Dir: John Glen
Starring: Roger Moore and Maud Adams
Bond is assigned the task of following a general who is stealing jewels and relics from the Soviet government
The thirteenth James Bond film features a lengthy and pretty good railway scene filmed on the Nene Valley Railway. Intensive filming took place over a number of weeks in September/October 1982 and the Nene Valley was chosen for this, and for many other films, because it is home to several items of Continental rolling stock which can run on the line because of its wider loading gauge. James Bond would return in 1995 for the filming of Goldeneye (qv). In this movie, 007 gets onboard an East German circus train which is a ‘cover’ for the bad guys. Five ex-LMS CCT vans were painted pale pink with circus ‘embellishments’ and were added to a train of Continental carriages, a couple of which were also ‘jazzed up’. The scenes where these were filmed being marshalled into a train used Wansford station (exotically renamed ‘Karl-Marx Stadt’) and the 616 yards Wansford Tunnel, which had additional lighting added to the roof. The small yellow diesel used for shunting was 0-4-0DH Horsa, a Bagnall design but built at the Darlington works of Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns Ltd in 1962. The large tank engine used as the train loco was Danish DSB S Class 2-6-4T No.740, which was renumbered 62 015 for filming. Ferry Meadows station was renamed ‘Gutenfurst’ and appeared as the East German border post. One of the most spectacular sequences in the film involves a specially adapted Mercedes 250SE running along the railway tracks after the tires get torn off by a stinger device. James Bond drives the car on to the tracks in pursuit of the circus train, passing through Orton Mere station much to the astonishment of waiting passengers, but it gets hit by a train travelling in the opposite direction. This train is hauled by Swedish SJ B Class 4-6-0 No.1697, disguised as 38 243, and the collision effect was carried out by catapulting the Mercedes away with a specially built ‘air-gun’ launch close to the line just outside Wansford. It landed on a boat in the River Nene! The level crossing where Bond drives onto the track is Old Great North Road crossing at Wansford station, and the bridge over the River Nene is also visible, the same bridge from which the car is later thrown. The other level crossing seen on the line in this sequence is that across Ham Lane, Ferry Meadows. As well as No.740 and No.1697, Swedish SJ S Class 2-6-2T No.1178 was also used for filming and is visible in a number of scenes. In the scene where James Bond drives the Mercedes into Wansford yard, the grounded body of a BR blue-liveried LMS gangwayed full brake is visible, along with a small Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel shunter and a number of other foreign locomotives. These are German DB Class 80 0-6-0T No.80 014, Swedish S1 Class 2-6-4T No.1928 renumbered 74 750, and the Swedish 2-6-2T No.1178. Examples of the line’s Danish, French and Norwegian coaching stock all featured in the film and the ready use of foreign locomotives and rolling stock made for quite an effective Eastern Bloc railway. In fact, the whole railway sequence is well-conceived and is the best of the railway action of any Bond film. (Note: the screen captures below may not necessarily appear in the order that they do in the film).