London to Brighton in 4 Minutes

Since I’m going to be away from base for a while I thought I’d post this classic film to cover the interruption to normal blogging service. Here’s a description from the Youtube entry.

London to Brighton in Four Minutes, made by the BBC Film Unit in 1952, was a favourite of many viewers during the 1950s. In those days one never knew when it would be screened, but it often popped up when there was an unscheduled gap between programmes. Apparently the journey on the Brighton Belle was filmed at 2 frames per second, thus at the normal projection speed of 24fps a speed of 60 mph becomes 720 mph. The cameraman was sitting in the cab with the train driver and hand cranking the film camera. Each reel of film was only 1000ft and so the camerman had to change the film during the journey. When editing the film these “gaps” were filled with a shot of the train driver.

This film footage is from the Archive Collection held by the Alexandra Palace Television Society.

Modern trains still follow the same route, but there are many new developments either side of the line, including Gatwick Airport…


4 Responses to “London to Brighton in 4 Minutes”

  1. That’s really good fun!

  2. I wonder how they did the sound – probably just overdubbed from other material?

  3. What a great ride!

  4. Bryan Aslin-Smith Says:

    Please correct. Film reel was 100 feet (35m) and projection speed was 25 frames per second. Otherwise correct. Thank you

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