GB / CAN 2004 2hrs 12mins Dir: John Duigan Starring: Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend
Three lives are interlaced against the political unrest of a war torn Europe
This moody war drama includes a scene set in a French marshalling yard where the Resistance blow up a German munitions train at night. This was actually filmed at Sheffield Park on the Bluebell Railway, with a disguised BR Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4T No.80151 as the train loco. As well as coaches and wagons present in the yard, other locomotives can be seen that include BR Standard types and ex-LSWR B4 Class 0-4-0T No.30096 which, appropriately enough for a scene set in France, was formerly named Normandy. Some of the wagons have been given military hardware for the scene and a snowplough was painted in camouflage colours. The latter was No.ADS 70225, an ex-Schools Class tender plough which was fitted with a mock machine-gun nest for filming. Although it does not feature in the completed film it remained in this condition afterwards and can be still be seen today among the stored stock on the railway. There is an earlier shot in the film of a Bluebell Railway train passing through the countryside hauled by one of the line’s BR Standard Class 4-6-0’s. This was not the first time that the railway had hosted an explosion as two years earlier the residents of Horsted Keynes were alarmed at those in Charlotte Gray (qv). The explosion in Head in the Clouds was the biggest set off on a preserved line and was apparently heard as far away as Uckfield!!