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    RIDING THE PINES EXPRESS FROM MANCHESTER  - in the last days of loco-hauled travel Manchester Piccadilly to Birmingham New Street and onwards to Bournemouth

XC Class 47 Stop - September 2001- The ongoing modernisation of Virgin's Cross-Country operation would bring about the end of daily Nationwide traditional loco-hauled service trains in Britain. Soon the entire fleet inherited from British Rail would be replaced by Virgin Voyagers, with only a handful of HSTs soldiering on from the Nationalised era. But with the sun still rising on the New Dawn another tradition fell victim to ‘modern-thinking’; all Virgin trains were to become anonymous, as Virgin denamed its titled trains as a precursor to a new interval timetable. Pre- Voyager, most were HST-operated, but the ‘Sussex Scot' Midland Scot' and most notably the ‘Pines Express' were all loco-hauled and had a certain kudos and heritage. The last era of the locomotive-hauled ‘Pines' would officially end on 30th September 2001 . . . with this in mind Virgin Trains allowed Oakwood to adorn the ‘Pines Express' with its traditional headboard for the first time since 1965!  This is the memento of that event.

After a brief resume of ‘Pines History’ we start at Manchester Piccadilly on 12th September 2001, where 47843 Vulcan received the famous headboard, and we join driver Ken Cossey aboard the 1O09, 08.09 for Bournemouth.

The view forward is complemented by in cab scenes and lineside shots of Vulcan, and other class-mates; notably the ‘BT Police’, ‘rail blue’ and ‘XP64’ celebrities. Departing Manchester on ex-LNWR metals we pass Longsight, Stockport and Cheadle Hulme as we head for Macclesfield, thereafter joining the principal route of the erstwhile North  Staffordshire Railway.  North Rode viaduct is crossed as we pass through the Potteries, call at Stoke and see the numerous now closed manual signal boxes of this West Coast artery.  The ‘West Coast’ proper is joined at Norton Bridge for the run to Stafford, thence to Wolverhampton and into Birmingham. After a crew change, highlights of the run to the south coast conclude with Vulcan’s arrival in Bournemouth.

Also available on DVD - click here


137 Minutes

Was £ 19.95  Now £9.99

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SPECIAL DELIVERY  - The 'Cornish Mails' in the last summer of the Penzance - Bristol - Penzance TPO

This programme, born of the English Welsh & Scottish Railway wish to see the last era of Britain's main trains well recorded, unquestioningly proves that even in their last summer Britain's Travelling Post Office trains were far from being a an idiosyncratic quirk from a previous century. Elsewhere within the Post Office modernisation enabled post coded mail to be sorted at lightning speeds, yet on the TPO the sorters themselves were in a league of their own processing mail at up to 100 miles per hour - step aboard in the evening light at Penzance for a round trip through the night, and by dawn you'll appreciate how working on the TPO really was a way of life. Whilst the nation slept an amazing story of rail efficiency unfolded every night.

We begin on the EWS depot at St Blazey, the maintenance facility for the locomotive stock employed on the West Country based postal trains. Thereafter we follow the train throughout its booked duty; empty to
Penzance then as 1C01, 19.35 Penzance to Bristol RMT and 1C02, 00.55 return.


Numerous lineside shots of the train are intercut with scenes recorded in the class 67 cab (of the driver and view forward) and the often frenetic activity within the train itself. Every station stop is included, be it for incoming or outgoing mail making connections with air, road, or even cross platform interchanges with other rail services. . . but in addition to following the train we see how this TPO was at the core of the mail service in the South West by tracking a Special Delivery parcel from England's most westerly post office, via Truro Mail Centre (Cornwall's Royal Mail nerve centre), to Bristol RMT and beyond, illustrating how the Travelling Post Office played a vital role in the delivery of priority mail... Special Delivery.

An Oakwood Video Library/Railscene Co-Production.

For further information about TPOs and preserved TPO events please visit www.tpo.org.uk

Also available on DVD - click here


140 Minutes

Was £ 19.95  Now £9.99

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