1hr 13mins
Dir: Sidney Gilliat
Starring: John Mills and Jean Kent

A soldier goes AWOL to sort out his wife’s relationship with a crook

This wartime romantic drama has stood the test of time rather well and as its name suggests, it was set in and around the confines of London Waterloo station. There are some very, very, good shots of trains passing into and out of the terminus during the opening credit sequence and amongst the 4 SUB electric units, an M7 Class 0-4-4T leaves with one van and ‘Lord Nelson’ LN Class 4-6-0 No.864 Sir Martin Frobisher leaves on an express. V Class ‘Schools’ 4-4-0 No.932 Blundell’s is seen arriving and a real rarity in the form of N15X ‘Remembrance’ Class 4-6-0 No.2332 Stroudley is pulling out with another express. Only seven N15Xs were ever built. John Mills escapes the military police by leaping from a departing 4 COR EMU and runs across the tracks narrowly missing an H Class 0-4-4T running light. The 4 COR is set No.3145 and it is working a headcode 8 service, Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour (not stopping at Havant) via Woking. Also visible at various other points in the film are another ‘Lord Nelson’, a ‘King Arthur’ N15 Class 4-6-0, and many pre-war suburban three and four-car EMU’s. Perhaps not surprisingly some London trams appear, including a good shot of one working Route 33 (Manor House-West Norwood), and there are also some scenes depicting an air raid shelter purportedly filmed at Waterloo Underground station, though most of it appears to be a set. Finally, many trains, largely in the form of electric units, are seen in the background to a number of scenes filmed at the family’s house, but the wagons of a freight train also feature.

The title card may announce Waterloo Road but the image is of Waterloo station. An M7 0-4-4 tank on a single van is largely obscured by the word ‘Waterloo’.
A 4 SUB unit departs Waterloo on a headcode 12 service to Alton
‘Schools’ 4-4-0 No.932 Blundell’s is captured arriving with a train
N15X ‘Remembrance’ Class No.2332 Stroudley is pulling out with an express. This excellent shot is a rare glimpse of one of the seven N15X 4-6-0’s that were built. The headcode disks, one of which is branded ‘SPL8’, suggests that this is probably a service to Plymouth via ‘the long way round’.
Having been treated to a ‘School’s’ and a ‘Remembrance’ it was perhaps inevitable that a ‘Lord Nelson’ would feature. No.864 Sir Martin Frobisher leaves on an express.
This image is just one example of the many shots in the film that depict electric units at Waterloo. This 3 SUB is arriving at the end of its journey from Chessington South (headcode L).
Alistair Sim stands in a bomb damaged street as a freight train passes in the background. It has been suggested that this is either Rollo Street or Rawson Street, London SW11, with the train running on the tracks from Victoria as they join those from Waterloo on the approach to Clapham Junction. The proximity to Nine Elms and Battersea Wharf will explain the presence of a freight train in an area otherwise dominated by electric passenger services.
Joy Shelton crosses Westminster Bridge Road as a tram working route 33 crosses behind having just turned out of Addington Street. Route 33 was Manor House-West Norwood which if anyone knows their geography is quite a trek. The large concrete structure behind is Waterloo station signal box, closed in 1990.
And having crossed the road another tram passes behind her in close up
4 COR EMU No.3145 pulls away from Waterloo at the start of its journey to Portsmouth Harbour via Woking (not stopping at Havant)
In this shot from the tracks another ‘Lord Nelson’ 4-6-0 is on the left
And in this shot John Mills dodges an H Class 0-4-4T running light
The only thing missing from the film was a ‘King Arthur’, and here we see one, in the final railway scene. It is being overtaken by a vintage SUB unit working a headcode V bar service, Waterloo-Waterloo via Richmond, Teddington and Earlsfield, just one of the many out and back circular runs.
The air raid shelter at ‘Waterloo Underground station’, almost certainly a set