The Quest for Speed

First transmitted in 1986, Miles Kington looks at three locomotives, including the ‘City of Truro’ and ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’, which played a part in keeping Britain on the tracks towards the world speed record. In conversation with John Bellwood from the National Railway Museum in York, Kington reflects on the pros and cons of Patrick Stirling’s Single Wheeler locomotive.

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30 minutes

Last on

Sun 12 Jul 1987 17:45

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. 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.


Role Contributor
PresenterMiles Kington
Series ProducerNeil Cameron
Series ProducerPeter Walton
ProducerClive Holloway
ParticipantKeith Beck
ParticipantJohn Bellwood
ParticipantPeter Townend

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