1hr 42mins
Dir: Sidney Hayers
Starring: Michael Craig and Billie Whitelaw

A gang of villains stage a payroll robbery that goes disastrously wrong

This neo-noir crime film features a number of trains but all form part of the background and are rather indistinct. The best railway shots form part of the opening sequence filmed at Manor Road level crossing adjacent to North Sheen station with an SR EMU passing. The signboards next to the crossing state ‘North Heen Station’. Surely these were not amended solely for the purpose of the film? The factory from which the payroll is taken is called Kneales in the film but was in fact the old British Thomson-Houston (BTH) Engineering Works in Rugby, a firm well associated with the BR modernisation programme. Railway lines are visible in the scenes filmed here, but only one wagon appears to be present. In another early scene two of the gang meet up to discuss the heist in a layby. Through the steamed-up and rain spattered windows of their car a distant two-car DMU can be seen scuttling along an embankment. At the beginning of the heist sequence a lorry is pulling off the Tyne Bridge and a steam-hauled freight is seen passing over the viaducts beyond but, despite the robbery being set in Newcastle, the actual feat takes place in Rugby, again on the banks of the River Avon overlooking the BTH factory. In the very far distance of one shot, a freight train can be seen passing along an embankment. The film is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Derek Bickerton and initially ran with the working title I Promise to Pay.

Not much to look at here, perhaps, but the building in the background forms part of the GEC complex, and was once part of the British Thomson-Houston factory. BTH were instrumental in many ways during BR’s modernisation programme. The view is from Broughton Road, Rugby, and the River Avon is in the foreground.
This is the main drive inside the old BTH engineering factory. There appears to be railway track on the left with a solitary wagon in the far distance.
This is Manor Road Level Crossing, North Sheen
In this view, a Southern Railway electric unit is coming into view as it speeds across unimpeded
The train has passed, and the gates are opened once again to road traffic. Notice the Southern Railway signboard for North Sheen station on the right, temporarily altered to read North Heen!
William Lucas in his car. The shape of a 2-car DMU can be made out through the rain-soaked window. The two steam-hauled freight trains seen later on in the film are even less distinct than this and are therefore not included!