You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

Farewell to Steam

Footage of some of the last working steam trains

  • Print All


An opening shot of a steam train travelling through the countryside. Credits. The train in the railway station, with shots of the driver and close-ups of the 'City of Aberdeen' engine. Crowds watch another engine, 'Sir Nigel Gresley,' pull into the station. Again, there are close-ups and details of the railway train, and the crowd helps to turn the engine on the turn-table. The engine couples with the carriages and officials check the train over before the passengers board, many of them enthusiasts and children. The train leaves Aberdeen railway station. Crowds gather on a platform. Both the 'Union of South Africa' and 'The Granite City' are coupled to a train, and it leaves the station, heading out along the coast and through the landscape, while passengers wave from the windows. The train makes a number of stops, and there is brief detail of the points and junctions. The train arrives in another station. There are shots of the steam billowing around the tracks as it heads away once more. It passes under a bridge, while a double decker bus crosses above. Once more it heads out into the countryside, this time passing some industrial spoil and forestry. The train arrives at Ballater station. We cut to the present. A deserted scene. There are shots of the disused tracks and junctions, grown over with weed; of discarded spares and a distraught warehouse.

Questions & Activities


  • When did steam trains stop being used? Why was this?
  • What replaced steam trains?
  • How are trains powered today?

  • How were they operated?

  • What jobs could you have working with the steam trains.
  • What stories are you aware of featuring trains?
  • How does the music make you feel?
  • Why does the train have two locomotives?


Technology: Research the history of steam engines and how they worked. When was the first steam train invented?

History / Transport / Journeys: Find out how people traveled before trains.

History: Research the rail network in Victorian Scotland and stations in your local area. Why did they close down? Who was Dr Beaching and what was his role?

History: Research the growth of the railway system in Scotland and its importance to the country'€™s industrial development.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-333-C
Resource Rights Holder By kind permission of Clansman Films
Project Ref 2648
Date c.1965
Genre Documentary
School Subject Geography, Technologies, History, Social Studies
Subject Matter Victorians
Who Bill Emslie (director), Clansman Films (production company)
Where Aberdeen, Ballater
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 12:41
Film Length 13:13