GB / FRA
Dir: Paul King
Starring: Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins
Paddington and his adopted family go on the hunt for a stolen book, which Paddington had planned to buy for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday
This sequel to the first live-action Paddington movie (qv) culminates in an exhilarating railway chase sequence using the Belmond British Pullman and the Kozlovas Circus train. Unfortunately, all of this is CGI created with the only apparent ‘live action’ taking place at Paddington station itself. There are initial shots of the ‘frontage’ (where Marylebone was used in the first film) and then a shot of the trainshed from Bishops Bridge with an HST and Class 57 diesel visible. The lead power car of the HST appears to be 43172 in its commemorative poppy livery and the 57 would have been at the head of the Night Riviera sleeper. The Pullman is hauled by LNER new build Class A1 4-6-2 No.60163 Tornado and a ‘Heathrow Express’ Class 332 EMU is briefly visible behind. The circus train consisted of a ‘shed’ type construction applied to a single FYA Freightliner flat wagon with the rest of the train then being created by computer. During the chase sequence the train is hauled by LMS ‘Crab’ Class 5MT 2-6-0 No.13065 from the East Lancashire Railway suggesting that some running shots may have been filmed there. Nonetheless, CGI works wonders when it comes to creating scenes. The railway viaduct at the end is the Nidd Viaduct on the former Leeds-Thirsk line near Harrogate, which closed to rail traffic in 1951 and is now in use as a cycleway. In another shot, the coaling stage from Didcot Railway Centre is seen completely surrounded by countryside!! The Freightliner flat was brought into Paddington one night using DBS Class 66 diesel No.66075. The loco then moved the wagon down the platform for the filming of one sequence but of course did not appear in the completed scene. Tornado is crewed, sorry stolen, by the Brown family, with a young Jonathan Brown nonchalantly driving the loco as he wishes to make steam trains cool again! This is a wonderful touch for railway enthusiasts even if he does initially deny liking trains because they are uncool. The opening scenes show Jonathan working on a scale model of an LMS Fowler 4-4-0 which he locks away in a cupboard when his friends come around. There is one final railway shot. Early in the film there is a montage sequence of travel and transport with a stock footage shot of a passenger onboard a train taking tea!