In Great Britain, the Victorians built the vast bulk of the country’s railway system and constructed steam locomotives to work them - many different designs were created, with many different results. The final form of the steam locomotive was seen in the designs introduced in the early years of the 20th century, from there on development was in detail and power.
Using footage from the last quarter of a century, this programme looks at the way this final form was refined by some of the most famous engineers of their time, right up to the last steam locomotives built for main line service in the country.
This is The Golden Age, examining Victorian and Edwardian locomotives.
The Victorian engineers were artists as much as engineers, and their locomotives were as beautiful to look at as they were efficient at moving the goods and passengers around the country. However, even by the end of the 19th century, few large locomotives had been built.
The first decade of the 20th century would see what was known as the ‘Golden Age’ of the Railways, when locomotive size would double and the railways would reach their zenith. This film follows this development from the little 0-4-0 Victorian engines – passenger and goods as well as industrial designs – through to the large passenger and goods engines which set the scene for the way the railways helped underpin the War effort.