Films featuring scenes on Britain’s railways
The following is a list of our favourite films featuring scenes on Britain’s railways. It includes well known favourites such as 'The Railway Children' and 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' but also over 80 others.
Note the complexity of information in this table is too extensive for the table to appear in full on a smart phone.
Year and Studio
Synopsis and Railway Location
American Werewolf in London (An)
Dir. John Landis Cast: Jenny Agutter David Naughton
Still one of the best werewolf films based in the UK. The railway scene is brief but dramatic. Playing on fears of being alone at an underground station at night, mid film a city gent is chased through the lonely corridors of Tottenham Court Road tube station by a hungry werewolf.
Railway scenes filmed in corridors of Tottenham Court Road station.
1948 London Films
Dir: Julien Duvivier Cast: Vivian Leigh Ralph Richardson
Vivian Leigh as Anna. The climax of the film is of course the suicide of Anna as she throws herself in front of a train.
Railway scenes filmed at Tattenham Corner station
Dir: Stanley Donen Cast: Gregory Peck Sophia Lauren
Sophia Loren and the Crumlin Viaduct, making a great combination in this spy thriller. Peck plays a hieroglyphics expert professor at Oxford University who is kidnapped and then chased to force him decipher a coded message. Famous final scenes comprise a chase over the Crumlin Viaduct on the Pontypool-Neath line (the line had just closed) both at track level and underneath track level, with helicopter in chase.
Railway scenes filmed on the Crumlin Viaduct.
Belstone Fox (The)
Dir: James Hill Cast: Eric Porter Rachel Roberts
Fans of western region hydraulics and anti-fox hunting will enjoy a late scene where our hero (the fox) leads a pack of hounds down an embankment as a Hymek pulling a freight train approaches. As in an Ivor the Engine episode featuring a fox hunt, the fox wins.
Railway scenes filmed on the West Somerset Railway.
Dir: George Cukor Cast: Stewart Granger Ava Gardner
Although most filming took place in Pakistan, the impressive crash scene was filmed on the Longmoor Military Railway. Ava Gardner rides on the footplate of a steam locomotive and a Lord Nelson speeds closely by.
Railway scenes filmed at the Longmoor Military Railway.
Dir: David lean Cast: Celia Johnson Trevor Howard
One of the best films showing a busy railway at night. Lots of steam locomotives are seen speedy through ‘Milford Junction’, including a Royal Scot and two streamlined Coronations. Opening scene has an express hurtling through the station, a Coronation.
Filmed at Carnforth Railway Station
Dir: Alan Bridges Cast: Sophia Lauren Richard Burton
An unsatisfying remake of this story, in colour set in the 1970’s on the southern region. EMU’s and Class 33’s compare badly with the steam trains of the original. Brockenhurst stands in for Winchester.
Railway scenes filmed at Brockenhurst railway station.
Dir: David Green Cast: Phil Collins Julie Walters
Film based on the train robber Buster Edwards. The early scenes of the film depict the train robbery of 1963 with realistic scenes.
Railway scenes filmed on the Great Central Railway.
1974 Children’s Film Foundation
Dir: Freddie Wilson Cast:
A film really for teenagers, where children defeat the crooks. However, it has much footage of the Aberdeen - Inverness line as it was in the early 1970’s featuring, as it would, some DMU’s.
Railway scenes filmed on the Aberdeen - Inverness line.
Dir: Norman Tokar Cast: David Niven Jodie Foster
A Disney film aimed at children; this features extensive scenes where a car chases a steam train for numerous miles culminating in the car being halted on a level crossing to stop the train. Light hearted, these give visions from both Titfield and the Railway Children.
Railway scenes filmed on the Seven Valley Railway
Chronicle of Narnia
Dir: Andrew Adamson Cast: Tilda Swinton William Moseley
A modern version of the famous story of the adventures of 4 children evacuated during WW2. The film has a variety of railway scenes mixed with CGI technology. The opening sequences of the film show London Paddington and a train journey supposedly from there to Pewsey.
Railway scenes filmed on the Seven Valley Railway.
Churchill - Hollywoood Years
Dir: Peter Richardson Cast: Christian Slater Leslie Philips
A funny Hollywood spoof movie with an alternative view of Churchill and WW2. The film has much railway footage, with stunts, battle scenes and jumping off trains.
Railway scenes filmed at the South Devon Railway and the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway
1995 FF/ Metrodome
Dir: Vadim Jean Cast: Ian Hart Ruaidhri Conroy
A film with the younger viewer in mind, dealing with a troubled pupil and a teacher’s efforts to bond with him. The film is noteworthy for its railway climax, featuring a lengthy sequence where the pupil walks on the roof of a fast-moving steam train.
Railway scenes filmed at the Mid-Hants Railway.
