Duration: 1 hour

First transmitted in 1980, Brian Redhead reports from the 'Rocket 150' event held at Rainhill, Lancashire to mark the 150th anniversary of the world's first inter-city railway and the Stephensons' legendary Rocket locomotive. On display are 'celebrity' engines from across the country, including the 'Green Arrow', the 'Flying Scotsman' and the record-breaking Mallard-class train that bore its designer's name, 'Sir Nigel Gresley', as well as the king of the modern electric railway, the Advanced Passenger Train (APT).

Last on

Sun 21 Dec 1980 15:30 BBC Two

  • BBC Four Steam Railways Collection

    BBC Four Steam Railways Collection
    This programme is part of a collection of programmes celebrating Britain’s extraordinary Steam Railway legacy.

    Go to the BBC Four Steam Railways Collection

  • More about this programme

    Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley designed nearly 30 locomotives that were introduced to the GNR and LNER lines from 1911 to 1941. Many of those engines are featured in this programme. His dream of opening a national locomotive testing plant for the 'attainment of increased efficiency' was delayed by the outbreak of World War II. Gresley died on 5 April 1941, but in 1948 his testing plant finally opened. The first locomotive to face the tests was named the Sir Nigel Gresley in his honour.
  • About BBC Four Collection programmes

    Programmes are selected, in part, for their historical context and reflect the broadcast standards and attitudes of their time, which may not accord to some current BBC editorial guidelines. We aim to select programmes which can be shown in their entirety but in some cases edits are required.


Brian Redhead
David Jenkinson
John Bellwood
Martin L Bell
Martin L Bell


Featured in...

  • Steam Railways

    Celebrating Britain's extraordinary Steam Railway legacy.

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