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The Best of the British Transport Films restored on Blu-ray in May

18 April 2019

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. More information here.

The Best of the British Transport Films Blu-ray cover

The Best of the British Transport Films – 70th Anniversary Collection will be released on 20 May 2019 by the BFI at the RRP of £24.99.

The Films

Disc 2

  • 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.
You can check out the quality of the restorations in the lovely new trailer: