Marsden Rail 22 Dvd: Lickey Incline


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The Incline’s fame is due not only to the severity of the gradient – over two miles at 1 in 37.5 – but also that it is on a main line and, even at the turn of the century,  more than 120 trains per day were using this route linking Birmingham and Gloucester.

The gradient, with Bromsgrove at the foot and Blackwell at the top, takes its name from the surrounding Lickey Hills and posed particular problems during the steam era when extensive banking of northbound trains were required.

Our journey begins at Stourbridge with a steam-hauled ‘Carpet Special’ in the station plus views of the climb from the Town Goods Yard to the junction that was almost as steep as the Lickey Incline!

Next, we visit Kidderminster, with Class 08 and 8F gravity shunting the once extensive yards.

At Worcester, the practice of combining the Hereford and Worcester  portions of Paddington expresses are seen, along with views of an industrial narrow-gauge line on the banks of the River Avon.

At Ashchurch Junction, main line expresses speed through as the Tewkesbury Branch train engine, a Midland Railway 3F, shunts its solitary coach.

The Lickey Incline poses few challenges to modern diesel traction, but in this programme (filmed between 1960 and 1966) the most modern locomotives seen are British Railways Type 3 and 4 diesel designs!

However, the banking of all but the lightest of trains is why the Lickey Incline was fascinating and a range of steam classes, from the humble Jinty to the mighty 9F, are seen carrying out this arduous work.

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. 60 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.