2017 FF/ UP
Dir: Joe Wright Cast: Gary Oldman Kristin Scott Thomas Lily James
A film on Winston Churchill's early days as Prime Minister around May 1940 and the fall of France, and his determination to fight on rather than sue for peace. Underground bunkers, tunnels and tube stations feature as well as a moving scene of Churchill talking to passengers within a tube carriage.
Railway scenes filmed at Aldwych Station.
Death Line (Raw Meat)
Dir: Gary Sherman Cast: Christopher Lee Donald Pleasance
An early 1970s horror film. Strange film where cannibals descended from the original Victorian workers on the railway actually live in disused London Underground tunnels. Two students find themselves at the centre of an investigation when a man who goes missing at a station.
Railway scenes filmed at Aldwych Station. Also a scene showing entrance to Russell Square station
First Great Train Robbery (The)
Dir: Michael Crichton Cast: Sean Connery Donald Sutherland
A film depicting an early Victorian era attempt to rob a London to Folkestone express. There are numerous railway scenes, filmed actually in Ireland. The locomotive is liveried to look like one of the South Eastern Railway, and 4 wheeled carriages feature in a very good depiction of railways at that time.
Railway scenes filmed at Dublin Heuston and at Moate (appearing as Ashford). Moate was on the former Midland Great Western Railway’s Dublin-Galway route via Mullingar and closed in 1987.
Flying Scot (The)
1957 Anglo Amalgamated
Dir: Compton Bennett Cast: Kay Callard Lee Paterson
A gang attempt a robbery on an overnight train from Scotland to London. The film opening features an imagined plan of the robbery, where the robbers occupying a compartment break into the adjoining compartment by taking out seats and breaking the partition. Lots of railway shots are shown, strangely though on the former GWR including Paddington, and ex GWR locomotives including a King, a Hall and a Castle, and former LMS locomotives, an 8F and a number of Duchesses.
Railway scenes: Some clips of Paddington, and also line side clips, possibly on the Prince’s Risborough - Banbury line.
Flying Scotsman (The)
Dir: Castleton Knight Cast: Moore Marriott Raymond Millard
A part talkie movie, silent initially then with dialogue. Story comprises a former employee who tries to wreck the ‘Flying Scotsman’. There are extensive railway scenes, some filmed on the Hertford Loop. The train stunts are amazing for their time, with Pauline Johnson in high heels clinging to the outside of a train as she shuffles towards the engine.
Railway scenes filmed at King’s Cross station and King’s Cross Top Shed. Also, Waverley station. Moving action on the Hertford Loop. Running board walks between Crews Hill, Cuffley, and Bayford
From Russia with Love
Dir: Terence Young Cast: Sean Connery Robert Shaw
Well known for the 3-minute fight scene with Bond on in an apartment of a continental express.
Little was filmed in the UK, although it includes stock shots of a passing Royal Scot and Jubilee, hence its inclusion.
Railway scenes filmed on the Continent, but there are three shots of British trains filmed at night: A Royal Scot and two Jubilee’s possible on the Midland main line near London.
Dir: Mike Hodges Cast: Michael Caine Ian Hendry
Not a train movie, but the opening sequence features a train journey from London to Newcastle with passing shots, views for the carriages and drivers-eye views. Movie not bad either.
Film features Barnet Tunnel, Hadley Wood North Tunnel, Hitchin, bridges north of Biggleswade, the approach to Peascliffe Tunnel, yards around Doncaster, around Selby and Newcastle Central, with a Deltic passes by on an express.
Ghost Train (The) 1931
Dir: Walter Forde Cast: Jack Hulbert Cicely Courtneidge
The supernatural and the ‘fear instinct’ have always existed in literature. Charles Dickens wrote one of the 1strailway ghost stories in 1865 and many followed including that of Arnold Ridley in 1930. This was adapted for a play and also a number of films, including this early example. Much of it is unfortunately lost, but some wonderful shots near the beginning of the film showing Camerton station as it was in the 1930’s survive.
Railway scenes filmed at Camerton station on the Camerton - Limpley Stoke branch featuring some Dean Goods locomotives.
Ghost Train (The) 1941
Dir: Walter Forde Cast: Arthur Askey Richard Murdoch
A 1941 remake of the original film, but featuring the comedy of Arthur Askey. The station scenes have no interest as all was filmed in studio, however the film features the GWR main line around Dawlish, including Askey pulling the communication cord to stop a train when his hot blows out.
Railway scenes around Dawlish and Teignmouth featuring Kings and Castles.
Gold Express (The)
Dir: Guy Fergusson Cast: Vernon Gray Ann Walford
A reporter foils a robbery of gold onboard a sleeper train. The story is set largely around a train journey, and there are considerable number of railway shots throughout.
Film largely features Stanmore station, terminus of the LMS suburban branch from Harrow. Also London Euston. Other stations past at speed are unidentifiable, but could be on East Coast main line. Locomotive shots include a Princess Royal, Jubilee, Royal Scot, Black 5, Patriot, Duchess and a Britannia.
