Night Mail

steam train

I love Night Mail, the documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train, produced by the GPO Film Unit in 1936.

The film ends with a “verse commentary” by W. H. Auden. Benjamin Britten wrote the music and the film was directed by Harry Watt and Basil Wright and narrated by John Grierson and Stuart Legg.

The locomotive featured in the film was Royal Scot 6115 Scots Guardsman, built in 1927.

The film has become a classic and Night Mail is widely considered a masterpiece of the British Documentary Film Movement.

And, of course, it’s been imitated many times:

British Rail Advert 1988

Australian Model Railway Association

Thomas the Tank Engine

Steam Trains

Lego Mail Trains

Hope you enjoyed them!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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    1. I agree with you, June. My grandad was an engine driver and I love trains too. I used to travel regularly on British Rail between London and Yorkshire and I only remember it as a good service, affordable and you always got a seat. Who started the myth that our nationalised railway was rubbish? Should never have been sold off and I hope the railway is brought back into public ownership asap. 🙂


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