British Transport Films Collection

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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antnield
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#51 Post by antnield » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:00 am


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jindianajonz
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#52 Post by jindianajonz » Mon May 13, 2013 1:08 pm

Can anyone say for certain whether the collection is region free or not? I think it would be a great gift for my dad, but although Amazon says it's region 0, the only review says that it was for PAL. Since my dad has a pretty generic American blu-ray player and TV, I just want to make sure he'll be able to watch these.

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knives
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#53 Post by knives » Mon May 13, 2013 1:24 pm

All of the discs are PAL but many generic American Blu-ray players can play PAL so you should check that out beforehand with an R0 disc you may have. The but is that at least with the early discs the region coding is for 2. I'm sure the recent releases don't have that issue, but at least up to 3 they are R2. Kino in America released an exact duplicate of the first collection.

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#54 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:22 am

Full specs announced for Experiment Under London:
The British Transport Films Collection
Volume Eleven
Experiment Under London

On 19 August 2013 a new volume will be added to the BFI’s best-selling series of transport and travel films, The British Transport Films Collection.

Marking London Underground’s 150th anniversary, Experiment Under London Volume Eleven in this series of double-DVD sets, presents six films documenting the construction of the Underground’s Victoria Line, which were produced by the BTF Unit for London Transport.

During the Autumn of 1962, engineering work began on the first new underground railway to be built under Central London in over sixty years. Made between 1961 and 1969, the films show, in meticulous detail, the mammoth undertaking of building the Victoria Line, one of the most complex civil engineering projects that London had ever seen. It was officially opened by the Queen in March 1969.

After the initial film showing the proposals and the tunnelling technology that will be used, the other five films are Cine-gazette style reports that not only show the technical engineering achievements but also the human endeavour required from the workforce and the cooperation of the public.

This digitally mastered double-disc collection, which is accompanied by a booklet of film notes, is a must, not only for the transport enthusiast, transport workers and engineers, but also for documentary aficionados and anyone interested in Britain’s industrial history.

The Films

Experiment Under London (1961): experimental excavations in preparations for the new Victoria Line underground;
The Victoria Line Report No.1: Over and Under (1965): the chief civil engineer for LT's new underground line from Victoria to Walthamstow describes the work in progress from early 1963 to mid 1964 at Oxford Circus;
Report No. 2: Down and Along (1965): modern techniques of tunnelling, the use of a mechanical digging shield in a running tunnel, and the digging by hand of vast underground caverns for junctions and cross-overs;
Report No. 3: Problems and Progress (1967): the difficulties met by the designers and contractors, particularly at Kings Cross and Oxford Circus; the diversion work at Finsbury Park and the problem of accurate track laying;
Report No. 4: Equip and Complete (1968): installing model escalators, testing new rolling stock and automatic train control, installing power supply and the operation of the Walthamstow-Highbury section;
Report No. 5: London's Victoria Line (1966): the design, construction and completion of the new line showing the various phases and engineering techniques involved.

Special Features

A Hundred Years Underground (UK, 1963): the story of London Underground from its inception to modern times with contributions from distinguished Londoners including a young John Betjeman, singer Jessie Matthews, Lord Morrison of Lambeth and sculptor Henry Moore;
The Queen Opening the Victoria Line (1969): mute rushes of the official opening ceremony.

Product Details

RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIVD975 / E
UK / 1961-1969 / b&w and colour / 167 mins / DVD9 x 2 / Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
...and a clip has been published on YouTube, showing how a steel umbrella was erected over Oxford Circus road junction on August bank holiday weekend 1963 (amazing how quiet the streets are!).

It's probably also worth mentioning that the 167 mins running time only refers to the main sextet of films - A Hundred Years Underground runs 39 minutes (minus PAL speedup), so it's a pretty substantial extra.

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antnield
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#55 Post by antnield » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:48 am


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antnield
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#56 Post by antnield » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:11 am

Contents for volume 12...
Films

Disc One

Bridge of Song (1955, 15 mins)
Joe Brown at Clapham (1965, 15 mins)
Diesel Power On British Railways (1965, 8 mins)
Rail Report 6: The Good Way to Travel (1965, 19 mins)
The Driving Force (1966, 24 mins)
Speedrail to the South (1967, 11 mins)
Contact with the Heart of England (1967, 9 mins)

Disc Two

Freight Flow (1969, 21 mins)
The Future Works (1969, 21 mins)
Going Places Fast (1974, 15 mins)
Creating a Diversion (1980, 10 mins)
Partners In Prosperity (1982, 20 mins)
Intercity 1250 (1982, 4 mins)

Extras

Belief In The Future (1976, 15 mins): Internal communications film for British Rail in which Peter Parker, the new BR chairman, addresses his employees on the challenge
Fully illustrated booklet

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#57 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:24 pm

Full specs announced for volume 12:
The British Transport Films Collection
Volume Twelve
The Driving Force


A wonderful new volume of rare and unseen films to thrill and excite lovers of train travel, British heritage and vibrant documentary filmmaking, The Driving Force joins the BFI’s best-selling British Transport Films Collection series on 24 February 2014.

The twelfth volume in this highly popular series of double-DVD sets presents a selection of previously unreleased films which explore and illustrate the improvements and developments in train services that were offered by British Transport between 1955 and 1982.

Amongst the highlights of this new volume are the titular film, The Driving Force (1969), which details the vast programme under which the changeover from steam to diesel and electric traction was achieved; and Partners in Prosperity (1982), which outlines plans for a truly modern integrated road and rail transport structure in Scotland.

This digitally remastered collection, which is accompanied by a booklet containing an introductory essay and extensive film notes by BFI curators, is a must for the transport enthusiast and the documentary aficionado alike.

Disc One
Bridge of Song (1955, 15 mins)
Joe Brown at Clapham (1965, 15 mins)
Diesel Power On British Railways (1965, 8 mins)
Rail Report 6: The Good Way to Travel (1965, 19 mins)
The Driving Force (1966, 24 mins)
Speedrail to the South (1967, 11 mins)
Contact with the Heart of England (1967, 9 mins)

Disc Two
Freight Flow (1969, 21 mins)
The Future Works (1969, 21 mins)
Going Places Fast (1974, 15 mins)
Creating a Diversion (1980, 10 mins)
Partners In Prosperity (1982, 20 mins)
Intercity 1250 (1982, 4 mins)

Special features
• Belief in the Future (1976): Internal communications film for British Rail in which Peter Parker, the then new BR chairman, addresses his employees on the challenges facing the industry;
• Illustrated booklet with extensive film notes by BFI curators, and full credits.

Product details
RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIVD976 / E
UK / 1955–1982 / black and white, and colour / English language / 207 mins / DVD9 x 2 / Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
...and you can also watch the trailer.

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#58 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:12 am

On 25 August, the BFI is reissuing all twelve British Transport Films volumes in four box sets, each containing six discs (since each single volume was a two-disc set).

The titles of the boxes are Going Places Fast, Discovering Railways, Railways Forever and A Future on Rails, but I don't yet know which individual volumes are going in which box. However, they will definitely be the same discs as before, accompanied by a single booklet fusing the content of the previous individual booklets.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#59 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:53 am

MichaelB wrote:On 25 August, the BFI is reissuing all twelve British Transport Films volumes in four box sets, each containing six discs (since each single volume was a two-disc set).

The titles of the boxes are Going Places Fast, Discovering Railways, Railways Forever and A Future on Rails, but I don't yet know which individual volumes are going in which box. However, they will definitely be the same discs as before, accompanied by a single booklet fusing the content of the previous individual booklets.
And thank heavens they did as I've found that unlike all of the other individual releases, Volume 10 has completely disappeared and is presumably out of print. I can't find a copy anywhere. So these new three volume sets still allow me to (finally) pick up the full collection. I wonder if the rest of the individual volumes will eventually disappear as well? Perhaps a good time for people with incomplete collections to pick them up, unless you're missing Volume 10, in which case, good luck!

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Minkin
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#60 Post by Minkin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:50 pm

MichaelB wrote:The titles of the boxes are Railways Forever
That seems like a really dorky title. Like either some Tween-speak, or some dedicated train forum not accepting other modes of travel. The exclamation mark doesn't help either:
Image

Odd about London on the Move - perhaps it is just between pressings (seems unlikely that just the one volume would be taken OOP, but who knows these days). I purchased all 12 volumes of the collection, and have only seen 1 or 2 films. I suppose I should get started soon. Do the rest of you just plow through these BFI shorts sets? Watch 1 or 2 a night? I'd imagine one might get burned out on trains quickly. I'm also pitifully behind on my COI collection.

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#61 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:07 am

Minkin wrote:
MichaelB wrote:The titles of the boxes are Railways Forever
That seems like a really dorky title. Like either some Tween-speak, or some dedicated train forum not accepting other modes of travel. The exclamation mark doesn't help either:
Not a John Betjeman fan, I'm guessing?

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Minkin
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#62 Post by Minkin » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:38 am

MichaelB wrote:Not a John Betjeman fan, I'm guessing?
British Transport Films Collection: Volume 13
Image

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Dr Amicus
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#63 Post by Dr Amicus » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:56 am

Looking at what films are on each of the new sets, they go in the following order:

A Future on Rail - Volumes 1-3
Railways For Ever! - Volumes 4-6
Discovering Railways - Volumes 7-9
Going Places Fast - Volumes 10-12

Which means for those of us who have the nine volume set from a few years back just need to get the last set to complete our collections!