Dir: Martin Campbell Cast: Pierce Brosnan Sean Bean
Well-known to rail fans for the short sequence where an armoured Russian train crashes into a tank parked in a tunnel. The locomotive is in fact a highly disguised Class 20.
Filmed on the Nene Valley Railway, at Mill Road Bridge, Castor, and at Ferry Meadows station.
Good Die Young (The)
Dir: Lewis Gilbert Cast: Laurence Harvey Stanley Baker
A crime thriller involving a gang that try to rob a mail van. Of interest are the chase sequences filmed on the London Underground.
Railway scenes filmed in the tunnels of the District & Circle Lines around the Barbican and Farringdon
Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery (The)
1966 British Lion
Dir: Frank Launder Cast: Frankie Howard Dora Bryan
A railway movie classic known by all rail fans. Near film’s end, there’s a train chase sequence, the robbers using a freight train hauled by an Austerity. The schoolgirls chase by hijacking a passenger train, and the schoolmistress on a Wickham Trolley. The police join chase aboard a Class 205 DEMU. The crooks are finally caught at ‘Pudham’ (Liss). Famous for one of the best train chase sequences in any film. Two trains chasing each other on the same track.
Railway scenes filmed at Longmoor Military Railway.
Great Train Robbery
Dir: Julian Jarrod/ James Strong Cast: Robert Glenister Luke Evans Jack Roth Jim Broadbent
A two-part made for TV film on the Great Train Robbery of 1963. Filmed in two parts, being ‘A Robber's Tale’ and ‘A Copper's Tale’ showing their respective perspectives. Well written by Chris Chibnall and a good portrayal of the robbery.
Railway scenes filmed at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Hard Day’s Night
Dir: Richard Lester Cast: The Beatles
Another well-known classic. The Beatles head from Liverpool to London to appear on a TV show, getting mobbed by adoring fans and giving an excuse for singing songs off their album. Great opening film sequence at filmed at London Marylebone and abord a train with Wilfrid Brambell.
Railway scenes filmed at London Marylebone station and on West Somerset Railway (Crowcombe Heathfield station).
Harry Potter - Philosopher’s Stone (2001) -Chamber of Secrets (2002) - Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) - Goblet of Fire (2005) - Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Directors: Columbus/ Cuaron/ Newell/ Yates Cast: Daniel Radcliffe Emma Watson
Most of the Harry Potter films feature at some point the ‘Hogwarts Express’ starting from King’s Cross station on Platform 9¾ on route to Hogsmeade (for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), frequently also featuring Glenfinnan Viaduct. GWR Hall No.5972 ‘Olton Hall’ features in all the films.
Railway scenes filmed at the King’s Cross railway station, Hogsmeade (being Goathland station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway), and Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Fort William - Mallaig West Highland line
Interrupted Journey (The)
Dir: Daniel Birt Cast: Richard Todd Valerie Hobson
A husband elopes with his lover on a train, but has second thoughts. He pulls the communication cord as the train nears his hoe, and flees. However the stopped train is then run into by another. Railway Inspectors then try to piece together events.
Railway scenes filmed at Longmoor Military Railway.
It Aways Rains on Sunday
Dir: Robert Hamer Cast: Googie Withers John McCallum
An escaped prisoner seeks refuge in the London home of a former girlfriend. The beginning of the film shows a sequence where he crosses a railway to escape, and the film ends with a case by police avoiding moving trains and shunted wagons. Set in the East end there are many interesting scenes with railways in the backdrop.
Railway scenes filmed at Temple Mills Marshalling Yard, and between Camden Road and Kentish Town West stations
Kate Plus Ten
Dir: Reginald Denham Cast: Jack Hulbert Genevieve Tobin
Kate, the leader of a criminal gang, works as secretary to an aristocrat where she gains information she uses for criminal ends. A particular heist involves stealing gold from train having picked up its cargo from a ship at Seahampton Docks. Impressive railway chase sequences follow including attempts to stop the train at a level crossing (which fails).
Railway scenes filmed on the Limpley Stoke-Camerton branch and the Westbury - Bath line
Kiss in the Tunnel
1890 Bamforth Company
Dir: - Cast: -
A very similar ‘film’ made around the same time as the above, this features a somewhat more passionate kiss.
Filmed at Queensbury Tunnel (Yorks) although the train appears to arrive at Monsal Dale station!
Kiss in the Tunnel
1899 George Albert Smith
Dir: G.A Smith Cast: G.A Smith Laura Bayley
‘Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat’ by Auguste and Louis Lumière, was first shown in 1896, and is credited as the first film showing a train, although it lasts just 50 seconds. A Kiss in the Tunnel (filmed in 1898/1899) is included here for historical reasons, being one of a number similar clips made at this very early time. It’s a short one-minute clip showing a couple sharing a kiss as their train passes through a tunnel.
