Documentary which tells the surprising story of how Britain entered a new age of steam railways after the Second World War and why it quickly came to an end. After the war, the largely ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Deborah MacLaren ...
Herself - Narrator (voice)
Lawrie Hall ...
Himself - British Railways Manager 1966-2005
Terry Gourvish ...
Himself - Historian, London School of Economics
Danny Hopkins ...
Himself - Editor, 'Steam Railway Magazine'
Andrew Scott ...
Himself - Head of National Railway Museum
Alfred Barnes ...
Himself - Minister of Transport, 1948 (voice) (archive footage)
Colin Divall ...
Himself - Historian, University of York
Simon Jenkins ...
Himself - Author and Journalist
David Elliott ...
Himself - The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
Ian Marchant ...
Himself - Writer
Richard Beeching ...
Himself - 'Reshaping the Railways', 1963 (archive footage) (as Dr Richard Beeching)
David Shepherd ...
Himself - Artist
Dai Woodham ...
Himself - Railway Locomotive Scrapyard Owner, interviewed in 1988 (archive footage)
Graham Perry ...
Himself - Railway Enthusiast
Mike Peart ...
Himself - Railway Enthusiast
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Storyline

Documentary which tells the surprising story of how Britain entered a new age of steam railways after the Second World War and why it quickly came to an end. After the war, the largely destroyed railways of Europe were rebuilt to carry more modern diesel and electric trains. Britain, however, chose to build thousands of brand new steam locomotives. Did we stay with steam because coal was seen as the most reliable power source or were the railways run by men who couldn't bear to let go of their beloved steam trains? The new British locomotives were designed to stay in service well into the 1970s, but in some cases they were taken off the railways and scrapped within just five years. When Dr Richard Beeching took over British Railways in the 1960s the writing was on the wall, and in 1968 the last steam passenger train blew its whistle. But while steam use declined, steam enthusiasm grew. As many steam engines lay rusting in scrap-yards around Britain, enthusiasts raised funds to buy, ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

16 October 2008 (UK)  »

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