Steam Age Pictures logo (1.2k)

The New Age of Steam on Video

Available Now

Steam Age Pictures Volume 49

The Cathedrals Explorer 2012, 18th-25th May 2012

An 8-day tour from London to Scotland, with steam haulage to Edinburgh, Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Aberdeen and back to London. 


  • 70000 Britannia
  • 60163 Tornado
  • 4464 Bittern
  • 61994 The Great Marquess
  • 6201 Princess Elizabeth
Watch a couple of excerpts from this production on YouTube:
Day 2: Bittern at Burnmouth & Tornado in Glen Garry
Day 6: Bittern on the Forth Bridge
Available on DVD and 1080-line, true high definitionBlu-Ray Disc

Mainline 2011

Vol 47: GWR Locomotives.

  • 4965 Rood Ashton Hall on a St Valentines Day tour of Leicestershire and piloting 5043 to Didcot.
  • 5029 Nunney Castle slogging over the Devon Banks to Plymouth and Par, and over Evershot and Bincombe banks to Weymouth.
  • 5043 Earl Of Mount Edgcumbe on The Red Rose climbing though Saddleworth and over Copy Pit, on the West Coast Main Line to Euston, and on the Great Western mainlines to Birmingham and Bristol.
  • 6024 King Edward I on a train to Pembroke Dock and two trains to Shrewsbury in summer and winter.
  • Pannier tank engines 9600 & L94 on Leicestershire branch lines.
  • 6024 & 70013 double-heading over the Devon Banks.
A couple of excerpts can be found on YouTube:
5029 Climbing to Dainton Tunnel with the returning Cornishman, 10th July.
5043 Leaving Euston and running through North London on the West Coast Main Line, 21st May

Vol 48: Southern Locomotives.

  • 34067 Tangmere on trains to Weymouth from Bristol and London, to Swanage, between Poole and Bristol, and in Kent. There's also a special chart departing from St Pancras, surrounded by Euro Stars and South Eastern bullet trains!
  • 35028 Clan Line on the Blackmore Vale Express and several VSOE excursions, including 2 running as 35017 Belgian Marine.
Here are two YouTube excerpts:
34067 on The Welshman, at Christchurch and Wylye
35028 on The Blackmore Vale Express, cresting Oborne bank and climbing past Micheldever
Available on DVD and 1080-line, true high definitionBlu-Ray Disc

Steam Age Pictures Volume 46

The Cathedrals Explorer, 6th-13th May 2011

An 8-day tour of Britain by train, with steam haulage, from London to Stirling, Mallaig, Chester, Swansea, Bristol and back to London. 

6201 Princess Elizabeth
61994 The Great Marquess
Black Fives 45407, 44871 and 45305
34067 Tangmere

Watch a couple of excerpts from this production on YouTube:
46115 departing from Lockerbie
45407 & 44871 at Dorrington and Knucklas

Available on DVD and 1080-line, true high definitionBlu-Ray Disc

Steam Age Pictures Volume 45

The Great Britain IV, 16th-24th April 2011

A 9-day tour of Britain by train, with steam haulage from London to Inverness, Wick to Penzance, and Bristol back to London. 

60019 Bittern (running as 4492 Dominion of New Zealand for the first time) on the ECML
46115 Scots Guardsman crossing the Forth Bridge, between Aberdeen and Inverness, and on the Glasgow & South Western.
Black Fives 45407 & 44871 on the Far North line from Wick to Inverness, and the Highland Mainline over Drumochter summit.
61994 The Great Marquess on the line to Kyle Of Lochalsh on a still morning that produced some lovely reflections in the lochs
5029 Nunney Castle on the Welsh Marches route, the Berks & Hants line and accelerating through Sonning cutting.
70013 Oliver Cromwell & Black Five 45305 between Bristol and Penzance. 

Watch a couple of excerpts from this production on YouTube:
4492 on Stoke Bank
45407 & 44871 leaving Tain; 45305 & 70013 at St. Germans

Available on DVD and 1080-line, true high definitionBlu-Ray Disc

Mainline 2010

Four volumes complete our coverage of 2010. Available on DVD and 1080-line, true high definitionBlu-Ray Disc
Volume 40: Mainline 2010 - Fells & Highlands (1 hour 41 mins)
Filmed over 11 days in the north of England and west of Scotland: locations include Saddleworth, Shap, the Settle-Carlise line, Beattock, the West Highland line, the Oban branch and the Glasgow & South Western.

