Big budget film turns to railway museum for World War Two scenes

By Geoff Courtney

One of the country’s most varied collections of steam and diesel locomotives and electric trains has
come to the rescue of the makers of a star-studded big budget film due for release later this year.

Underground movement: The 59 stock London Underground car returns to Mangapps Railway Museum on February 3 after filming for the movie Darkest Hour. In the left background is the museum’s ex-Canadian Pacific caboose brake/conductor’s van. JUNE JOLLY

Darkest Hour is set in the early years of the Second World War and stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, Kristin Scott Thomas as his wife Clementine, and John Hurt as Neville Chamberlain. Hurt died in January, and the film will thus go down in movie history as the great actor’s last role.

Its makers turned to Mangapps Railway Museum in Essex in search of an authentic prewar London Underground Tube train, and owner John Jolly was able to oblige from his collection, albeit with a slight caveat.

“The film company approached another museum for 1938 stock but they were unable to help, and we received a telephone call after someone had told them our 59 stock was similar to the prewar 38 stock they wanted, especially in appearance,” said John.

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