B&R 140 Dvd: Continental Steam Miscellany




A departure from our usual programmes of British steam action is the programme on the railways with steam traction on the Continent.

BR finished with steam in 1968 and some enthusiasts went in search of steam in Europe.

A day excursion to Calais or Boulogne would be rewarded with sights of Pacifics still working south to Amiens on the Golden Arrow Express.

The Paris suburban service was still worked by steam and with two nights travel could give you a whole day enjoying this.

Further travels found other pockets of steam and soon Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Germany were visited to find the ‘iron horse’.

Some types of locomotives were found that were missed by enthusiasts in Britain such as Beyer Garratts, Franco Crostis and Giesel fitted examples that were either too few in number or short lived on British tracks.

Often scenic locations could be found for photography with heavy trains and steep gradients.

Above all they were serving the public and industry in a real setting.

Some engines were even British built and often quite clean unlike the run-down of steam back in Britain.

Some scenes were taken before 1968 to show what people missed.

Narrow gauge systems are included to suit all tastes.

Yes, some engines looked as if everything was hung on the outside.

However they gave a lot of pleasure to anyone who ventured over the water to see them.

Eventually enthusiasts went around the world to find steam in China, South Africa and other havens for steam, the dedicated even through the then Iron Curtain.

This programme shows the easy and less expensive way to find some steam traction to suit all tastes.

Steam in Western Europe in normal service outlasted that on British Railways by some years.

This programme gives a flavour of what could be seen in use in six countries over the English Channel: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria and West Germany.

The locomotives were different, being in a number of cases larger than British ones.

Wheel arrangements were sometimes not what had been seen in Britain.

Eight coupled varieties were also often common.

The loading gauges were often more generous and on the Iberian Peninsula the track gauge was wider.

Even so, the countries did use narrow gauge quite widely.

Types of locomotive which Britain only experimented with could be seen, such as Franco-Crosti, Giesel-fitted and oil-fired engines.

Some locomotives were British built and these could be seen working into the 1970s by those enthusiasts who ventured abroad to see or film them.

Many of these locomotives can be seen in this programme, from the smaller narrow gauge types to Pacifics, Heavy Freight engines, Beyer-Garratts and twelve coupled tank engines.

Often spectacular scenery was encountered and winters with snow guaranteed.

Approx. 60 minutes.

This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – B&R Video Productions.