Six LMS locomotives:
Princess Royal class 4-6-2 6201 Princess Elizabeth, Princess Coronation class 4-6-2 6233 Duchess Of Sutherland, Royal Scot class 4-6-0 46115 Scots Guardsman, Jubilee class 4-6-0 5690 Leander, Black Five class 4-6-0 45231 Sherwood Forester & 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier;
and one LNER loco:
K4 class 2-6-0 61994 The Great Marquess.

Watch some excerpts on YouTube.

Volume 42: Mainline 2010 - Southern & GWR Locos (1 hour 22 mins)

30777 Sir Lamiel Includes a trip to Stratford and a compilation of the Dorset Coast Express trips shared with 60019 during the summer.
35028 Clan Line. Highlights include the trip to Yeovil and Weymouth on 8th May, and Abinger Hammer in the snow, besides a couple of regular VSOE trains.

A couple of trains hauled by GW locos took place too late to be included in our GW175 programmes:
6024 King Edward I climbing Llanfihangle on her way to Ludlow.
5043 Earl Of Mount Edgcumbe with a special train to celebrate the re-openning of the terminus platforms at Birmingham Moor Street.

YouTube excerpt: 777 with the Swanage Belle on 31st May

Volume 43: Mainline 2010 - BR & LNER Locos (1 hour 27 mins)

70013 Oliver Cromwell. Includes the first train to cross the reinstated Sherringham level crossing, Ollie's first trip over Shap in preservation, and a day trip to Windsor for the Girl Guides
71000 Duke Of Gloucester. Deputising for Toarnado and Clan Line on the Torbay Express, Midland Tornado and VSOE.
60019 Bittern on the Dorset Coast Express, both the East Coast and West Coast main lines, and in Devon and Cornwall.
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley in the snow on the Berks & Hants.
60163 Tornado pulling Mallard to Shildon, hauling the Royal Train, in South Wales on St David’s Day, and on the Settle-Carlisle line.

YouTube excerpt: 60019 with The Cornishman on 19th Sept.

Volume 44: Mainline 2010 - LMS Locomotives (1 hour 41 mins)

6201 Princess Elizabeth in the south and on the North Wales coast.
6233 Duchess Of Sutherland on the East and West Coast Main Lines.
46115 Scots Guardsman with a train to Weymouth on the anniversary of the end of Southern steam.
5690 Leander working home from the Severn Valley Railway.
8F 48151 with trains to Blaenau Ffestiniog and Stanmore in Weardale.
Black Five 44871 with trains to Weymouth, Swanage and Bristol.
Black Five 45305 running from Birmingham to Euston.
Black Five 44932 Summer trains to Caterbury, Bristol and Gloucester; Winter trains to Bristol, Yeovil and Oxford.

Three clips that didn't make it onto this volume, but are rather good, are on YouTube.

For further coverage of Mainline 2010, see also:

Volumes 35 & 36, GWR 175
Volumes 33 & 34, Great Britain III

Steam Age Pictures Volume 41

NRM Mainline Steam - Part 2

A second compilation of NRM locomotives at work on the Mainline, featuring 30777 Sir Lamiel and 70013 Oliver Cromwell. This disc contains a re-edited version of footage featured on Volumes 33, 34, 42 and 43, and features a discrete commentary, not normally included on Steam Age productions. You might prefer to buy your copy directly from the Friends, in which case have a look at their web site:


Mainline Albums 2009

These three regionally-themed  volumes complete our coverage of mainline activity during 2009. Available on DVD and 1080-line, true high definition Blu-Ray Disc
Volume 37: Main Line 2009 - Southern Locomotives (1 hour 39 mins)
This volume features two of O. V. S. Bulleid’s fine pacifics designed for the Southern Railway: 
Merchant Navy class 35028 Clan Line
Battle Of Britain class 34067 Tangmere
Hghlights include: 
Tangmere on the penultimate steam train on the Folkestone Harbour branch, including a simply stunning reflection in the waterlogged meadows at Sturry; 
Clan Line in bright May sunshine with a train to Eastleigh for the works Centenary; 
Tangmere lifting 11 coaches up Bincombe bank without assistance; 

Sample on YouTube: Tangmere in the Wylye Valley and leaving Bath

Volume 38: Main Line 2009 - LMS Locomotives (1 hour 29 mins)
Six LMS-designed locomotives, and one LMS-inspired one, at work in and around their home region: 
Black Fives 54507 & 45231
Royal Scot class 46115 Scots Guardsman
Princess Royal class 6201 Princess Elizabeth
Princess Coronation class 6233 Duchess of Sutherland
Jubilee class 5690 Leander
BR Standard Class 4 76079
Almost of all this footage of LMS locomotives in 2009 was shot on former LMS metals. The only exception was part of 46115’s private charter from Kings Lynn to Nottingham, which worked over GE and GN lines from Kings Lynn to the outskirts of Nottingham and from Peterborough back to Kings Lynn. (The more direct Midland & Great Northern Joint has long since closed.) The shots of the Duchess near York, on a Scarborough Flyer, are on a former Midland & North Eastern Joint route, and though Penistone was served by three Great Central lines, the line to Huddersfield, over the magnificent viaduct, was built by the L&Y.

Sample on YouTube: The Tin Bath

Volume 39: Main Line 2009 - GWR & BR Locomotives (1 hour 20 mins)
Five GWR 4-6-0 locomotives, two BR standard locos and a Western Region diesel hydraulic, at work on former GW routes – mostly!
Hall class 4936 Kinlet Hall and 5972 Olton Hall
Castle class 5029 Nunney Castle and 5043 Earl Of Mount Edgcumbe
King class 6024 King Edward I
BR Standard 7MT 70013 Oliver Cromwell
BR Standard 4MT 76079 (nick-named "The Pocket Rocket")
BR(W) class 42 diesel hydraulic D1015 Western Champion
Only two of these trips stray outside former Great Western Territory, and both feature 5043 Earl Of Mount Edgcumbe. Birmingham-York was a regular “inter-regional” route, though I’m not sure how often Castles worked it. It’s certain, however, that the West Coast Main Line over Grayrigg and Shap was never a regular GW route!

Sample on You Tube: 5029 & 5043, The Welshes Marches Express

For further coverage of 2009, see also:

Vol. 28 The Great Britain II
Vol. 30 The West Highlander
Vol. 31 Oliver Cromwell
Vol. 32 LNER Pacifics (incl Tornado)

Steam Age Pictures Volume 35

GWR 175, Part 1: February - June 2010

Steam Age Pictures Volume 36

GWR 175 Part 2 : July - October 2010

On two discs, a record of the mainline events that marked the 175th anniversary of the Great Western Railway.

In Part 1: 11 tours including the record-breaking Bristolian, 9600 banking Lizzie on the Lickey Incline and Steam Dreams’ 2 day Cornish Riviera Express.

Featuring 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, 5972 Olton Hall, 5029 Nunney Castle, 5043 Earl Of Mount Edgcumbe, 6024 King Edward I, pannier tank 9600, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, 70013 Oliver Cromwell & D1015 Western Champion.

In Part 2: 11 tours including the first mainline tour to visit the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, Nunney Castle climbing Evershot and Bincombe banks unassisted and 5043’s record breaking run over
the Settle-Carlisle line.

Featuring 5029 Nunney Castle, 5043 Earl Of Mount Edgcumbe, 6024 King Edward I, pannier tanks 9466 & 9600 and 5960 Leander.

What counts as a “GWR 175” tour? There are 3 “interlopers” on Part 1. 70013 deserves its place as a representative of the BR standard locos, which were common on the Western Region, and three quarters of the route on 1st May was in GW territory. 6201 was designed by Swindon-trained William Stannier, and is seen by some as the GWR pacific that Swindon never built. The Red Dragon was run over GW metals, as was most of The Britannia Banker, which also has to be included because of the part played by 9600. Likewise, there are 3 inclusions in Part 2 that may need explanation. The Severn Valley Limited is included because most of the route was over GW metals and the part played by 9600. It and The North Wales Explorer are examples of inter-regional holiday excursions. The Pride of Swindon was run a very long way from GW territory, but how could we not include a tour with such a name?

As usual, a couple of excerpts are available on YouTube:

Part 1
Part 2
Both volumes are now available on 1080-line, true high definition Blu-Ray Disc, priced £15 each.

Special Offer: Buy one, get the other half price. £15 for both DVDs or £22.50 for both Blu-ray Discs.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 33

The Great Britain III, Part 1: 6th - 10th April 2010

Steam Age Pictures Volume 34

The Great Britain III, Part 2: 11th - 14th April 2010

On two discs, the whole story of a remarkable 9-day tour of Great Britain.

The formula for this third grand tour of Great Britain was very similar to its predecessors, but in the days before the start, loco availability and the threat of a strike by signallers forced a number of late changes. Although the tour didn’t visit Penzance, Shrewsbury or Dumfries, and 30777 Sir Lamiel, 34067 Tangmere, 6100 Royal Scot and 46115 Scots Guardsman couldn’t take part, there were some very acceptable substitutes. Day three included a double-headed run up the Lickey Incline, 44871 worked from Plymouth to Stranraer over four days, and 6201 Princess Elizabeth hauled the penultimate leg from Edinburgh to York. Most notable was 70013 Oliver Cromwell, which hauled the train from Plymouth to Inverness and back to Edinburgh on five out of seven days. Passengers renamed the tour “The Great Britannia” in Ollie’s honour!

