The BFI should be congratulated for restoring this previously unavailable little masterpiece, arguably the best train documentary ever made. The story of Blue Pullman's "maiden voyage" from Manchester to London is presented in vivid colour with stylish editing. After a short preamble showing the boffins at work on final trials and checks, the train gets under way with many beautifully photographed sequences shot from the air and from the driver's cab.
The master stroke, however, is the decision to dispense with the usual commentary, thus enabling the viewer to hear every note of Clifton Parker's joyous score, (why aren't CD producers fighting amongst themselves to release it?).
Perhaps the only fault with the film is that Blue Pullman, with its luxury fittings and heavenly dining car, comes over as looking a bit too beautiful -- nobody remembers dingy old British Railways looking anything like this! That apart, this is a highly enjoyable way to spend 26 minutes, so much so that one is quite sad when the journey comes to an end.
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