The steam railway
has been part of Britain’s
heritage for 200 years. In that time it has evolved from the cutting edge of
technology, through the driving force of industrial expansion, to the accepted
form of transport and, more recently, a much-loved, living, part of our
In this programme,
using film shot over the last quarter of a century, we reflect upon the
development of steam and celebrate our great railway heritage.
The railways of
the South have always had their own special atmosphere, whether the Great
Western with its holiday trains to Cornwall and Devon or the Southern with its holiday trains and
commuter lines to the Capital.
London stations such as Waterloo, Victoria
and Paddington resound to the fierce exhaust bark of express steam locomotives
on trains like the legendary “Orient Express” and the “Golden Arrow”. All
around the South steam works for a living, from Dover and Canterbury via
Guildford, Alton, Southampton, Swanage, Exeter, Minehead, Paignton to Plymouth,
Bodmin and Penzance.
An amazing variety
of steam locomotives adorn this programme, from “Kings” and “Castles” and
Bulleid Pacifics to Panniers and Terriers.