Filmed around Shilla Mill Tunnel between Tavistock and Bere Alston.
Lady Killers (The)
Dir: Alex Mackendrick Cast: Alex Guinness Katie Johnson
A well-known Ealing classic. A gang of robbers use an old lady’s house as cover for a security van robbery at King's Cross station. The old lady finally twigs and the gang determine to kill her. No-one is able to do it, and the gang end up killing themselves instead whilst she sleeps. There is a famous late scene where the final crook is struck on the head by a changing railway signal, and he falls into a wagon of a passing freight train.
Filmed at Belle Isle Bank, Copenhagen Tunnel, just outside King’s Cross station.
Lady Vanishes (The)
Dir: Hitchcock Cast: Margaret Lockwood Michael Redgrave
A Hitchcock classic where an old lady disappears from a Switzerland - London train, and two travellers investigate the disappearance amongst doubting fellow passengers. Filmed in Europe, although London Victoria appears at the end of the film with a Schools V class locomotive arriving.
Railway scenes: The film is based on a continental train, but gets its entry here for the appearance of Victoria station at its end.
Last Journey (The)
Dir: Bernard Vorhaus Cast: Godfrey Tearle Hugh Williams
A train driver on his last journey before retirement thinks his fireman is having an affair with his wife. The driver intends to kill himself and his passengers by crashing the train. Much of this film is on the railway and there are a great many shots.
Filmed at London Paddington, Ranelagh Bridge, West Ealing and Slough stations, the Reading-Basingstoke line around Bramley, and at Millbay Docks, Plymouth.
Look Back In Anger
Dir: Tony Richardson Cast: Richard Burton Claire Bloom
An ‘angry young man’ film, adapted from a John Osbourne play. Burton plays the disgruntled man, involved in a love triangle between his wife and her best friend. Features some atmospheric night time railway shots.
Railway scenes filmed at Willesden Junction and at Dalston Junction stations.
Love Match (The)
1955 British Lion
Dir: David Paltenghi Cast: Arthur Askey Thora Hurd
An Arthur Askey comedy with a difference, in that Arthur is an engine driver and consequently much of the film is railway related. Typical antics includes rushing a freight train home so Arthur can get to a football match on time.
Many railway scenes filmed at Newton Heath depot, Manchester. Also with many unknown locations, and shots around Bolton and Southall.
Mad About Men
Dir: Ralph Thomas Cast: Glynis Johns Donald Sinden
A sequel to ‘Miranda’ (see below). The opening sequences of the film show a Castle departing Paddington, and shots of the train apparently travelling to Cornwall.
Railway scenes filmed at Paddington, Seer Green and on the Liskeard - Looe branch.
Magic Christian (The)
Dir: Joseph McGrath Cast: Peter Sellers Ringo Starr
For many, Peter Seller’s comedy of the early 1970’s has not travelled well, and this is a strange film indeed. However early in the film (23 minutes) there is a long sequence on the Henley branch line with a Class 47 locomotive hauling Mark 1 stock.
Railway scenes filmed at Henley on Thames and at Wargrave stations
Man from Morocco (The)
Dir: Max Greene Cast: Anton Walbrook Margaretta Scott
Members of the International Brigade (having fought in the Spanish Civil War) undergo internment in a French camp, and are forced to build a railway in the Sahara. One escapes and returns to London to find his wife being pursued by his enemy.
Filming: Being a film made in restricted war time conditions, it’s unclear where the Sahara railway scenes were filmed, however they do show GWR tank engine No.906 on a short construction train
1971 British Lion
Dir: Waris Hussein Cast: Mark Lester Jack Wild
Fans of ‘Oliver’ may like this rather peculiar Mark Lester/ Jack Wild film. A story of puppy love told from the children’s perspective. School friends, Melody and Daniel, decide to get married with support from fellow pupils. Adults (the villains) intervene but the kids escape on a railway pump trolley.
Railway scenes filmed in South London (including derelict former Nine Elms sidings), Class 33/1 ‘push-pull’ diesel arriving at Weymouth station, Portland Branch, Bridport branch.
2005 Pathe/ BBC
Dir: Danny Boyle Cast: Alex Etel James Nesbitt
A comedy drama featuring young brothers who find a million pounds in stolen cash thrown by robbers from a train. The robbers then come looking for their cash. The boys live close to a railway line, and there many shots of passing traffic on the West Coast Main Line.
Some railway scenes filmed at Liverpool Lime Street station and on the East Lancashire Railway
Dir: Ken Annakin Cast: Glynis Johns Griffith Jones
A comedy film about a doctor on holiday in Cornwall who falls in love with a mermaid. It has some good GWR shots, in particular on the Lostwithiel-Fowey branch in Cornwall.
Railway scenes filmed at Golant Halt, Moorswater Viaduct and Paddington.
Dir: Brian de Palma Cast: Tom Cruise John Voight
Famous to rail enthusiast for the near ending of the film where Tom Cruise tries to protect a Eurostar train heading for and through the Channel Tunnel, being chased by a helicopter also in the tunnel.
Railway scenes: Much of these, including the tunnel scenes, are of course CGI. The approaching train to the tunnel is a mix of real and CGI, with the railway actually being the Dumfries - Kilmarnock line, with a TGV super imposed over the real train that was travelling along it. Also has shots of Liverpool Street station
Murder She Said
Dir: George Pollock Cast: Margaret Rutherford Charles Tingwell
This is based on the novel 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie, where the strangling of a young woman is witnessed from the carriage of an overtaking train.
Railway scenes: Opening scenes filmed at London Paddington with shots of the platforms, steam locomotives and a DMU visible. Also shows line side views of the GWR main line between Taplow and Maidenhead.
Dir: John Lynch Cast: John Hurt Brenda Blethyn
A rather strange film this, featuring a released prisoner who develops a relationship with a woman at a boarding house in Dublin. John Hurt is a keen railway modeller, and his impressive model railway is shown on a number of occasions, the only film we can think of that depicts this enthusiasm. He ultimately takes a night train on the Orient Express.
Railway scenes: Quite a number of railway and train shots in and around Dublin
Night Train For Inverness
Dir: Ernest Morris Cast: John Hylton Dennis Waterman
Another rather strange film, this time a man kidnaps his young son and heads for Inverness not knowing that his son needs regular insulin injections. The police are in a race against time to find the boy. There are a great number of railway shots throughout this film but unfortunately many of them are unidentifiable.
Railway scenes: Euston station, and many unidentified shots that could be BR Eastern Region out of Kings Cross. Also shots of passing trains probably on the BR Midland Region
Dir: Hitchcock Cast: Leon Lion Anne Grey
An early Hitchcock comedy thriller. A criminal gang commit a jewel robbery and hide their loot in an old house (number 17) over a railway leading to the English Channel. The thieves take a night ferry goods train bound for Harwich intending to cross the Continent. A chase with police then follows, and the crooks get to the cab of the steam locomotive and takeover the train in order to escape, but end up crashing into the train ferry.
1983 Eon/ Danjaq
Dir: John Glen Cast: Roger Moore Maud Adams
Bond is tasked with following a Soviet general who is stealing jewellery and art from the Kremlin art repository and replacing them with fakes. The art is smuggled to the West via a circus train, although the art is replaced with a nuclear device.
Railway scenes filmed at the Nene Valley Railway, in particular Wansford station and yard, Ferry Meadows station, and Wansford Tunnel.
Oh Mr Porter
Dir: Marcel Varnel Cast: Will Hay Moore Marriott
Widely acclaimed as the best of Will Hay's work, and a classic of its genre. Porter (Will Hay) is an inept railway worker whose family connections garner him the job of stationmaster at a remote Northern Irish railway station 'Buggleskelly'. The plot includes gun running with trains diverting down disused lines and tunnels and the inevitable chase scenes.
Filmed at Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway (Cliddesden station the focus as ‘Buggleskelly’). Also LSWR main line and milk dock in Basingstoke yard.
One Good Turn
Dir: John Carstairs Cast: Norman Wisdom Joan Rice
A typical Norman Wisdom comedy, where Wisdom plays an inept man who tries to raise money for an orphanage he grew up in. Some railway capers appear, including Wisdom losing his trousers by hanging them out of a carriage window to dislodge a wasp, only for them to get wrapped around the chimney of a passing Southern Railway freight train (30 minutes in).
Railway scenes filmed at Brighton, Purley and Crawley stations.
Password is Courage (The)
Dir: Andrew Stone Cast: Dirk Bogarde Alfred Lynch
A comedy drama war film featuring many railway scenes. Sergeant-Major Charles Coward (Dirk Bogarde) is a senior British prisoner of war whose antics include impersonating a German soldier (for which he gets an Iron Cross) and whilst being transported, setting on fire an enemy ammunition train. He escapes prison but is caught at a German railway station. Based in Nazi occupied Europe but filmed in England.
Railway scenes filmed at Cricklewood Depot, Scratchwood Sidings Mill Hill, and at Radlett station.
Press For Time
Dir: Robert Asher Cast: Norman Wisdom Derek Bond
Another Norman Wisdom comedy, but a late one and so in colour. Wisdom’s grandfather is the Prime Minister (also played by Wisdom). Well-meaning but inept, he is helped to get a press job as a newspaper report in the seaside town of Tinmouth. Chaos ensues.
Railway scenes: A number of shots are at West Drayton station. A classic scene is Wisdom on the rear buffer beam of a departing DMU, filmed on the Staines West branch.
