Rail to Reel


Saturday 10th November 10am-Late

Trains have long held a fascination for filmmakers, both professional and amateur alike. The romance of travel, the marvel of engineering and the power of steam make for an evocative subject for cinema. What better place to enjoy a day of railway related film screenings than a restored engine Shed?

Join us for a varied programme of documentary, amateur films and classic cinema to celebrate the relationship between rail and reel.

This is a free event. We have seating for 100 people on a first come first served basis.

Please note that some films may contain flashing images.

Our café The Pit Stop will be open from 10am-6pm serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals. 

We currently have no car parking on site, the nearest public car parks can be found at Midsummer Meadows and St John’s Multi-storey, both of which are a short walk from the campus.

The Engine Shed (circled below) is located at the southern end of the University of Northampton Waterside Campus, NN1 5PH.



10:30 am-12:00pm:

Britain on Film: The Railways

Your chance to travel back to a time when travelling by rail was comfortable, punctual and maybe even glamorous!

Kiss in the Tunnel

One of the programmes from our new archive tour, Britain on Film: Railways is a major new collection of rare archive films charting the history of the UK’s railways and bringing home the romance and heady freedoms offered by train travel as it expanded across the country in the early 20th century.

Sourced from the national and regional archives and newly digitised, Britain on Film: Railways is an immensely nostalgic and evocative collection of films which document not just the glories of the railway, but also the changing social, political and economic climates of the 20th century.

Please note: the programme contains a sequence of flashing lights which might affect audience members with photosensitive epilepsy.

To view the trailer, click on the link below:

Britain on Film: Railways

ICO Logo_Strapline_Sand Copy

1pm – 4pm:

The Northamptonshire Film Archives Trust


The Northamptonshire Film Archive Trust is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers dedicated to the preservation of cine film and equipment.

The Trust has more than 3,000 reels of film in its collection both professional and amateur and of all gauges. It has a particular interest in the collection of film depicting events in Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties and is frequently called upon by television companies seeking specific footage for inclusion in documentaries or news reports.

Volunteers from the Trust will be screening a collection of films from their archives representing both railway history and stories local to Northampton:


The Last Train  (Silent)

Footage of the last rail journey from Peterborough to Northampton


The Rolls Royce/Bentley 60th Anniversary show (sound)

A recording of the motor show and pageant held at Goodwood in 1964



Rebuilding the Britannia Bridge (Sound)

Film recording the reconstruction of the road and rail bridge across the Menai Straits from Anglesey to Wales in 1970.


West of Inverness (sound)

A film depicting rural life in Western Scotland in the 1930s and how the railway was vital to these communities.



Building the Woodhead Rail Tunnel (Sound)

Film charting the building of the Woodhead Tunnel in 1955 and assorted other railway footage


Traditional Northamptonshire events (silent)

Quirky local pastimes from bygone years.



6:30pm The Railway Children


Originally released in 1970,  this film, directed by Lionel Jeffries, is based on the beloved children’s story by E. Nesbitt.

The story follows the adventures of the Waterbury children, who are forced to move with their mother  from a luxurious Edwardian villa in the London suburbs to “Three Chimneys”, a house near the fictional ‘Great Northern and Southern Railway’ in Yorkshire, as their father, who works at the Foreign Office, has been imprisoned as a result of being wrongly accused of selling state secrets to the Russians.

The three children, Roberta (Bobbie) , Phyllis  and Peter , keep their spirits up and find ways to help others. Fascinated by the nearby railway, they make friends with the station porter and wave to the passengers faithfully every day. As a series of dramas unfold the children look to help their Mother in her reduced circumstances and solve the mystery of their missing father.

Certified 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes!

Run time 110 mins

Please Note, the film will begin at 6:30pm, without trailers.