Using archive footage and photographs the series follows the development of the The Great Western Railway. The railway became known as `God`s Wonderful Railway`. 175 years after its foundation, the Great Western Railway is remembered with more nostalgia and love than any of Britain`s other railways.
It built and operated the delightful main line from London to the West Country and Cornwall and it was engineered by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed iconic spectacles such as Box Tunnel and the Royal Albert Bridge. Its steam locomotives were designed by great men like Gooch, Churchward and Collett, but the engines were only half the appeal: the grand railway terminals of London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads enriched the spectacle, as did those countless tranquil country halts with little more than a pagoda shelter and a couple of milk churns awaiting collection.
Before Nationalisation features the GWR in the 1920’s to the introduction of the “King Class” the world’s fastest train, streamlining and through the war years and in to nationalization and the formation of British rail.
Into The Sixties covers the start of the withdrawal of Steam with the last Suburban steam from Paddington, we see the withdrawal of the first “Grange” and witness the last of the “Kings”.
In The End of Steam we see the Pannier Tanks, Castles working at Paddington and Reading Station with a variety of “Halls”, “Castles”, “Manors” and “Prairies” and we also take a tour of the Swindon shed and works.
Into Preservation looks at the gradual decline of BR steam as the locomotives are withdrawn and sent for scrap and the beginnings of the preservation of these great steam locomotives
Return to the Mainline we look at the development of steam preservation and the renovation of some of the classic steam locomotive that used to run on the GWR suburban and main lines and the return to steam on the mainline railways system.
Western Steam Revival This program features locomotives and routes of the old Great Western Railway filmed between 1987 and 1995. Its full of wonderful sights and sounds, with authentic shots recreating the past of the classic, as well as the not so common, locations and climbs Sapperton and Hatton Bank famous in the heyday days steam.