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Midland & North

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Chiltern Bubble Cars (DVD)


Chiltern Bubble Cars (DVD)

Ref: VI318D


The 19th May 2017 was the last day that first-generation DMUs ran in regular passenger service on Network Rail. These were the two class 121 Bubble cars owned by Chiltern Railways that were used on the Princes Risborough to Aylesbury branch.

To record and commemorate the event, Video 125 cameras followed the single units (affectionately dubbed Bubble Cars) in the weeks prior to their withdrawal. The idea for this film came from the former Managing Director of Chiltern Trains Holidays, Tony Parkins, who has been closely associated with Chiltern Railways ever since his involvement with the writing of our Driver's eye view Chiltern Take Two.

It was Tony's idea to produce this film and as such has not only co-written and researched the information but actually presents it to camera.

The film starts with a brief history of the class 121 with a couple of archive clips and old photos. We then come to 2017 and go inside the Chiltern Railways Aylesbury depot to interview the Production Manager who gives us an insight into the whys and wherefores of the DMUs. To find out more about the 121s in general, Tony then went to the nearby Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway to talk to members responsible for their own Bubble Cars' restoration and a former driver who used to drive the single cars on the Bedford to Bletchley line.

Back to Aylesbury and the Chiltern Railways senior driving instructor takes us through the start up procedure. He then drives unit number 034 from the depot into platform 1 at Aylesbury to start the afternoon diagram. A Driver's eye view of the Princes Risborough to Aylesbury branch follows, including the line's history and the operation of the Bubble car.

The final day arrives and the Chiltern Railways Managing Director gives a farewell speech. With both 121s coupled together for the final few services, it is drizzling when the last scheduled service arrives bringing down the curtain on the very last DMU service operated by a national train operarting company on Network Rail.

Filmed in May 2017





Narrated By: Tony Parkins
First published on DVD: June 2017
Screen aspect ratio: 16:9
Region: 2
Number of discs: 1 DVD
Running Time: 48 mins

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People who bought this item also bought:

1. Central Line (2011 version) (110-mins) (Ref: VI251D)
2. Depot Vol 3 - Scotrail (50-mins) (Ref: RF570D)
3. Cab Ride SCR01: West Highland Lines (65-mins) (Ref: TFSCR001D)


Chiltern Take Two (94-mins)


Chiltern Take Two (94-mins)

Ref: VI943D


Taken in 1989, this is now an "archive" film! It shows the old Great Central/Great Western Joint line running through High Wycombe and Princes Risborough etc. The joint line actually starts at Northolt Junction in Middlesex and runs to the one time Ashenden Junction in Buckinghamshire. Both the GWR and the GCR built their own connections to this joint line, the former out of Paddington and the latter from Marylebone.

Here we experience them both, starting out from Paddington aboard what was in 1989, the only passenger train of the day still to use the old GWR link.

The 18.12 commuter express hauled by class 50 "Ark Royal" takes us via Old Oak Common West Junction through Greenford to Northolt Junction ("Take One").

"Take Two" shows the GCR link from Marylebone aboard a first generation DMU (class 115). At the time of filming this was London's last Terminus to be signalled by semaphores. This time we go right through Northolt and all the way to Banbury. The high spot, is High Wycombe which was little changed since steam days and boasted an amazing array of points and semaphore signals.

Along the route there are also snippets from within many of the mechanical and power signal boxes just before the total route modernisation swept most of them away.





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People who bought this item also bought:

1. Vol.194 - Scottish Railways Remembered Part 7 (60-mins) (Released May 2015) (Ref: BR194D)
2. Clyde Steamer Memories Part 2 1949 to 1989 (55-mins) (Ref: AF102D)
3. Edinburgh Trams (??-mins) (Ref: OV955D)


Cross City (77-mins)


Cross City (77-mins)

Ref: VI968D


Redditch - Lichfield via Birmingham New Street. Narrated by Kay Alexander. Stereo 77 minutes.

Birmingham's premier suburban railway underwent a total metamorphosis in the mid 1990s with electrification and brand new trains. The class 323 electric multiple units were designed specifically for the Cross-City route and provide a frequent service of 4 trains per hour throughout the day, over most of the line.

