Marsden Rail .7 Dvd: County Durham


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The words coal and Durham are bound together in the history of the county with many coalmines and their railway lines staying open until the 1960s, when the film in this programme was taken.

Ex-North Eastern Railway J27 0-6-0 and Q6 0-8-0 locomotives were employed on the many hilly routes, as they serviced the collieries and BR yards.

For those who thought National Coal Board locomotives simply shunted trucks around are in for a surprise as local cameraman Peter Hutchinson’s superb film shows, with all  sizes of colliery workings, from forty wagons down to seven wagons which needed a banker on one in twenty gradients.

Continuing the coastal journey from Billingham to Newcastle – started in Marsden Rail No.4 ‘Darlington’ – we cross the River Tyne before heading south on the East Coast Main Line.

A narrow-gauge clay pit railway,  together with a narrow-gauge locomotive being delivered by traction engine also features.

In addition to film at Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale a detailed film of County Durham’s most westerly line – the Weardale Line – brings the programme to a close.

Between 1959 and 1968, railway enthusiast and cine-cameraman, Michael Marsden, recorded views and sounds of the rapidly changing face of Britain’s rail network.

For over twenty-five years after steam ended, he captivated audiences throughout the country with his unique film collection that captured steams’ last decade and the full emergence of the diesel locomotive.

The blending of this film and that of other cameramen with true sounds of the era, plus an informative narrative, has resulted in the creation of a superb range of railway programmes detailing the last decade of British mainline steam operations.

Approx. 55 mins.

Region 0/Region free. NTSC versions are available on request.

This dvd is being sold on behalf and with full permission of the copyright holder – Marsden Rail 2004.