Wires Over The Border (1974)
18 minutes - Colour

An account, in human and non-technical terms, of the electrification of the West Coast main line railway from Crewe to Glasgow; the logical completion of the Liverpool-Manchester-London electrification of 1966.

16mm & VC

Additional Information - Mark Dowding's father was filmed in the snow erecting the catenary. He said that they had no idea that the film crew were coming - they just turned up - presumably it had been organised from higher up but they hadn't bothered to tell the people that mattered. The conditions were as you see them on the film and under normal circumstances they wouldn't have gone out in that sort of weather but the film crew insisted that they weren't going home without something in the can so out they went to run some wire for the benefit of the cameras in all that snow and wind. It was very dramatic and made for better viewing than if they were out in good weather but I think
Health and Safety would have had a fit if they were around! (The film shows the contrast between winter and spring so their decision to film when they did made did make for good viewing). He can't remember exactly where it was - probably Tebay area as he was in the area from Lancaster to Carlisle at the time.

Additional Information - Steven Foxon (Screenonline): Wires Over the Border signifies all of the things that British Rail was proud of in the 1970s. The last stage of electrification between Euston and Glasgow complete, 100mph running for the majority and a pure British 'grin and bear it' sense of achievement. Some of the wildest, coldest and wettest weather was experienced during the filming of this production on the stretch running over Shap Summit. A Technicolor record of the sheer grit and determination endured in completing this scheme, this is a must-see for all documentary fans.

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