Railway Children (The)
Dir: Lionel Jeffries Cast: Jenny Agutter Bernard Cribbins Dinah Sheridan
A classic that really needs no introduction.
Railway scenes: Landslide sequence was filmed in the cutting on the Oakworth side of Mytholmes Tunnel; fields of long grass where the children waved to the trains is at Haworth side of the tunnel. Oakworth is indeed Oakworth. Other scenes on Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Also clip of Barmouth Bridge.
Railway Children Return (The)
Dir: Morgan Matthews Cast: Jenny Agutter Sheridan Smith Tom Courtenay
A sequel to The Railway Children (which was based in 1905), it now being 1944 and wartime. Three siblings are evacuated from Manchester to the Yorkshire town of Oakworth. The railway features in numerous adventures as in the initial film.
Railway scenes filmed at Oakworth and generally on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
Railway Man (The)
Dir: Jonathan Teplitzky Cast: Colin Firth Nicole Kidman
War drama based on the life of Eric Lomax, a British officer captured by Japanese in Singapore and sent to a POW camp. He works and is tortured on the Thai-Burma Railway. 30 years later, Lomax is back in UK, still traumatised but helped by fellow railway enthusiasts and wife. Learning his POW captor is now a guide at the camp where he was interned, he resolves to confront him. Railway scenes: Peak No. D123 ‘Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry’ on the Great Central Railway. Also Perth station in number of shots. Also Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. View of the Royal Border Bridge.
Dir: Unknown Cast: Unknown
Included here because of its very early date. A 5-minute film where a woman is attacked on a train journey. A villain follows her into an apartment, and whilst the train is moving, she is robbed and thrown off the train. Has very interesting shots of the railway in the early 20th century.
Railway scenes filmed at North Dulwich station.
Rising of the Moon (A Minute’s Wait)
Dir: John Ford Cast: Maureen Connell Frank Lawton
A short comedy. A train arrives at Dunfaill station in County Kerry, where a minute's wait is announced. Passengers and crew crowd into the bar and comic conversations follow. An elderly couple from afar are the butt of many jokes, being moved out of 1st class to be replaced by a goat, and finally being left at the station when a hurling team arrives.
Railway scenes filmed on the 3’ gauge West Clare Railway. The station in the film being Kilkee (renamed ‘Dunfaill’).
Dir: Peter Yates Cast: Stanley Baker James Booth
A film based in the great train robbery of 1963, but with fictional characters.
Railway scenes filmed at Theddingworth on the Rugby-Market Harborough line. London Marylebone (loaded mail train pulls away at the start of its journey).
Rotten to the Core
1965 British Lion
Dir: John Boulting Cast: Anton Rogers Charlotte Ramping
A crime comedy, featuring towards its end a complex plot involving the police, the British Army, officers of the German army and a railway deception with the real German army officers being tricked into getting off a train one stop early, to be replaced by criminals in their place.
Railway scenes: The robbery of the train was filmed on the Guildford-Christ’s Hospital line. Baynards and Christ’s Hospital stations both appear (‘Longhampton Halt’ and ‘Longhampton’).
1965 Children’s FF
Dir: Jan Darnley Smith Cast: Ronnie Barker Sydney Tafler
Children’s film with memories of Titfield and St. Trinian’s Great Train Robbery. A group of kids try to stop closure of their local railway (and scrapping of a beloved engine) by trying to raise money to buy it. They get help from men posing as rail enthusiasts but who are actually planning to rob a mail train. Lot of footplate riding and action, including the kids uncoupling of trains.
The robbery sequence is at Longmoor Military Railway (Whitehill on the Hollywater loop). ‘Barming’, in fact being Bordon BR station.
Seven Per Cent Solution (The)
Dir: Herbert Ross Cast: Robert Duvall Nicole Williamson
A pastiche of a Sherlock Holmes adventure. Holmes and Watson are in Vienna visiting Freud. A patient of the doctor is kidnapped and the case takes them on a crazy train ride across Austria pursuing an enemy who is about to provoke a general war. About an hour in there are numerous elaborate railway sequences and capers (two trains converge on adjacent tracks, carriage broken up for firewood to fuel the locomotive, walking on the side of a moving locomotive, and roof walks).
Railway scenes: Filmed on the Severn Valley Railway. Interestingly part of the old Stourport-on-Severn branch at Bewdley too.
Dir: Albert de Courville Cast: Edmund Lowe Constance Cummings
An American detective and his sidekick travel from France to England to take on a gang of international criminals. Gun-runners cause a number of train crashes to cover up a murder.
Railway scenes filmed on the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway
Silent Passenger (The)
Dir: Reginald Denham Cast: Peter Haddon John Loder
A Lord Peter Wimsey detective film. A blackmailer is murdered by the husband of one of his victims however an innocent man is suspected of the murder. Wimsey happens to be travelling too, gets involved and finds the real murderer. About 45 minutes into the film, there are impressive railway scenes with fighting at Stratford locomotive works. In one scene, the regulator is knocked forward, and the loco starts to move forcing the fighting men into an inspection pit.