In Part 1: London to Bristol, Plymouth, the Devon banks, the Lickey Incline, Birmingham, Preston, Shap, Carlisle, Beattock, Glasgow, Ayr and Stranraer. Featuring 5029 Nunney Castle, Black Fives 44871 & 45407, and 70013 Oliver Cromwell. 1 hour 27 mins.
In Part 2: Glasgow to Perth, Montrose, Aberdeen, Inverness, Kyle Of Lochalsh, Slochd, Aviemore, Drumochter, Edinburgh, Berwick, York and back to London. Featuring 70013 Oliver Cromwell, 61994 The Great Marquess, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, and 60019 Bittern. 1 hour 27 mins.

Have a look at some excerpts from this production on YouTube:

Part 1
Part 2
Both volumes are now available on a 1080-line, true high definition Blu-Ray Disc, priced £15 each.
Special Offer: Buy one, get the other half price. £15 for both DVDs or £22.50 for both Blu-ray Discs.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 32

Mainline 2009, LNER Pacifics

The newest locomotive on the British railway network in 2009 was a steam loco! 60163 Tornado took 18 years to build and cost £3 million, and has become as well known as her great predecessors Flying Scotsman and Mallard. This programme shows her at work during her first year on the mainline, and includes the Royal Train, The Torbay Express, The Talisman, BBC Top Gear’s “Race to the North” and 12 other mainline tours, as well her visit to the Severn Valley Railway in October. For good measure, we include 25 minutes of 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and 60019 Bittern as well. 1 hour 42 minutes.

Have a look at some excerpts from this production on YouTube

A 1080-line, true high definition version of this programme available NOW on Blu-Ray Disc, priced £15.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 31

70013 Oliver Cromwell, Mainline 2009

Since returning to the mainline in August 2008, Oliver Cromwell has quickly established herself (all steam locomotives, like ships, are female) as a great favourite with enthusiasts and passengers. From Folkestone to Plymouth, from Poole to Carlisle, this volume records her progress around the country during the year. 1 hour 54 minutes.

Have a look at some excerpts from this production on YouTube

A 1080-line, true high definition version of this programme available NOW on Blu-Ray Disc, priced £15.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 30

West Highlander 25th-27th September 2009

A three day trip, from Preston to Mallaig and back, hauled by Jubilee 5690 Leander, K4 61994 The Great Marquess and K1 62005. The route includes Shap and Beattock banks, the upper Clyde valley, the West Highland line past Loch Lomand and over County March summit, and the West Highland Extension to Mallaig, including Glenfinnan Viaduct. 1 hour 13 minutes.

A 1080-line, true high definition version of this programme available NOW on Blu-Ray Disc, priced £15.

Have a look at some excerpts from this production on YouTube

Steam Age Pictures Volume 29

Well Tank Charter, 5th-6th October 2007

Two days in the company of the two surviving Beattie "Well Tank" locos on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Martin Creese of 30742 Charters organised two days of photographic charters and we were blessed with marvellous weather.

For our charter, the B&W put together two short rakes of goods trucks, including five "clay hoods", the distinctive open wagons covered by grey tarpaulins used to transport china clay. Both days followed the same pattern. The train was shunted at Bodmin General station, ready for a 6 am departure to Boscarne junction. More shunting was followed by a series of runs from the station to the first cutting as the sun rose and, on Saturday, the mist cleared. After lunch at Bodmin General, we went to Bodmin Parkway where more shunting was followed by a couple of false departures. We moved to Dreason and Charlie's Gate for an hour or two before heading for home. Finally, the train was shunted out of the way, and the locos returned to the shed. 1 hour 13 minutes.

A 1080-line, true high definition version of this programme available NOW on Blu-Ray Disc, priced £15.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 28

The Great Britain II

The Railway Touring Company ran its second marathon tour of Britain in April 2009: London to Penzance, Bristol, Shrewsbury, Carlisle, Glasgow, Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and finally York; nine days of steam haulage by Tangmere, Oliver Cromwell, Scots Guardsman, The Great Marquess, two Black Fives and Union of South Africa. With three cameramen contributing footage, Steam Age Pictures got pretty comprehensive coverage. The hardest part was editing it all down to just 90 minutes. You can see a few highlights on YouTube:

Part 1: Penzance - Glasgow
Part 2: Glasgow - Kyle - York

Steam Age Pictures Volume 27

NRM Mainline Steam In The South

Having seen The Hero's Return (Steam age Pictures Volume 17), about 850 Lord Nelson, the South Of England group of the Friends Of The National Railway museum asked for a disc that they could sell on NRM locomotives' rail tours. This is the result. It covers 777 Sir Lamiel, 850 Lord Nelson and 70013 Oliver Cromwell at work on the British mainline mostly, but not entirely, in the South of England. You might prefer to buy your copy directly from the Friends, in which case have a look at their web site:

Mainline Albums 2008

TWR Video & Steam Age Pictures have again joined forces to cover more of the year's mainline runs than we could have done working alone. Something like 20 hours of tape has been whittled down to nearly 6 hours of finished programme, spread over four DVDs.

