Marsden Rail 25 Dvd: Southern Region Steam, Part 1


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For many years, Londoners flocked to Waterloo Station at the start of their annual holidays and, for a large number, the ultimate destination was Devon and North  Cornwall.

Opened by the London & South Western Railway in 1860, the route to Exeter and Plymouth soon grew in popularity, culminating in the introduction of the  ‘Atlantic Coast Express’.

Until its demise in 1964, the ‘ACE’ was the principal express to the South West and the programme primarily follows the route of this famous train.

Views at Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction and Nine Elms Depot feature a wide variety of steam classes before the city is left behind – appropriately on the  footplate of ‘Merchant Navy’ 35021 heading an ‘ACE’ in 1964.

After Basingstoke and Salisbury, Templecombe is the next location recorded in detail, with high-speed mainline action contrasting with the more sedate movements on the adjoining S&D route.

West of Templecombe, Yeovil, Chard Junction and nearby Chard Central are seen before passing Axminster, which is then followed by Seaton Junction and Sidmouth Junction.

Arrival at Exeter – with ‘Z’ Class bankers in evidence – is followed by film of ‘West Country’ Pacifics at Plymouth, the most southerly location in the programme.

Finally, the focus falls on now-closed lines that served more rural locations, with film that includes Bude, Padstow, Halwill Junction and the Torrington line to Barnstaple.

Concluding the programme is a fascinating chapter at the Cornish town of Wadebridge, filmed mainly in 1958, with ‘Beattie’ tank locomotives still hard at work on the Wenford Bridge mineral branch.

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.

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