1hr 23mins
Dir: Robert Day
Starring: Peter Sellers and Bernard Cribbins

Three convicts break jail to commit a diamond robbery

This splendid crime comedy with a clever plot has quite rightly become a minor classic. It also features a number of good and quite interesting railway scenes. The actual robbery takes place at an overbridge where an armoured car is hijacked, and Peter Sellers uses a railway steam crane to lift the jewel van. This was filmed at the junction of Dawney Hill with Gole Road, in Brookwood, Surrey. There is a comedy sequence filmed at Windsor & Eton Central station with Peter Sellers & Co. departing on a train, though Wilfrid Hyde White gets left behind as he was sitting in an uncoupled coach at the rear, and a scene where Bernard Cribbins has to take the stolen loot with him onto the roof of a train to avoid the attentions of the police. This last sequence was filmed on the Pulborough-Midhurst line in West Sussex, which had closed to passengers in February 1955, though it remained open to freight until May 1963. The short 3-coach train used in this sequence of events is hauled by a vintage ex-LB&SCR C2X Class 0-6-0 and the jewel bag is dropped by Peter Sellers as the train passes through Fittleworth station.

This is the railway bridge where the crime is committed. It is located at the junction of Dawney Hill and Gole Road in Brookwood, Surrey.
The aftermath. As the police and the army look on, the security van can be seen danging from the crane’s jib. The railway crane is to the left whilst the bridge is to the right.
The arrivals road at Windsor & Eton Central station with the flanking wall of Windsor Castle directly outside
Wilfrid Hyde White watches the passenger circulating area behind the bufferstops at Windsor & Eton Central. This brilliant shot shows the station from an unusual angle. Just look at that magnificent poster board.
Passengers on the platforms. After the station’s radical redevelopment only the two platforms on the right are now extant, and one of those is trackless!
The train pulls away from the station with carriage No.5186, an old non corridor suburban coach to the fore
The three-coach passenger train on which the thieves escape passes the camera in the hands of a vintage former LB&SCR C2X Class 0-6-0. The exact identity is not known, but it is one of the handful of ‘2Xs’ rebuilt with a two-ring boiler, easy to recognise by the two domes.
This lovely shot shows the train approaching the rarely seen, and already closed, Fittleworth station in West Sussex. The postal pick up point is of course a prop.
Fittleworth from another angle
Is that Bernard Cribbins on the roof? Or a stunt double? Either way, before the train passes through Fittleworth we see a glimpse of a small goods yard that belongs to a different station.