Monday, 10 May 2010

The Pines Express - Film

Following the Pines Express event and the running of a recent charter train on the NVR, Grumpy Git Productions have released a film to celebrate the recreation of the Somerset & Dorset summer Saturday in the fifties.

It’s a straightforward enough premise; we see Fowler 4F 44422 being prepared for service followed by the arrival at Midford Station.  Boarding the train, we take a journey down the line – seen through both the eyes of a passenger and a lineside spotter.  The train arrives at Orton Mere in heavy rain – well, we’re recreating the British summer after all!  44422 is turned by hand on the turntable, and we see the train depart from the station tender first before it runs alongside the river where a couple of dogs are enjoying a splash about – a nice addition the film.

We then change trains and watch as 73050 leaves the loco shed.  Boarding the train we take another journey down the line with some energetic running by the Standard 5.  Finally both locos are paired up for The Pines Express itself, with the final scene following the doubleheader all the way along the Nene flood plain towards Castor with regulators off and whistling for all they’re worth as they approach the historic non-stop dash through Wansford.

Although filmed over two days, the weather was consistently grotty enough not to cause any noticeable changes between scenes.  

The Austerity J94 was also running on the day hauling demonstration freight trains.  However, it didn’t really fit into the context of the film and would have meant chopping up some nice footage to squeeze it in – and that would spoil things.  Fortunately I got some cracking scenes that feature this loco, and have enough material to give no. 22 a film of it’s own – so Austerity fans, do not despair!


  1. A lovely video, Martin. I was surprised by the size of the 4F, so long since I have seen one. The loco sounds well and looks gorgeous. It's nice, too, to see a consistent rake of blood and custards. The episode with the dogs was lovely...there's a bit of a theme here, isn't there! You spent a lot of time getting this right, and it shows. The last sequence where the train goes off into the distance is wonderful...spoilt for me by the music...hope you don't mind me saying as everything else is so good. I am not a fan of the Nutcracker and I felt it would have been nicer to have had a largo passage, something quiet (or nothing at all) so that the ambient noises could come through. But it's your vid, and a bloody good one too, so please don't drive over in your new Scania (moment of envy) and biff me!

    Looking forward very much to J94-the Movie!!

  2. No problem Iain, music in films is always subjective and I'd far rather hear constructive comments like this. I chose it because I rather liked the build up towards the end that heralded the arrival double header and built up to the crescendo as the train raced past.

    The other reason for a big finish is that the location is rather exposed, and as the camera panned round it caught a lot of wind noise - some of which can be heard even above the music. Rather than remove the sound from that portion, I decided to go for a compromise and cover up the worst bits of noise with a loud finish.

    Once again the dogs were on location purely by chance and as soon as I saw them I hoped they'd stay around long enough to be filmed It would be nice to get one into every film, as a sort of Cuneo-esque trademark!


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