Volume 23: Mainline Album 2008, Part 1: LMS & BR Locomotives (1 hour 29 mins) 

Featuring 8F 48151, Black 5s 45407 & 45231, 5690 Leander, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, 6233 Duchess Of Sutherland, 70013 Oliver Cromwell and BR Standard 4 76079. Includes the “15 Guinea Special” re-run.

Volume 24: Mainline Album 2008, Part 2: GWR Locomotives (1 hour 18 mins) 

Featuring 4936 Kinlet Hall, 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, 5029 Nunney Castle, 5043 Earl Of Mount Edgecumbe and 6024 King Edward I.

Volume 25: Mainline Album 2008, Part 3: SR Locomotives (1 hour 22 mins) 

Featuring 35028 Clan Line, 34067 Tangmere and 30777 Sir Lamiel, plus a cameo appearance by GWR 2-8-0T 5239.

Volume 26: Mainline Album 2008, Part 4: LNER & BR Pacific Locomotives. (1 hour 28 mins) 

Featuring 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, 60009 Union Of South Africa, 60019 Bittern, 70013 Oliver Cromwell and 71000 Duke Of Gloucester, plus Black 5 45407 working The North Briton with 60009.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 22

Plandampf In The Weratal

Plandampf: regular service trains worked by steam. Three class 52 2-10-0 "Kriegsloks", express pacific 03.1010 and mixed traffic 2-8-2 41.1144 are put to work on freight and passenger trains between Eisenach and Meiningen in the German state of Thüringen, including 2500 tonnes of gravel, which needs all three class 52s. Also, 41.1144 and 50.3051 work a special passenger train from Eisenach to Eisfeld to mark 150 years since the opening of the line through the valley of the River Wera. 1 hour 30 minutes.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 21

Mainline Album 1997 - 8

I was delighted by what I found when preparing this disc. As well as the large locomotives that we are still familiar with, such as Clan line and King Edward I, there's a great selection of smaller engines, now much rarer on the mainline: the MHR's U class mogul 31625,  the Swanage Railway's M7 tank engine 30053, and the Severn Valley's "mighty moguls" LMS 2968 and GWR 7325. All this and the first mainline appearance of MHR's fabulous "Green Five", 73096, too. 1 hour 43 minutes.

Mainline Albums 2007

2007 really was a bumper year, and collaborations with TWR Video and David Ainsworth (“Linesider”) have led to five discs of (mostly) main line material. Volume 15, The Great Britain Rail Tour, and Volume 17, The Hero's Return - 850 Lord Nelson were released during 2007. Volumes 18 – 20 complete our coverage.

Volume 18: Main Line Album 2007, Part 1: Tangmere (1 hour 11 mins). 

It came as quite a surprise to discover how much footage of Tangmere I amassed during the year. From triumphs like the 40th anniversary of  the Southern steam and the sure-footed restart on the 1-in-80 gradient at Sherborne, to less glorious moments, such as stalling on the Paignton & Dartmouth Rly with the Torbay Express, this programme shows Tangmere’s ability to go almost anywhere and haul almost anything, week in, week out. My personal favourite is The Holiday Express: Tangmere and 6024 King Edward I double-headed a tour from Bristol to Par in Cornwall. The light was gorgeous all day, the two locomotives made a fine sight and an exciting noise, and I finally got to take a picture of a steam train crossing the Royal Albert Bridge.

Volume 19: Main Line Album 2007, Part 2: GW, BR & SR Locomotives (1 hour 25 mins). 

Plenty of variety, with 7 GW locos, 2 BR Standards and 2 Southern locos. Highlights include Bradley Manor’s last mainline trips, 6024 and 5051 double-heading, fantastic glints from 9466 and 35028, Duke of Gloucester setting new standards on the South Devon Banks, and Sir Lamiel making a night departure from Salisbury. My personal favourite? Clan Line climbing Parkstone Bank, from a standing start at Poole, pulling 13 carriages and an EWS diesel, then roaring through Basingstoke, whistle open, really takes some beating!

