North British. The North British Locomotive Company, formed in 1903 by the
amalgamation of Sharp Stewart & Co, Dübs & Co and Neilson Reid & Co, was once
one of the three largest manufacturers of railway locomotives in the world.
This 1949 film offers a rare look behind the scenes at Springburn, Glasgow, to
see the processes involved in designing and manufacturing steam locomotives.
During the film the 2000th locomotive produced for South African Railways,
Bartholemew Diaz, is seen being completed, and it is a tribute to the quality of
Glaswegian workmanship that it is still in service today in South Africa, more
than half a century later.
The detailed processes and departments shown include: initial design and the
drawing office; wheel and axle production; the pattern shop and foundry;
the forging shop; boiler shop; test track; packing and shipping.
Directed by John S. Abbott, Jnr. Produced by Edward Cook.
Locomotives for the Second Front. A short war-time newsreel showing
the production of War Department Austerity engines at Springburn in 1943.
Made by Paramount News for the Ministry of Supply.
Today and Every Day. A celebration of British Railway Engineering.
Long sought after by film collectors and railway enthusiasts and now
available for the first time on DVD, transferred from possibly the only
print still in existence. Made in 1947 with the cooperation of the railway
companies, it traces the history of Britain’s railways, including
re-enactments of the North Star’s triumphant arrival at Paddington Station
in 1838, and the conversion of broad gauge to standard gauge which was
completed in 1892. We then turn to a survey of operations on the contemporary
railway system, taking a trip to Dover on the Golden Arrow Pullman to see the
Train Ferries and the unique sea locks in action. Following an exciting footplate
ride on Windsor Castle, hauling The Cheltenham Flyer, the film then considers
the rô l e which the railway plays as a “common carrier” for all sorts of goods,
without which “there would be no chance for a profit.”
Perhaps the most fascinating section is an inside look at locomotive construction
at Swindon ‘A’ Shed where a GWR King Class engine is being completed.
The film concludes with a look at the first intercity diesel-electric LMS 10000,
and surmises that thanks to British enterprise, we can be sure that “our trains
will run Today and Every Day.”
Produced and directed by Cecil H. Williamson. Associate producer E.J. Fancey.
Commentary spoken by Frank Phillips. Sound recording by Leevers Rich.
Total Running time: 77 mins.