The Bluebell Railway was right on track when a toy train manufacturer was looking for a site to film a promotional video.
A film crew were at the railway’s Sheffield Park station in December to shoot scenes on platform 1 and then on board a train as it journeyed through the countryside.
The video’s storyline has a retro feel with the Bluebell scenes depicting a couple in 1940 with the woman giving her departing soldier boyfriend a model loco as a gift not knowing if she will see him again.
The Bluebell sequence lasts for approximately 50 seconds and forms part of a six-minute video which was published on Monday (6 January) to coincide with the launch of Hornby’s 2020 catalogue of products.
Chris Knibbs, Bluebell Railway filming manager, said: “We were delighted to accommodate the crew from Hornby in making their promotional video. This year is an important anniversary for both of us as the Bluebell celebrates its 60th anniversary of operation and Hornby marks 100 years since the building of the first model locomotive.”
The video is the latest in a long line of films, TV programmes, advertisements and photoshoots to choose the Bluebell Railway as a backdrop. The 11-mile railway, which runs from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, has featured in the Downton Abbey TV series, The Woman in Black film, episodes of Poirot and a TV version of The Railway Children.
The Bluebell has responded to the high level of interest from production companies in using its facilities and locations by setting up a special website dedicated to filming at https://www.heritagerailposters.co.uk/filmlocation/index.html
Mr Knibbs added: “We have many years of experience of working with producers and crews. They tend to choose the Bluebell Railway because we have authentic period stations and trains as well as being close to London.”
Hornby says the promotion was part of “celebrating 100 years since Frank Hornby built his first model locomotive and the journey you have all taken with us”.
The video is called “More Than Just A Hobby . . . A Lifetime’s Journey” and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/zIJryE8GFU0 with the Bluebell scenes from 0.40 to 1.27.
Train services on the Bluebell Railway resume on Saturday 15 February with children aged 15 and under paying a £1 fare when travelling with a full-paying adult as part of ‘Kids for a Quid’ during half-term week.
The railway’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Steaming through 60, will be held on 7-9 August with full details of this and all other events at https://www.bluebell-railway.com/
All images credited to Hornby