Daily Moan #8: the wrong engine

Many films feature steam trains - I've already blogged one of them - and nearly all of them get it wrong. Either the loco is from the wrong region or company or it's from the wrong time. Granted, there is only a finite number of locos to choose from on a small number of available scenic heritage railways. But what on earth was what looked like a British Railways Standard Class 5 loco doing chuffing through the snowy Eastern European mountains in Poirot's Murder on the Orient Express on Christmas day? I suspect much of it was CGI, which means they will be able get it right in the future.

Which brings me to The Railway Children, shown yesterday. Don't get me wrong, this is a delightful movie, guaranteed to have you weeping uncontrollably at the end. I love it. This was filmed at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in 1970, but was meant to be set in 1905. The engine that appears the most, seen pulling the Old Gentleman in his North Eastern Railway Director's Saloon was GWR 0-6-0PT No. 5775 (L89) painted in the livery of the fictional Great Northern and Southern Railway - a sort of Stroudley 'Improved Engine Green' (ie mustard yellow-brown). These pannier tanks were built at Swindon 1929-50, so the loco is wrong for two reasons - it's from the wrong region and it wasn't yet built at the time the film was set. As far as I know pannier tanks were only ever seen in the Great Western region.

The one bringing them to Oakworth station, and also seen later in the film, is No. 1369, one of Hudswell Clarke's 0-6-0T 'long tank' locos, originally to be found working on the Manchester Ship Canal as No. 67 and now at the Middleton Railway.

Other locomotives include The Scotch Flyer No. 4744 (69523), a Great Northern Railway Class N2 0-6-2T steam locomotive designed by Nigel Gresley and introduced in 1920 - now at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough.

The Green Dragon, aka No. 52044 (preserved as L&Y 957), is a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Class 25 0-6-0 locomotive. These were introduced in 1876 and not withdrawn until the 1930s, so is absolutely right for the location and period! Hoorah!

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