In this, the third of five 100% archive film programmes, the story of steam
locomotives is taken through the end of independence into the early days of
The first half of the decade saw the railways at the forefront of the war
effort, from which the black-painted steam locomotives emerged bloodied but
unbowed, still the principal power force on the railways.
Nationalisation in 1948 was to see a unified system, with locomotives
straying to lines away from their traditional haunts. We see them on trial and
bearing their new owner's name in full - 'British Railways'. Postwar types such
as Ivatt tanks and Moguls, ex-GWR 'Modified Halls', ex-LNER Peppercorn-designed
Pacifics and Thompson 'B1s' are seen alongside the prewar survivors, and, most
radical of all, the Bulleid Pacifics of the Southern.
Narrator: Ken Morgan
Producer and Director: Jeremy English
film, black & white and colour.