1hr 40mins
Dir: Robert Stevenson
Starring: Peter Ustinov and Helen Hayes

A secret service agent hides a secret formula in a dinosaur skeleton

The title of this Walt Disney family adventure is a parody of the film title One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, in which Peter Ustinov also appeared. The film was based on the 1970 novel The Great Dinosaur Robbery by David Forrest and is set in the early 1920’s. At the beginning there is a period scene that was filmed at London Marylebone station which was given a suitable make-over to coincide with the story, and a number of items of preserved stock from the Didcot Railway Centre were used. The locomotive that featured in this scene was GWR 4300 Class 2-6-0 No.5322 but in the completed film the train is largely obscured from view. A stolen dinosaur skeleton is later placed on the back of a steam lorry which is then driven onto a goods train at night. This was thought to be filmed on the Bicester Military Railway, with a number of goods wagons given ‘GWR’ lettering. The loco that was used in this sequence is a real oddity. As the train pulls away it appears to be hauled by a Hunslet 0-6-0ST that has been ‘mocked-up’ to represent a GWR side tank loco and there is a better glimpse of the loco as the train passes over ‘Wooburn Green’ level crossing. Wooburn Green closed in 1970 and the crossing is almost certainly a set using one of the many open crossings on the MoD system.

Just visible in the background of this scene at London Marylebone is GWR 4300 Class 2-6-0 No.5322
A vintage 45hp Locomobile bus in Melcombe Place outside Marylebone station
In this shot the steam lorry carrying the dinosaur has inadvertently been driven on to the flat wagon of a freight train that is about to depart
The sign on the crossing keeper’s box reads ‘WOOBURN GREEN’, which closed in 1970. This is clearly a set, but where is not entirely clear. Some sources have suggested that this was filmed on the Didcot Railway Centre but I believe this not to be the case.
As the train passes over the crossing it appears to be hauled by a Hunslet 0-6-0ST that has been ‘mocked-up’ to represent a GWR side tank loco. Do not be fooled by the GW lettering on the first wagon. I believe this could be an MoD site, possibly Bicester, with the loco being an ex-War Department ‘Austerity’.
And bringing up the rear is a dinosaur, on the back of a lorry, on the back of a train! If anyone can confirm where this scene was filmed for sure, then I would be most grateful to know. It would help put any speculation to bed once and for all.