Pioneers of Film
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Days of Steam
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Pioneers of Film


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70 mins.

Pioneers of Film
NSW Railways 1954-1967

In an age of digital video and computer editing, it's easy to overlook the difficulties which confronted the early cameraman.

Tiny viewfinders, jamming film, clockwork winds and prohibitively expensive film were just a few of the obstacles.

Fortunately, a few intrepid souls took the challenge at a time when steam action was abundant. The results were sometimes spectacular and, decades later, historically fascinating. This program contains footage collected over a fifty year period and serves as a showcase for the work of some of the greatest of these 'Pioneers of Film'.

Includes such classics as the Lithgow triple headers, Cowan Bank, W44 ore train, early metropolitan scenes, green (and blue) diesels, Tumulla Bank and much more.


Contents Include:

36+60, 3609 + 5475, 60+60.
Extensive coverage, including a cab-ride, of the famous zinc concentrate train from Broken Hill.
Variety of trains including 53s, 36s and Garratts.
Banking operations with a variety of locos, 38s on the Central West Express.
Includes early scenes on Raglan Bank of double-headed 53s, a Garratt banked by a 53 with Wampu tender.




Rare 16mm footage of the giant 57s and 58s blasting out of the Lithgow Valley with two standard goods locos on the front and another pushing in the rear. Also 32s, roundtop 36s, double 50 Class and even 40 Class diesels banked by 50 Class. Includes a remarkable ride, perched on the tender of 5803 as it climbs to Zig-Zag Box with three standard goods assisiting.
1219+1243 and 3804+3813 climb the Blue Mountains.
Locals with 3641 and 3077. The Royal Train - Immaculate green 3808 as Pilot and blue 4001 and 4002.
3065 banked out of Darling Harbour by 1948. 5919, on the Botany Line crossing the Illawarra at Sydenham as 5051 passes underneath. Double-headed 32s at Auburn. Early 1950s scenes of 32s, 36s and 38s at
Lewisham. Green 4104 on a Passenger. Strathfield with 36s and 38s. 32 and 38s
at Flemington.
Highlights include: early scenes on the Camden line, saturated 5120 at Warwick Farm, 6015 hauling a dead 44 class, 5717 near
Minto, black 3801, 4204 + 4205 on the Spirit of Progress at Glenfield, double-headed 55 Class at Douglas Park, 3813 passing a Garratt near Glenlee, 3304 + 5449 leaving Picton loop on 335 Goods, 50+53 Class passing accident-damaged 3821 at Mittagong and 3804 slips uncontrollably leaving Exeter.
A busy early morning with four trains present simultaneously. Double 36s on an up Goods, 36 Up pick-up, 44+421 Up Spirit and a 36 on a Down goods. Amazing action .
1076 hauls 5103 onto the turntable. 1307 leaves Yass.
Eastwood Bank - 3816, Flyer, 36 Passenger.
COWAN - HAWKESBURY RIVER - 1955 - 1958 :
Cowan Bank with 32s, 36s, 38s, 50s, 53s, 55s, 59s and Garratts. Highlights include 5605 + 3805 storming the bank with the Flyer, 5149 leading oily 5913, smokey 3804 leaving Hawkesbury River and double green 40 Class crossing the bridge.
30, 32, 35, 36, 38, 50, 53, 59 and 60 Class. 3509 + 60 near Ourimbah, an original-liveried 44 on the Flyer, 3532 on the Brisbane Express
at Wyong, Double Garratts on Hawkmount. Early morning on Cardiff curve.
HEXHAM IN 1959 :
40 Class, 5094 passes a Garratt on the coalroads.

AND MORE .........

Duration : 70 min.
Colour and black & white - 4:3 format
Digitally mastered from 8mm and 16mm film.
Sound : Original and carefully dubbed.

©Belbin Video Pty Ltd - ABN 54 085 323 351


Letters & Reviews

"... brings back many memories of the way it was in those wonderful days of the
great steam shows. I have enjoyed it greatly and am on my third viewing."
John Stormont,
retired railwayman, photographer & author

"As a relative newcomer to steam rail videos, I am hugely impressed. Belbin videos are head and shoulders above the rest."
P. Brown,
Maroon, Qld

"Brought back a lot of memories of the times I was a driver at Eveleigh."
John Smith

"A great credit to the cameramen involved and to you in its production. Very effective in arousing memories of steam in regular use during my youth. I had never seen (in reality or on film), the Lithgow triple-headers, so those scenes were especially spectacular to me."
B.J. Wood, Carlingford