Volume 20: Main Line Album 2007, Part 3: LMS & LNER Locomotives (1 hour 18 mins). 

Only five locomotives here, and some longer views than normal, thanks to the wide open spaces of the Pennines and the Vale of York. Centre piece is a 30 minute sequence dedicated to 60009 Union Of South Africa. She is seen on the Settle & Carlisle line, working from York to Harrogate and Scarborough and on two tours in the south. Also included are 6233 on Southern and Western metals, 6201 on the Welsh Marches route, 48151 working The Dalesman and 60019 Bittern’s midnight test run.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 17

The Hero's Return - 850 Lord Nelson

In August 2006, 80 years after she was built, and a few weeks after she was renamed by HRH The Princess Royal, 850 left Eastleigh Works in light steam, towed by an EWS diesel, bound for the West Somerset Railway for running-in and a staring role at their Autumn Steam Gala. At the end of the year, she moved to the East Lancs. Railway in preparation for a main line test run, which finally happened on March 7th 2007 (after another Steam Gala appearence on the ELR). Her first public main line tour was "The Trafalgar Express" from Minehead to Eastleigh on 31st March. She went on to work 10 more mainline tours before her untimely (but thankfully temporary) withdrawal with firebox problems almost exactly a year after she left Eastleigh Works.

This volume includes coverage of most of the events mentioned above: the departure from Eastleigh, WSR Autumn and Spring galas, East Lancs. winter gala, the test run, the stop-over at Didcot and light engine movement to Minehead and 8 of her 11 main-line tours.

Running time 63 mins approx. All proceeds donated to Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 16

Main Line Album 1999

There must have been something good in the air in 1999, judging by the number of golden glints I recorded during the year. (The old Panasonic Super-VHS camera does make the most of that sort of lighting.) It was a bumper harvest of locomotives, some of which, e.g. 31625, 45110 and 48773, I have not seen on the main line since. I didn't need to travel very far, either. There are only a couple of shots from north of Birmingham or west of Bristol.

Highlights include 8F 48773 unassisted on the Lickey Bank, Canadian Pacific (in blue) at Southampton Docks, Green Arrow in the West Country, 80079 around Bristol and banking 45110 on the Lickey, Flying Scotsman's return to traffic after her £0.75 million overhaul (including the test run in grey undercoat), Rood Ashton Hall's first main line run, King Edward I in trouble on a long tour to Bournemouth, and long sequences of 73096 and Clan Line.

Running time 1 hour 30 mins approx.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 15

The Great Britain Rail Tour

If someone organised a rail tour from Penzance to Thurso, using steam locomotives, would anyone buy tickets? In April 2007, The Railway Touring Company promoted just such a tour, and all the seats were sold months beforehand. Many more enthusiasts took to the road to record this great railway adventure, including two cameramen from Steam Age Pictures & TWR Video. This programme shows you what we saw.

The tour took 9 days, from Good Friday 6th April to Saturday 14th April, and used 7 steam locomotives, mostly over routes that they worked in steam days: 71000 Duke Of Gloucester, 5051 Earl Bathurst, 6024 King Edward I, 6233 Duchess Of Sutherland, 60009 Union Of South Africa, 61994 The Great Marquess, and LMS 8F 48151. Starting from London, it visited Bristol, Penzance, Plymouth, Exeter, Abergavenny, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Chester, Preston, Carlisle, Glasgow, Stirling, Perth, Inverness, Kyle Of Lochalsh and Thurso. Along the way it climbed some of the most famous (notorious?) banks in the country, including Hemerdon, Dainton, Llanvihangle, Shap, Beattock, Druimuachdar, Slochd, Luib and County March. 1 hour 21 minutes.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 14

The Wolsztyn Experience, Nov. 2007

A group of friends spent a week driving and firing steam locos working everyday services on Polish Railways. I went along with my camera to record some of the goings on, and this programme is the result.

Running time 1 hour 15 mins approx.

(By the way, in case you are worried that you have missed something, Vol. 13 is a short programme produced for some MNLPS members to show when giving presentations)

Steam Age Pictures Volumes 11 & 12

2006 provided an embarrassment of riches. Even after quite severe editing, there is too much material for a single disc. Rather than compromise on image quality, I decided to split it in two, with LMS and BR locos on Part 1 (Volume 11), GWR, LNER and Southern locos on Part 2 (Volume 12). As a bonus, Volume 12 includes a short programme of two sunny days on the Bluebell Railway.


All the locos are red or black - apart from 71000 Duke of Gloucester! Highlights include 6233 Duchess of Sutherland in Surrey and Westmoreland, 5690 Leander on the Lickey, BR Standard Class 4 76079 on the Cambrian Coast, and 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Whiteball, Dainton and Rattery in fabulous sunshine! (on Volume 11. Approx. run time 73 mins)

Here are the rest of the green ones! 30777 Sir Lamiel "up North", 35028 Clan Line's test run run and first VSOE tour, 850 Lord Nelson leaving Eastleigh, 34067 Tangmere at Littlehampton, 6024 King Edward I on the GWR main line, two Halls on the Lickey and Green Arrow on the East Coast Main Line. (On Volume 12. Approx. run time 57 mins)

I made two visits to the Bluebell during 2006. On both occasions the sun shone all day. Here are the results. 
(On Volume 12. Approx. run time 28 mins)

Steam Age Pictures Volume 10

2000 was a transition year, being the last year that I was using a Super-VHS camera, and I don't consider it to be a vintage year, exactly. From a technical point-of-view, I was struggling with different microphones that were either not picking up much sound or else were picking up too much camera and handling noise. I have cleaned the audio up a bit where necessary (but hopefully not so much that it sounds unnatural). From a personal point-of-view, I was busy with other things and many tours passed unrecorded. Also, there are one or two shots that I have included because they are of historical interest rather than great artistic merit. However, there were some true high points as well, not least Bodmin’s return to the main line in June, Blue Peter’s run over the Devon Banks in July and my move to a digital video camera in November. I have put the Digital footage towards the end. I think you'll notice the improvement in picture quality!

Steam On The Met, 1992 - 2000
Most years between 1990 and 2000, London Underground opened a section of the Metropolitan Line between Watford, Rickmansworth and Amersham to steam for a weekend of special trains. These were run to a frequent schedule amongst the regular Underground electric and Chiltern Railways DMU services and were driven and fired by volunteer crews.

Running time 70 mins approx.

Steam Age Pictures Volume 9

This programme completes the back-log of digital footage (apart from last 2 months of 2000), and it was a vintage year. Star of the show, with nearly 28 minutes all to herself, is 35005 Canadian Pacific. We see her on Steam Dreams crew training specials at Easter and on a number of Cathedrals Express runs. The supporting cast includes 6024 King Edward I, three different Halls, Black 5 45407, 60009 Union of South Africa, 4472 Flying Scotsman and a rare appearance from B1 61264.
Mid Hants Album 2002
Loco Trials: 34016 Bodmin and 6024 King Edward I get to grips with 9 coach trains on the 1-in-60 gradients during the summer gala.
An Autumn Day on The Watercress Line: "Mickey Mouse" 2MT tank 41312 assists 35005 with the Green Train early one morning, and 34016 and 41312 run the normal service trains, including The Countryman.

(approx. running time: 82 minutes)

Steam Age Pictures Volume 8

What can one say about 71000 Duke Of Gloucester? She flattened Upwey, Parkstone, Honiton, Sherborne and Upton Scudamore banks, toying with her 11- and 12-coach loads. On more level ground, she cruised along at 75 for mile after mile with little apparent effort. But she wasn't alone: 34067 Tangmere took care of VSOE business again, and also visited Bournemouth and Winchester; Black Fives 45231 and 45305 and Jubilee 5690 Leander returned to main-line duties; 5029 Nunney Castle bowed out; 6024 King Edward I put up consistently good performances all year; 60009 Union of South Africa went up the Midland main-line on a perfect autumn morning; 4472 Flying Scotsman flew down to Didcot with a couple of Sunday Lunch specials. There are also brief appearances from 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, 5051 Earl Bathurst and 34027 Taw Valley.
After the main program, I have included a split-screen comparison of 6024 and 5029 over the same stretch of track on the approach to Sapperton Tunnel, filmed from almost the same spot, three months apart. I won't tell you who wins...!
(approx. running time: 82 minutes)

Steam Age Pictures Volume 7

A Profile of 35028 Clan Line

More from the archive, both S-VHS and Digital: Merchant Navy class 4-6-2, 35028 Clan Line at work on the main line between 1990 and 2001, plus an afternoon spent at Southall depot with members of the MNLPS.

(approx. running time: 63 minutes)

Steam Age Pictures Volume 6

Main Line Album 2003

Star performer of 2003 was the Mid Hants Railway's Standard 5, 73096, which was the main stay of the Cathedrals Express and Daylight Limited services. Other highlights: Tangmere returned to the main line (several times!), Flying Scotsman was a regular performer on VSOE Pullman excursions, Princess Elizabeth returned to Euston, Nunney Castle enjoyed perfect weather in February, and 9600 bowed out of mainline work.

(approx. running time: 85 minutes)

Steam Age Pictures Volume 5

Programme 1: Main Line Album 2004

The undoubted star of 2004 was GWR 4-4-0 no. 3440, City Of Truro. She gets two long sequences all to herself, one from the late spring/early summer, and one from the winter. Also: Tangmere delighted me on a series VSOE Pullman trains via Oxford to Worcester; The MHR's Standard Five once again punched well above her weight (see, for example, her climb through Chalford to Sapperton); The King and the Duke returned after overhaul; Nunney Castle struggled with 10 coaches on the climb to Tytherington Quarry; Taw Valley roared up Upwey bank as she turned a 30 minute late departure from Weymouth into a right-time departure from Eastleigh. All this and Union of South Africa, Flying Scotsman and Rood Ashton Hall too!
(Running time: 57 mins)

Programme 2: Mid Hants South Western Gala, 2004

I spent a day trying to dodge the showers (not always successfully, as you'll see!) to record three visiting tank engines:

The NRM’s LSWR Beattie 2-4-0WT 30587;
LBSC Stroudley A1x “Terrier” 0-6-0 from the Kent & East Sussex Railway;
Port Talbot Railway 0-6-0ST 813 from the Severn Valley.
The MHR’s own BR Standard class 5, 73096, makes an appearance too.
(Running time: 7 mins)

Programme 3: City of Truro, 1990 - 92

The last time that 3440 toured the country was between 1990 and 1992. Here are a few shots from my Super-VHS archive:

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway gala, 14th October 1990;
Severn Valley Railway gala, 21st September 1991;
Main line trip from Derby to Didcot, 3rd May 1992.
(Running time: 9 mins)

Steam Age Pictures Volumes 3 & 4

I spent two-and-a-half weeks of October and November 2004 on The JingPeng China Orient Express organised by GW Travel...

China Railtour 2004 - Part 2: JingPeng Steam Swan Song

The tour spent 3 days on the JingPeng pass, on  JiTong Railway in Inner Mongolia, in November 2004, with the first snow of the year on the ground! The result: 1 hr 20 mins of massive QJ class 2-10-2 locos hauling 2000 tonne goods trains and our tour's 850 tonne sleeping car train up the 1 in 87 gradients. This line is justly famous for spectacular scenery and high, curved viaducts. The week after the tour, more diesel locos were delivered to Daban MPD, displacing steam from more trains over the JingPeng pass. We were there just in time!

Note for North American and Japanese viewers: Both China Railtour volumes are available in NTSC standard (DVD only). Please get in touch.

China Railtour 2004 - Part 1

We spent 18 days in China in total. This programme covers everything else we saw away from the JingPeng pass:
  • Colliery lines around Tongchuan and Yuanbaoshan;
  • The eastern section of the  JiTong Railway in Inner Mongolia - a look around Daban locomotive depot, and an hour or so spent at Chabuga;
  • The 2'6" (762 mm) gauge limestone quarry line at Dahuichang;
  • BONUS: Click here to see some of Corinne Henman's excellent photographs taken on the same trip.

    Steam Age Pictures Volume 2

    Programme 1: Mid Hants Railway Gala, Sept. 2003

    92 Squadron at AlresfordFeaturing four visiting engines: 34081 "92 Squadron", 473 "Birch Grove", 60009 "Union of South Africa" and BR Standard 4 tank 80104, as well as MHR's Ivatt 2-6-2T 41312 and converted Austerity "Douglas".

    Approx. running time: 28 mins

    Programme 2: Bluebell Railway Gala, Feb. 2002

    Birch Grove & FenchurchFeatured classes: Wainwright O2, Stroudley A1x Terriers, Billinton E4 Radial, Adams B4, Riddles Std 4,

    Approx. running time: 27 mins

    Programme 3: Profile of S15 E828

    828 climbs past Upton ScudamoreArchive footage of this Really Useful Engine at work on the mainline between 1993 and 1997, and on the Swanage Railway in July 1998.

    Approx. running time: 37 mins

    Steam Age Pictures Volume 1

    Programme 1: Main Line Annual 2001

    Highlights include double-headed Halls and Panniers in the snow, Clan Line's last trip before overhaul, and Duchess of Sutherland in Devon.

    Approx. running time: 43 mins

    Programme 2: Well Tank Weekend

    In April 2003, the Bodmin and Wenford Railway launched Beattie well tank no. 30587 into public service with a weekend of special trains. The weather was perfect, and the little engine is simply gorgeous!

    Approx. running time: 42 mins

    Steam Age home page   Video home page
    this page updated 01/08/2012