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 industrial legacy.
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.