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Trip on the Metropolitan Railway, A (1910)


Main image of Trip on the Metropolitan Railway, A (1910)
A Trip on the Metropolitan Railway from Baker St to Uxbridge and Aylesbury
35mm, black and white, silent, 619 feet

Phantom ride along the Metropolitan line with views of the stations and landscapes along the way.

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Being a tour of both the London Underground and London itself, this fascinating film turns its viewers into passengers and transports them from the city's centre to its outskirts via the Metropolitan line.

Much of the journey has not changed in almost a century, with the very same route being travelled today. Pulling into these stations is a remarkably familiar sight, especially since many of the platforms are still in use with only superficial alterations.

What has changed is London's landscape, with many of the open fields that surround the railway having long since been urbanised. This is a theme explored by John Betjeman's television programme Metro-Land (BBC, tx. 26/2/1973), which intercuts this 1910 footage with material shot over sixty years later.

Attitudes to rail safety were clearly more relaxed in 1910, with spectators watching the train go by from the banks of the railway and a rail worker standing beside the tracks as the train pulls in. The film contains a glimpse of a pristine contemporary underground train, which looks positively luxurious compared to the trains of today.

Christian Hayes

*An extract from this film can be downloaded from the BFI's Creative Archive. Note that this material is not limited to users in registered UK libraries and educational establishments: it can be accessed by anyone within the UK under the terms of the Creative Archive Licence.

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
Complete film (16:52)
Let's Go To Birmingham (1962)
Underground (1928)
Metro-Land (1973)
A Year in Film: 1910
Phantom Rides