Railway scenes filmed at Stratford locomotive works. Also Liverpool Street station.
Dir: Peter Howitt Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow John Hannah
A successful and well-known romantic drama featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. A successful executive misses her Underground train, and the film reveals how life would have unfolded had she caught it.
Railway scenes filmed at Embankment, Bank, and Waterloo Underground stations.
1964 British Lion
Dir: Michael Winner Cast: Oliver Read Barbara Ferris
Otherwise known as ‘The Girl Getters’ which is basically what this film is about, with a group of young chaps in a seaside town hitting on seasonal tourists in search of passion. The opening scenes are of railway interest, showing a railway journey to the West Country and a rare destination (Churston station on the Kingswear branch and Brixham), Warships, a Class 22 diesel-hydraulic and DMUs all feature.
Railway scenes filmed at Dawlish, as well as Churston and Brixham stations.
2012 Indian film
Dir: Priyadarshan Soman Nair Cast: Anil Kapoor Kangana Ranaut
A film in Hindi, based in the UK. If a London to Glasgow train drops its speed below 60 mph, then a planted bomb will detonate.
Railway scenes: Southwark Underground station, Euston and St. Pancras stations, various passing train shots on West Coast main line.
The 39 Steps
Dir: Ralph Thomas Cast: Kenneth Moore Taina Elg
A 1959 remake of the story. This one has the advantage of being in colour, and also has more live railway footage (as opposed to studio work). There are a few genuine shots of the East Coast main line to Scotland, and the Forth Bridge scenes were taken live on the bridge.
Railway scenes: Frontage to London King’s Cross station, shots featuring Edinburgh Waverley station. Extended sequence on the Forth Bridge.
The 39 Steps
Dir: Hitchcock Cast: Robert Donat Madeleine Carroll
A well-known spy classic famously featuring many railway scenes including an escape from a train halted half way along the Forth Bridge. Regarded as one of Hitchcock’s best films and indeed a film classic.
Railway scenes: Many shots at Kings Cross station. Clip on the West Highland line. Extended sequence featuring a chase and escape on the Forth Bridge.
The Titfield Thunderbolt
Dir: Charles Crichton Cast: Stanley Holloway John Gregson
An absolute classic. BR put up a notice for the closure of a local branch line, and the villagers determine to buy the line and run it themselves. The local bus company has other ideas. Star of the film is ‘Thunderbolt’ (‘Lion’ of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway), which at the time was the oldest British steam locomotive capable of being steamed. Too many funny moments to recall. Poignant moments too (at the closure public enquiry there is an impassioned speech as to Titfield’s fate when the railway closes…cars and traffic jams everywhere! Truly insightful. Filmed on Camerton branch, ‘Monkton Combe’ being ‘Titfield’.
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
Dir: Ken Annakin Cast: Terry-Thomas Stuart Whitman
A comedy film satirising the early years of aviation. A press magnate offers £10,000 to the winner of an air race from London to Paris. One plane is landed on top of a moving French steam train, and then destroyed when the train enters a tunnel.
Railway scenes filmed on the Bedford-Hitchin line, Old Warden Tunnel. Also, ariel view of Compton level crossing (only film clip we know of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway).
Three and Out
Dir: Jonathan Gershfield Cast: Mackenzie Crook Colm Meaney
A black comedy where an Underground train driver who accidentally runs over two passengers on separate occasions learns he can be pensioned off with a nice lump sum if a 3rddeath occurs within a month. Inevitably he tries to find a third victim prepared to die under his train.
Railway scenes filmed on Jubilee and Northern Lines. Charing Cross (Jubilee Line). East Finchley (Northern Line). Also London Marylebone station.
Time Bomb (Terror on a Train)
Dir: Ted Tetzlaff Cast: Glenn Ford Anne Vernon
In Birmingham, police disturb a saboteur, who has placed detonators and bomb-making components at a railway yard. It’s realized the was sabotaging a trainload of sea mines, destined for the Royal Navy Yard at Portsmouth. The train is stopped as soon as possible and the bomb disarmed, although a second bomb is found which is thrown clear before exploding.
Railway scenes filmed at Hammersmith & Chiswick Goods Depot, also Willesden Brent Yard. Also Portsmouth & Southsea station. Concourse of the original Birmingham Snow Hill station also appears.
Train of Events
Dir: Sidney Cole, Charles Crichton and Basil Dearden Cast: Jack Warner Valerie Hobson
The film begins with a Euston to Liverpool express train heading for a crash into a stalled petrol tanker at a level crossing. Before impact there are flash backs and four different stories are revealed about some of the passengers. The fourth story is that of the engine driver.
