Bluebell Railway (Putting Back the Track, part 2)
Part 2 of a double-feature that will take you back to a bygone era when the pace of life was genteel.
The incredible story of the Bluebell line early standard gauge preservation and its recent reopening against the odds to East Grinstead.
Written and narrated by BBC producer and lifelong enthusiast Andrew Johnston and filmed by fellow enthusiast and professional Ian Stuart Lynn, this is a film of first class quality not to be missed.
Once almost every town in Britain had its railway station. Even remote villages had their wayside halts and just about everything was transported by rail. Then came the age of motor traffic and by the 1930s, the smaller lines were beginning to close.
After World War Two, the railways went into a steep decline and in the 1960s, the infamous Beeching Report paved the way for a massive reduction of the network. 5,000 miles of track and more than a third of all stations vanished as Government funds were diverted into new road schemes.
Today, many of the closures are recognised as major mistakes and are bitterly regretted by their communities. Gridlocked roads have helped boost rail passenger numbers to record levels, yet politicians remain unwilling to tackle the costly task of replacing the lost lines.
But a new generation of railway enthusiasts is proving that it can be done. All over Britain, dozens of preserved steam railways are busy relaying the rails and this video looks at two of them. The popular image may be of schoolboy 'trainspotters' recording engine numbers, but times have changed and many of today's enthusiasts are modern versions of the Victorian railway 'navvies' who first built the lines. Theirs is a story of vision and determination, skill and sheer hard work - the qualities needed to reverse the blunders of the past and put back the track.