Cat no. 1156

Anglia Electrification

Running time18:43 Colour Sound 1985 East Anglia

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This film shows scenes from the electrification of the Colchester to Norwich railway line.


Travel / Travelogue

The film begins with stills showing the front page of the Eastern Daily Press, November 4th, 1982. The headline announces that Electric Train Service by 1987. The sound track carries headlines from local news bulletins. The opening shots montage shows the interior of a train driver's cab, a train on the line and interior scenes. Mike Fookes, operations manager, is interviewed in his office. He explains the advantages of electrification for passengers. At Stowmarket, there are shots taken during the day and at night showing work on th track. Over fifty bridges had to be rebuilt on the route. There is a shot of a bridge and scenes of work being undertaken by night and during the day. A temporary bridge is erected for road traffic. These also carry gas, electric and water supplies and there is a shot of these being installed. There are shots of foot and farm access bridges to underline the scale of the task. Ipswich tunnel posed some problems. This was built in 1836, 180m long and is curved throughout. There are shots of men working on the track in the tunnel. At Stowmarket again, a level crossing man is filmed closing a gate. There are shots of automated barriers and of the interior of the signal box at Colchester. This is the centre for the signalling system that will control the whole line from Shenfield to Norwich and the Harwich line. Black and white shots show steam trains at Liverpool Street Station during the 1930s. The commentary explains that electrification began in 1935. Interrupted by World War II it reached Shenfield in 1949, Colchester branch line in 1959 and the line between Shenfield and Colchester was completed in 1962. There are shots of the early electrification work and of steam locomotives.The film shows shots of a meeting that arranged the electrification programme. £63m was found for this out of existing British Rail resources. Various work trains are shown working through the day and the night to complete the task. The excavating train digs the holes for the masts. These are then erected. The grouting train fixes the masts. The wires are installed and the registration gang ensures that they are in the right position. There are interior shots of the driver's cab, showing a driver under instruction and of the control room. At Liverpool Street Station, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother names an engine 'The Royal Anglian Regiment'. There are shots of the crowd and of the train.Over interior and exterior shots of a train, the commentary closes by re-iterating the benefits of electrification.

Featured People:

HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; Mike Fookes, British Rail

Featured Organisations:

British Rail

Featured Events:

HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother names the engine 'Royal Anglian Regiment.'

Featured Buildings:

Liverpool Street Railway Station

British Rail

Audio Visual Centre, University of East Anglia

David Cleveland

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