Railway scenes: Departures from London Euston station, the line between Euston and the top of Camden Bank, Willesden Shed, and shots around Bushey. The crash scene itself uses models, though the aftermath of the wreckage was filmed at Wolverton Works.
1996 Polygram/ C4
Dir: Danny Boyle Cast: Ewan McGregor Robert Carlyle
Something of a cult film featuring 4 heroin addicted friends living badly in Glasgow. No trainspotting is involved, but in one scene the group take a West Highland Line train (Class 156 Sprinter) to the isolated and very cold Corrour station for walk.
Railway scenes: Corrour station, Scotland
Two Way Stretch
1960 British Lion
Dir: Robert Day Cast: Peter Sellers Bernard Cribbins
A crime comedy where convicts escape jail to commit a diamond robbery from a van, using a railway steam crane.
Railway scenes: The robbery is at Brookwood, Surrey. Much is filmed on the Pulborough-Midhurst line in particular Fittleworth station. Also features Windsor & Eton Central station.
Dir: Anthony Asquith Cast: Brian Aherne Elissa Landi
An early British silent drama film. An electrician and a porter both fall in love with a shop girl they meet on the London Underground. The interest here is the extensive Underground footage shown, showing the railway and aspects of life in the mid-1920s.
Railway scenes: Waterloo station on the Bakerloo Line platforms, lifts at Covent Garden, and at Lots Road Power Station.
Dir: Sidney Gilliat Cast: John Mills Jean Kent
A wartime romantic drama. A soldier returns AWOL to his home in London to save his wife from the advances of a philanderer. The opening sequences have good shots of trains passing in and out of Waterloo, and generally around the area of the station. There is also a chase with the military police and the soldier escapes by leaping from a departing EMU and runs across the tracks narrowly missing a steam locomotive in the process.
Railway scenes filmed at Waterloo main line station.
Wind in the Willows (The)
Dir: Terry Jones Cast: Eric Idle Steve Coogan
Toad has escaped from prison with the police in pursuit. He finds a railway station and seeing a moving steam engine, he gets all worked up and jumps on the footplate as it arrives. The crew are lost as a result of the police shooting from the carriages behind, and Toad is forced to take the controls of the train.
Railway scenes filmed at the Bluebell Railway (Horsted Keynes station, the disused Ketches Halt, and Sharpthorne Tunnel appearing).
Window in London (A)
Dir: Herbert Mason Cast: Michael Redgrave Sally Gray
Whilst travelling on an Underground train, on an above ground section (actually between Earl’s Court and Barons Court stations) a passenger worker thinks he witnesses a murder happening at an open window of an adjacent block of flats.
Railway scenes: Early in the film, there is extensive footage of the passenger travelling on a District Line service in the area around Barons Court and Earl’s Court: Also outside Chiswick Park Underground station.
Dir: Géza von Bolváry Cast: Carlyle Blackwell Benita Hume
A 1929 British-German silent crime film. An unknown assailant is orchestrating accidents on Britain's railways. The Wrecker turns out to be Ambrose, the head of the Kyle Motor-Coach Company, whose buses operate where the Wrecker has struck, hoping to frighten passengers off the trains. Obviously train crashes feature, one spectacularly at Salter’s Ash crossing, near Herriard, on the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway.
Filming: Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway. Also, Sevenoaks Tunnel, and stations on that line (Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Elmstead Woods), also London Bridge and Waterloo.
Wrong Box (The)
Dir: Bryan Forbes Cast: Michael Caine Dudley Moore Peter Sellers Cicely Courtneidge
A dark comedy involving elderly brothers, the last two survivors of a tontine scheme (the last alive takes the money). Relatives plot to gain the money necessitating one of the brothers to die. Part of the story involves a head-on crash between two Bournemouth expresses. Locomotives in a jack-knifed position are shown, locked buffer-to-buffer.
Railway scenes: The crash was filmed on the Longmoor Military Railway. Dudley Moore also features at Bath Green Park station (then closed) with ex-LMS Class 3F Jinty.
Dir: John Schlesinger Cast: Richard Gere Vanessa Redgrave
A film depicting relationships between American soldiers stationed in northern England and the local population during the build-up to D-Day in 1944. Three romances between US service personnel and local women are portrayed revealing cultural differences.
Railway scenes filmed at Keighley station, and on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
Dir: Richard Attenborough Cast: Simon Ward Anne Bancroft
A film covering the early years of Winston Churchill. His unhappy schooldays are covered, then his service as a cavalry officer in India and the Sudan, and as a war correspondent in the Second Boer War, during which he is captured and escapes. In South Africa, an armoured train comes under attack, and Churchill escapes from imprisonment using the railway to flee.
Railway scenes: For Africa, the Neath-Brecon line near Craig-y-Nos. Escape scenes: filmed at partially dismantled Longmoor Military Railway.