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EddieLarkin
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#64 Post by EddieLarkin » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:02 am

Right now they're all £17.75 on Amazon, meaning you can get the lot for £71 or £5.92 a volume.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#65 Post by Dr Amicus » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:26 am

EddieLarkin wrote:Right now they're all £17.75 on Amazon, meaning you can get the lot for £71 or £5.92 a volume.
And for those of us who don't pay VAT, £14.79 each...

Bradster
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#66 Post by Bradster » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:06 pm

Hello. First post, though some familiar names here from other place I lurk on...

I have Volumes 1-5 of the green spined 2-disc sets of these. It's that strange period of collecting where you're wondering whether the new re-issues would be better to finish the collection, or carry on with the originals?

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#67 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:31 pm

Bradster wrote:Hello. First post, though some familiar names here from other place I lurk on...

I have Volumes 1-5 of the green spined 2-disc sets of these. It's that strange period of collecting where you're wondering whether the new re-issues would be better to finish the collection, or carry on with the originals?
You'll get exactly the same discs regardless, so it really depends on whether you're overly concerned with packaging consistency. The easiest option is probably to buy volume 6, and then the two three-volume packages covering vols 7-12.

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#68 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:27 pm

Announced for May 20:
One of the BFI’s all-time most popular strands makes a spectacular return in High Definition, to mark the 70th anniversary of the British Transport Films production unit. The Best of British Transport Films gathers together 21 classic shorts and documentaries from the BTF collection in a new double Blu-ray set. Highlights include a new 4K restoration of Geoffrey Jones’ celebrated 1967 film Rail. Not just for train-spotters, these fascinating films entertain as much as they inform.
And, courtesy of the BFI Shop:
Presenting the Best of British Transport Films (BTF) – newly remastered in stunning High Definition for the very first time to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

A descendant of the British sponsored documentary tradition, British Transport Films was established in 1949 to focus a spotlight on transport as a nationalised undertaking, to create an appetite for travel and to entice the public to use the network. Over a period of more than 35 years, BTF produced an unrivalled documemtary film legacy for generations of film and transport enthusiasts. .

This new Blu-ray compilation gathers together 21 films representing the cream of the celebrated BTF collection. All have been newly digitally remastered to 2K by the BFI National Archive, except for Geoffrey Jones’ legendary film Rail (1967) which is presented in its glorious coat of technicolor with a stunning new 4K restoration.

Remastered films include:

Farmer Moving South (1952, 17 mins)
Train Time (1952, 28 mins)
This is York (1953, 20 mins)
Elizabethan Express (1954, 20 mins)
Snowdrift at Bleath Gill (1955, 10 mins)
Any Man's Kingdom (1956, 20 mins)
Fully Fitted Freight (1957, 21 mins)
Every Valley (1957, 20 mins)
A Future on the Rail (1957, 10 mins)
Between the Tides (1958, 22 mins)
A Letter for Wales (1960, 25 mins)
They Take the High Road (1960, 25 mins)
Blue Pullman (1960, 25 mins)
Terminus (1961, 20 mins)
The Third Sam (1962, 10 mins)
Rail (1967, 13 mins)
Railways For Ever! (1970, 7 mins)
The Scene from Melbury House (1972, 15 mins)
Wires Over the Border (1974, 18 mins)
Locomotion (1975, 15 mins)
Overture One Two Five (1978, 7 mins)

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Minkin
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#69 Post by Minkin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:00 am

Were Rail (1967, 13 mins) + Locomotion (1975, 15 mins) never released in any of the previous DVD volumes? Despite my above joke + inability to ever get around to watching any of these sets, I still hope a Volume 13 materializes. Same with more COI / GPO / etc sets.

Since I was curious, I broke down the shorts between which DVD sets they were on:

Volume 1

Blue Pullman (1960, 25 mins)
Elizabethan Express (1954, 20 mins)
Snowdrift at Bleath Gill (1955, 10 mins)
This is York (1953, 20 mins)
Train Time (1952, 28 mins)

Volume 2

A Letter for Wales (1960, 25 mins)
Any Man's Kingdom (1956, 20 mins)

Volume 3

Farmer Moving South (1952, 17 mins)
Fully Fitted Freight (1957, 21 mins)
A Future on the Rail (1957, 10 mins)
Terminus (1961, 20 mins)
The Third Sam (1962, 10 mins)
Wires Over the Border (1974, 18 mins)

Volume 4

Overture One Two Five (1978, 7 mins)

Volume 5

Between the Tides (1958, 22 mins)
Every Valley (1957, 20 mins)
Railways For Ever! (1970, 7 mins)
The Scene from Melbury House (1972, 15 mins)
They Take the High Road (1960, 25 mins)

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#70 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:55 am

Rail and Locomotion were included in the DVD Geoffrey Jones: The Rhythm of Film.

And they're both amazing - if you've never seen Jones's work, here's a complete example.

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Minkin
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#71 Post by Minkin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:49 am

Wow, that was excellent, thanks for posting it! I might have to look into that set. This said, it does seem weird - with the 100+ films that could be included in a "best of" set - they include two that never were! But I don't think anybody will be complaining.

Though we plan to go through the sets numerically (for ease of keeping track), this Blu set does help to highlight which shorts to anticipate when we finally get around to these sets. +Some of these probably look superb in higher res.

Does anyone have any particular favorites (from the 12 volumes) that weren't included on this new Blu?

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#72 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:55 am

Well, the title is The Best of British Transport Films, not The Best of the BFI's Previous British Transport Films Volumes, and Jones's work ranks very high amongst the most distinguished efforts that BTF ever produced, so you'd certainly expect at least one of his films to be included - and I'm not about to complain that they're throwing in two!

Locomotion in particular is a strong personal favourite - not least as I'm an editor myself: the way that Jones manages to maintain a propulsive rhythm throughout, even though his source material consists almost exclusively of still images until his chronological railway history hits the 20th century, isn't just exhilarating but also inspiring. And I imagine the HD boost will make a huge difference to that particular film.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#73 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:03 pm

I hope we'll get a "More Best of etc etc" which has Jones's Snow included on it.

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Stephen
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#74 Post by Stephen » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:28 pm

Minkin wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:49 am
Wow, that was excellent, thanks for posting it! I might have to look into that set.

Does anyone have any particular favorites (from the 12 volumes) that weren't included on this new Blu?
Without hesitation,Holiday (John Taylor 1957). It is such an inventive, joyful & beautifully candid film and a significant contrast to the quite dreary travelogues of the time that appear on various other BTF sets.

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MichaelB
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Re: British Transport Films Collection

#75 Post by MichaelB » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:25 am

Full specs announced:
The Best of British Transport Films
70th Anniversary Collection

BFI Blu-ray release on 20 May 2019


See the wonderful new trailer here.

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the British Transport Films this year, the BFI is releasing a 2-disc Blu-ray set that gathers together 21 films representing the cream of the celebrated BTF collection.

Classics including John Schlesinger’s Terminus (1961) have been newly digitally remastered by the BFI to 2K from original film materials, while Geoffrey Jones’s legendary homage to progress, Rail (1967), has been restored in 4K by the BFI National Archive.

British Transport Films was established in 1949 to focus a spotlight on transport as a nationalised undertaking. Over a period of more than 35 years, BTF produced an unrivalled documentary film legacy for generations of film and transport enthusiasts.

The BFI’s previous DVD collections of BTF films are amongst the label’s all-time best sellers. This is the first time that a collection has been released on Blu-ray. Along with two special features detailed below, the discs are packaged with a 32-page illustrated booklet with notes on each film and an introductory essay.

This collection will be launched with a special screening event at BFI Southbank. Moving Millions: British Transport Films Blu-ray Launch + Q&A takes place on Tuesday 14 May at 18:00 in NFT1. It will be introduced by BFI Curator of Non-Fiction, Steve Foxon and followed by a Q&A with special guests. This event is also part of the Department for Transport’s Centenary.

The Films

Disc 1
Farmer Moving South (1952)
Train Time (1952)
This is York (1953)
Elizabethan Express (1954)
Snowdrift at Bleath Gill (1955)
Any Man's Kingdom (1956)
Fully Fitted Freight (1957)
Every Valley (1957)
A Future on the Rail (1957)
Between the Tides (1958)

Disc 2
A Letter for Wales (1960)
They Take the High Road (1960)
Blue Pullman (1960)
Terminus (1961)
The Third Sam (1962)
Rail (1967)
Railways For Ever! (1970)
The Scene from Melbury House (1972)
Wires Over the Border (1974)
Locomotion (1975)
Overture: One-Two-Five (1978)

Special features
Expo 67: An Introduction by Edgar Anstey (1967, 3 mins): unable to attend the Montreal World’s Fair, the head of BTF recorded this introduction to a selection of films, including Rail, that were screened at the event.
25th Anniversary Introductions (1974, 44 mins, audio only): on successive days a series of short film programmes were screened at the NFT to mark the 25th anniversary of the BTF. Each one was introduced by Edgar Anstey.

Product details
RRP: £24.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1335 / E
UK / 1952-1978 / black and white, colour / 379 mins / English language / original aspect ratios 1.37:1 / BD50 x 2: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 1.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit)
Although I'm not a trainspotter by any stretch of the imagination, I'm ridiculously excited about this set - which is honestly worth buying just for Terminus and the two Geoffrey Jones films (Rail and Locomotion), never mind the rest.

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