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Here’s a part of a documentary about an impressive set of mail-carrying trains in the United Kingdom, from back in the ’30s. The trains were able to deliver letters at breakneck speed because they didn’t have to stop to exchange packages!

Night Mail is a 1936 documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train from London to Scotland, produced by the GPO Film Unit. A poem by English poet W. H. Auden was specially written for it, as was music by Benjamin Britten. (The pair also collaborated on a rail-documentary on the line from London to Portsmouth, The Way to the Sea, also in 1936.) The film was directed by Harry Watt and Basil Wright, and narrated by John Grierson and Stuart Legg. The Brazilian filmmaker Alberto Cavalcanti was the sound director.

[via kottke]


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Comments

  1. Simon says:

    Hornby make a model train set like this (I assume, I can’t see the video at work)!

    http://www.hornby.com/sets-and-train-packs-88/r1144/product.html

  2. Graeme says:

    I know the locomotive was the 6115 Scots Guardsman (a much larger locomotive than the one featured in the model train set). She was recently restored this past year ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VnPsHqOKs )

    My Great Grandfather was the engineer – he wipes his face at 4:15 on the video.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Oh wow, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing!