia-hauled, with mixed BR/LNER stock, so presumably somewhere on the GE main line.

    Notable how just about everybody, men and women, is wearing their formal suits (even the ganger in charge of the track crew), and apart from a few selected children are all middle-aged or more.

    The big windows were indeed a selling feature. I have to say in many decades of riding these trains I never saw anyone messing about distracting the driver, such events must have been few and far between. For a long time hardly any of them pulled down the blinds, even at night. Then there was an accident, on the Chiltern Line, and an enthusiast seated there gave evidence which contradicted the driver's initial version, and which the inspector had reasons to believe. After that I don't think I ever experienced another Chiltern set without the blinds pulled firmly down, and it unfortunately spread elsewhere.

    If you got a winter Sunday afternoon run on a quiet branch, with just you and parents seated behind, the driver might well slide the door back, have a kindly chat, and then let you have a go, initially sounding the two-tone horn, then graduating to the controls. My own experiences were, inevitably, down the Minehead branch. I wonder how many current drivers had their first ever experience that way.
     
  10. Welshman

    Welshman Established Member

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    I, too, spent most of my pocket-money riding the dmus in the Halifax-Huddersfield area, and, whenever I could, in one of the front seats, enjoying the forward view and watching the driver at work.

    It was a different culture then - if a driver saw you taking an interest, he would sometimes slide open his door and invite you in. Also, some of the drivers were approaching retirement, and having recently transferred to the dmus, found it hard to adapt to working alone, having been used to having a mate on the footplate for most of their careers. So they'd sometimes just open the door for a chat.

    I'm sure British Railways capitalised on the view from the front, and that it was no accident of design that on the "Trans-Pennine" and "Calder Valley" dmus, the area immediately behind the driver was given over for first-class seating!

    That meant my front-seat observations had to be tempered with the occasional 180-degree glance, to see if a ticket inspector was approaching!
     
  11. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Member

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    I have all of the re-issued British Transport Films DVD's - absolutely fascinating stuff. Definitely another era. Especially the Jimmy Saville ones - I'll bet they never get aired on mainstream TV!

    Just need to get the 'school games' episodes re-shown on prime-time TV to deter trespass.

    I too remember the drivers eye view through the front of first generation DMU's. Even better when you could travel in the first class compartment on a declassified service. :D

    Regarding the 'mountains of Norfolk', it can be fairly said that Mr Ansty was very efficient with his film stock. There are numerous examples where the same bit of film is used for different purposes.
     
  12. Committee man

    Committee man Member

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    Hi everyone,
    Yes a great BTF although I bet those children would get on your nerves after a while! Anyway I've seen a discussion about this film on an other forum (cant remember where) and some effort has gone into identifying all the locations seen. It made interesting reading, the only location I recognised was the bridge on the now closed line through North Wylam at 6.53 which we walked a few years ago.
     
  13. Pigeon

    Pigeon Member

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    Oh is that what their problem was, I always wondered what it was with drivers on that line and the blinds. I never encountered it much elsewhere. You'd get the occasional driver who insisted on putting the blinds down, but most of them would either leave them all up or only put the left hand one down. I spent a few holidays using rovers to get the driver's view of as many lines as possible :) Somewhere I have a Standard 8 film of Settle to Carlisle in 2 minutes thanks to the DMU services they put on when the anti-closure campaign brought the line to the attention of the general public. Much better than my previous attempt hanging out of the front window behind a Peak (and getting sprayed by what I at first thought was a coolant leak but was actually the secondman widdling out of the cab door...)
     
  14. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    The East Anglia bits include Somerleyton Swing Bridge, Oulton Broad, Beccles, Ipswich water troughs and Spooner Row station. Good stuff.
     
  15. NORMAN471

    NORMAN471 Member

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    Part of this film (7m43s) I'm sure is passing through Wetheral station en-route to Carlisle from Newcastle, one of my favourite stations in the North of England. There is a footpath over the viaduct on the north side which leads directly to the railway station. Well worth a visit.
     
  16. Titfield

    Titfield Member

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    Travelled on the Swanage Branch on Sunday on a Class 108 first row of seats on the right hand side.

    Got an absolutely splendid view of the Purbeck Line including Corfe Castle.

    Magic!
     
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