Dir: Sidney Gilliat
Starring: Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer

The life of an upper-class cad in the 1930s

Near the end of this classic comedy drama there are scenes filmed on a GWR branch line that include a very rare shot of St. Agnes station, on the Chacewater to Newquay line, followed by several good tracking shots of a GWR 2-6-2T on a local train. The scene depicting Margaret Johnston leaving on the departing train may have used the real thing. In addition to these scenes there is one much earlier shot of a passing express filmed day-for-night. The locomotive is clearly ‘Southern’ in origin and indeed, the whole shot appeared in much finer clarity in Theatre Royal (1943), revealing the loco to be ‘Lord Nelson’ No.854 Howard of Effingham.

This Southern Railway express is hauled by ‘Lord Nelson’ Class 4-6-0 No.854 Howard of Effingham. Although this exact shot can also be found in Yellow Canary (1943), see Theatre Royal (also 1943) for a much clearer image.
This delightful country station is St Agnes in Cornwall, closed in February 1963
A GWR 2-6-2 tank hauls its train through the countryside, bunker first
Another similar shot shows the train passing a house. The proximity of the building to the track suggests that it could be a crossing keeper’s cottage. Although unconfirmed, this is likely also to be somewhere in Cornwall.