Traction Archive Dvd, Part 4: Heritage DMUs in Yorkshire


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In the early 1960s, Britain’s rail network was contracting rapidly and ironically just as the decline was forcing closures, a cost-cutting type of motive power was entering service – the Diesel Multiple Unit.

Yorkshire-based amateur cameraman, Frank Dean, ensured that a record of threatened lines was made before they disappeared forever and he spent the summers of 1964 and 1965 filming rural routes in his native county.

This programme features three routes, two of which have survived into the 21st century, although their appearance has changed out of all recognition.

The first film features the 20-mile long route from York to Harrogate via Knaresborough and Starbeck.

Filmed from service trains and the lineside, many of the stations retained their original architectural features, with manually-operated level crossing gates still an everyday sight.

A return journey from Malton to Pickering and Whitby is next, a route that was severed between Rillington Junction, near Malton, and Pickering in 1965.

This film shows the British Rail route across the North Yorkshire Moors, prior to its development as one of the country’s premier heritage railways.

It also features Whitby, where freight traffic was still an important contributor to the railway’s business.

The final film is a return journey from Whitby to Middlesbrough via Battersby Junction on the picturesque Esk Valley line and, once again, the film is a poignant reminder of how the stations and halts have altered since the Beeching era.

Several different variations of unit are seen in action, in particular the Metro-Cammell Class 101s and Birmingham RCW Class 104s.

BR green and later corporate blue units are seen together with steam and diesel locomotives, providing a nostalgic reminder of the British Railway scene in the mid-1960s.

Approx. 65 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 – Cinerail 2004.