39 Steps

21 March 1978, filming of a scene for The 39 Steps involved No 46443 dressed as Midland Railway 644 making an emergency stop on Victoria Bridge. The Rank Organisation film featured Robert Powell as Richard Hannay, Karen Dotrice as Alex and John Mills as Colonel Scudder.

The railway sequence was set in early 1914 and begins in the ticket office at London St Pancras Station. The action scenes used 46443 and five LMS carriages with ‘Midland’ stickers applied.

The scenes filmed on the SVR, which last around 5 minutes in total, include Hannay boarding the train (filmed on Bewdley island platform), a wide shot of the train passing the Spring Grove area, a distant shot passing Trimpley Reservoir, crossing Oldbury viaduct, a lineside shot west of Bewdley tunnel

After a cutaway to a short scene where his pursuers order all trains leaving St Pancras to be searched, the railway sequence continues with the train on Eardington bank, emerging from Arley Station Bridge having passed through the station at speed, passing Trimpley, passing through a station at speed, filmed from a footbridge over the line (Bewdley again).

Then police searching the train, the train approaching the bridge, where Hannay pulls the communication cord to bring it to an emergency stop, approaching Victoria Bridge, stopped on Victoria Bridge, the escape scene on the bridge, a parting shot of the train setting off through Eymore cutting, and Hannay climbing down from the bridge.

Some SVR volunteers were extras in the film and will have happy memories…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: