This is our first film on British Railways for 12 years and for this series we take advantage of the latest technology to show you the railways from the air.
In part 1 we start at the recently modernised Reading station. Just west of the station the converging lines lines from Bristol and Exeter/Southampton respectively have been reorganised, a new flyover has been built to allow freight trains to and from the port of Southampton to access the ‘slow’ line to Didcot without crossing the fast lines to the west on the flat – a vast improvement! The line along the Thames valley is fast and busy – at least four High Speed Trains an hour in each direction, plus fast trains to Birmingham operated by Cross Country. Freight is mostly container shuttles to and from northern destinations but there are also shuttles worked between Bristol and Thames and East Coast destinations, and one a day (most days) to Southampton. Other traffic includes automotive and stone. Didcot is a hub for automotive traffic and the MOD for whom DB Cargo operate a quasi wagonload service. The power station is no more but Didcot remains an important node in the rail freight network. We pickup the West of England mainline at Swindon. East of town is the HONDA factory, while in the centre is the BMW press-shop. The former GWR locomotive works is now a museum and retail outlet! The line splits at Wootton Bassett and we take the southern route to Chippenham and the spectacular City of Bath where the trains run alongside the river to the station at Bath Spa. Narrated RT 70 mins filmed in HD ©FHP 2016
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