We travel the full distance from Redditch to Lichfield Trent Valley passing through the centre of Birmingham and

Britain's major hub station, Birmingham New Street. Narrator Kay Alexander is a BBC TV Midlands Today presenter, who has been closely associated with the line since opening the new station at Redditch.

Stations also called at include: Alvechurch, Barnt Green, Longbridge, Northfield, King's Norton, Bourneville, Selly Oak, University, Five Ways, Duddleston, Aston, Gravelly Hill, Erdington, Chester Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, Four Oaks, Butlers Lane, Blake Street, Shenstone and Lichfield City.





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Cumbrian Coast (90-mins)


Cumbrian Coast (90-mins)

Ref: VI978D


One of the least well-known areas of Britain, we travel to the Cumbrian Coast by means of two different trains. Firstly, we board a North West Regional Railways Express (class 156) which traverses the former Furness Railway via Grange-over-Sands and Ulvertston to Barrow-in-Furness. There we change to a class 153 for the most scenic section of the route along the coast from Bootle to Maryport, filmed in what can only be described as 100% perfect weather - not a cloud in the sky!





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People who bought this item also bought:

1. Vol.194 - Scottish Railways Remembered Part 7 (60-mins) (Released May 2015) (Ref: BR194D)
2. Clyde Steamer Memories Part 2 1949 to 1989 (55-mins) (Ref: AF102D)
3. Edinburgh Trams (??-mins) (Ref: OV955D)


Lickey Voyager (107-mins)


Lickey Voyager (107-mins)

Ref: VI933D


Bristol - Birmingham - Derby

We join an Exeter to Newcastle service formed of a five car Virgin Super Voyager at Bristol Temple Meads station. The limited stop service calls next at Bristol Parkway before branching off the Great Western onto the former Bristol and Gloucester Railway. By-passing Gloucester by means of the south loop, the next stop is Cheltenham Spa.

Now we run non-stop all the way to Birmingham New Street via Bromsgrove and the notorious Lickey Incline. This is the two mile long ascent of the Lickey Hills at a gradient of 1 in 37 ¾, the steepest bank on any main line in Great Britain. From Birmingham New Street our class 221 takes the former Birmingham and Derby

Junction Railway running non-stop at up to 125 miles an hour through Tamworth and Burton on Trent to reach the county town of Derbyshire.

Much of the fascinating history of the route is related by Alan Hardwick, long-time anchor of Yorkshire Television’s evening news programme Calendar.

This driver’s eye view was filmed in the clear blue skies of a summer’s day from start to finish.





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1. Heart of Wales (90-mins) (Ref: VI970D)


Liverpool & Manchester


Liverpool & Manchester

Ref: VI260D


Manchester Airport to Liverpool Lime Street

We travel aboard a Northern Rail class 156 Sprinter for an exceptionally smooth ride. This limited-stop service shows us the whole Airport Branch, the Stockport-avoiding line built as recently as 1909 and the approach and through platforms at Manchester Piccadilly followed by the elevated section through Oxford Road. We then join the very original route surveyed and built by none other than George Stephenson. The stone block permanent way has long since gone but the history is still there to be told by former Calendar anchor Alan Hardwick.

Chat Moss has gone down in railway folklore as one of George Stephenson’s greatest feats, laying a railway line across a seemingly impenetrable bog. See how little it has changed today from the cab and from a helicopter flying overhead! We then travel through Rainhill over the ground covered by Stephenson’s famous Rocket - the winner of the Rainhill Locomotive Trials in 1829. Edge Hill is another place long associated with this pioneering railway and from here the line descends into Liverpool Lime Street through a myriad of tunnels flanked by deep rock cuttings, seen best of all from the Driver’s cab. Filmed in 2010 before electrification.

Bonus Footage: Liverpool Road old Terminus, Rainhill Trials Exhibition.

Narrated by: Alan Hardwick

Duration: 65-mins





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Manchester to Cleethorpes


Manchester to Cleethorpes

Ref: VI314D


The Hope Valley line seen from a class 185 DMU from Manchester Piccadilly on one of the hourly Transpenninexpress services to Cleethorpes, running via Stockport and the scenic Hope Valley route over the Pennines to Sheffield. From Sheffield the landscape changes from one of hills and heavy industry to the rural flatlands of North Lincolnshire.

One of the highlights of this journey of contrasts, is the much photographed array of semaphore signals at Wrawby Junction, viewed from the Driver's cab just weeks before abolition. Threading our way through the back streets of Grimsby Town on a single line, we finish our journey at the popular seaside town of Cleethorpes.

Filmed in the summer of 2015.





Narrated By: Alan Hardwick, written by Peter Middleton.
First published on DVD: June 2016
Screen aspect ratio: 16:9
Number of discs: 1 DVD
Running Time: 127 mins (2hr 7min)

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Price:20.00 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 16.67 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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Midland Mainline (99-mins)


Midland Mainline (99-mins)

Ref: VI990D


London St.Pancras to Sheffield

Filmed from the cab of a High Speed Train, St Pancras station was filmed just before the overhead wires were taken down prior to the rebuilding of the terminus to handle channel tunnel trains in 2007. The famous gasometers have also since been removed.

The first 50 miles of the Midland main line are under the wires of Thameslink as far as Bedford. Stations passed include Elstree, St Albans and Luton.Then Sharnbrook, Desborough and Kibworth summits follow in quick succession, these banks infamous in steam days. Nowadays the first stop is Leicester - a distance of 100 miles!

A change of scene as we head north from Derby through the delightful Peak district stopping at Chesterfield and terminating at Sheffield.

As usual, numerous trackside shots show the train tearing past the camera with stereo sound to match.

Click for a 1991 view of the same route! Spot the differences!





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People who bought this item also bought:

1. Edinburgh Trams (??-mins) (Ref: OV955D)
2. British Transport Films Collection Vol. 1: On and Off the Rails (261-mins) (Ref: BV116D)
3. London's Lost Docks (55-mins) (Ref: OV439D)


Nottingham to Skegness


Nottingham to Skegness

Ref: VI320D


Skegness is a classic seaside town on the east coast of Lincolnshire. Ever since the railway arrived in 1873 the town has been a popular holiday destination. Today's train service is a far cry from the line's heyday when six platforms were in use at the terminus. Just one train an hour ply's the route from Nottingham these days. Filmed in the cab of a 3 car class 156/153 Sprinter combination, our limited-stop train calls at Grantham for connection with the East Coast Main Line. Here the train reverses and continues via Boston and Sleaford. Most of the route is still block worked with semaphore signals controlled by manual signal boxes overseeing traditional wooden level crossing gates. The history of the line is fascinating and former Yorkshire ITV news anchor Alan Hardwick narrates.




Filmed by/when: June 2017
Narrated By: Alan Hardwick, written by Peter Middleton.
First published on DVD: Late November 2017
Screen aspect ratio: 16:9
Number of discs: 1 DVD
Running Time: 118 mins (1hr 58min)

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Price:20.00 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 16.67 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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People who bought this item also bought:

1. Cab Ride ONE06: Essex Branch Lines 2 (113-mins) (Ref: TFONE006D)
2. Cab Ride GBRF97: Bristol Parkway to Portbury Dock and Return (99-mins) (Released February 2017) (Ref: TFGBRF097D)
3. Cab Ride ATW28: Shrewsbury to Llanelli (Heart of Wales Line) (Ref: TFATW028D)


One Day in Severn (105 mins)


One Day in Severn (105 mins)

Ref: VI954D


A day in the life of Shrewsbury's Severn Bridge Junction signal box. Using a multiple-camera outside broadcast unit we covered the action 'live' on a busy summer Saturday on 30th June 1990. Looking back it is amazing how the trains have changed. There were still loco hauled InterCitys from Euston, loco hauled onto the Cambrian Coast (remember the old Regional Railways?) first generation DMUs in abundance, parcels trains, general freight and even a steamer!

The programme starts with a thorough description of the area and looks inside all three fringe boxes. HTV presenter Arfon then discusses events as they happen with Area Movements Inspector Bernard Hitch. If you have never visited a large mechanical signal box here is the next best thing.





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Royal Scot Parts 1 & 2 (189-mins)


Royal Scot Parts 1 & 2 (189-mins)

Ref: VI974D


Britain's West Coast Main Line viewed from the driving cab of the former INTERCITY's crack express from London to Glasgow.

Part one covers the leg from Euston to Preston,scheduled to run non-stop at a maximum speed of 110mph behind a classic class 87 electric loco. The route takes us via Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Stafford and Crewe.

Due to a broken rail the train takes an unscheduled diversion onto the slow line for a few miles north of Watford.

Part two covers the second leg of the 401 mile journey to Glasgow Central, running via Lancaster, Carnforth, Oxenholme, Penrith, Carlisle, Lockerbie, and Carstairs. Our class 87 manages to maintain a speed of 90 mph over the legendary 1 in 75 banks up to Shap and Beattock summits - an achievement that would have been unimaginable in steam days. (DVD only)





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People who bought this item also bought:

1. Vol.194 - Scottish Railways Remembered Part 7 (60-mins) (Released May 2015) (Ref: BR194D)
2. Clyde Steamer Memories Part 2 1949 to 1989 (55-mins) (Ref: AF102D)
3. Edinburgh Trams (??-mins) (Ref: OV955D)


Settle & Carlisle (90-mins)


Settle & Carlisle (90-mins)

Ref: VI999D


Skipton to Carlisle

We join our 2 car Sprinter at Skipton. This fast service takes us through the restored junction station at Hellifield complete with semaphore signalling. We join the famous long drag at Settle Junction - 15 miles of almost continuous climb up to Blea Moor. The 24 arch Ribblehead viaduct is seen from the air as well as from the driver’s cab. Our sprinter disappears into the long tunnels at Blea Moor and Rise Hill while we fly over the top for a surprising view! The Long Drag is shown almost in real time with Appleby to Carlisle discretely condensed into half an hour.





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The Wirral Line


The Wirral Line

Ref: VI241D


CHESTER to LIVERPOOL CENTRAL,

HOOTON to ELLESMERE PORT,

LIVERPOOL CENTRAL to WEST KIRBY

BIRKENHEAD NORTH to NEW BRIGHTON.

The City of Liverpool is served by Merseyrail, a suburban rail network unique in many ways and subdivided into two main routes: The Northern Line and the Wirral Line.

We travel over the latter on board third rail class 507 and 508 electric multiple units. While the Northern Line serves the Liverpool side of the Mersey, the Wirral Line runs beneath the wide river separating Liverpool from Birkenhead and the Wirral Peninsula. The Wirral Line consists of two main routes with four branches covering a route mileage of 33 miles.

We see all four branches from the Driver's cab in virtual real time:

Highlights include the 19th century river tunnel with its 1 in 27 gradients which we see in both directions along with the 20th century single loop line. The majority of the Wirral Line is signalled from the IECC signalling centre at Sandhills and Video 125 cameras were there to follow our trains from a signallers point of view.

EXTRA: Liverpool was all about the myriad of docks facing the River Mersey, all of which were rail connected. Included is a unique archive film showing these docks in full swing taken from an electric train running on the famous Liverpool Overhead Railway just a few years before the system was shut and dismantled





Narrated By: Alan Hardwick
Screen aspect ratio: 16:9
Number of discs: 1 DVD
Running Time: 100mins (1hr 40mins)

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Trans Pennine Express (81-mins)


Trans Pennine Express (81-mins)

Ref: VI991D


Manchester Piccadilly to York

The main rail line over the Pennines via Huddersfield, sees four Transpenninexpresses plying the route every hour. The line climbs or falls almost continuously for 43 miles, the only level section being inside Standedge Tunnel, the major feature of the line.

The tunnel is the fourth longest on the national network at 3 miles 66 yards. Both it and the other major tunnel at Morley are seen (and heard) from the driver's cab with the aid of additional lighting.

Today's route incorporates the lines of various pre-grouping companies with no less than ten significant junctions being traversed between Manchester and Leeds. Our class 158 Express then continues to York over another three - the last of which brings us onto the East Coast Main Line. As well as gradients, junctions and tunnels, the route also features track circuit block signalling.

Last, but not least Yorkshire Television's Geoff Druett tells of the fascinating history.





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