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British Film Institute: "The Brilliant Biograph"

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JB_B

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I thought this might be of interest to forum members ( apologies if this has been posted before.)

BFI have recently published some remarkably early and very detailed footage of various scenes from around Europe at the end of the 19th Century (all filmed on high resolution 68mm 'Mutoscope' stock.)

It's available free at: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-brilliant-biograph-2020-online

There are several scenes of railway interest - for example:-

1900 'Irish Mail' @ 01:31 [passing through Bushey - must have been filmed from a train alongside ]

1899 (driver's view of) 'From Monte Carlo to Monaco' @ 12:15

1898 (track work at) 'Maidenhead Junction' @ 34:45 [A little alarming to modern eyes but clearly the P-Way crew would have known they were being filmed and probably felt they were demonstrating exemplary safety standards for the time.]
 
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Gloster

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Maybe I am overly suspicious, but the Irish Mail appears suspiciously short of passengers and provision for mail, or was this the normal formation of the train? The LNWR Society must be in ecstasy.
 

JB_B

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Maybe I am overly suspicious, but the Irish Mail appears suspiciously short of passengers and provision for mail, or was this the normal formation of the train? The LNWR Society must be in ecstasy.

The quality is good enough that you can clearly see the number of Teutonic class loco nr. 1304 [sometimes 3105] - and @02:34-37 you can just make out enought to confirm the name - "Jeanie Deans".

I think it's quite plausible that this loco would have hauled the real "Irish Mail" but I agree it's possible that we're seeing a staged run - certainly there's no visible trace of passengers - I'm not sure how visible they'd be.
 

Gloster

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Two other small details: I can’t see any lamps on the front of the loco, which I presume would be normal for the LNWR, and there appears to an inspector on the footplate. A staged run does seem likely, bearing in mind that arrangements have got to be made to run alongside the train with the camera on board, this presumably being a special.
 

midland1

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The train is also running on the slow line note the rings on the signals to show they were for the slow line not what you would expect for the Irish Mail. There should be lamps on the front, if they ran a train normally without lamps someone would be for the high jump! The set of coaches looks like a local set used out of Euston, the Irish Mail train would have had corridor stock by this time. They would probably be a TPO van in the formation.
 
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