Cast & Crew
T. E. B. Clarke
The residents of a small English village are about to lose their ancient railroad. They decide to rescue it by running it themselves, in competition with the local bus company.
Writer T. E. B. "Tibby" Clarke was inspired to write the Titfield Thunderbolt saga after a 1951 visit to the volunteer-operated Talyllyn Railway, which carries passengers and slate along the Cambrian coast between Towyn and Abergynolwyn, in Wales. "The Titfield Thunderbolt" reflects Clarke's fascination with the volunteers' preservationist spirit there.
John Gregson had never driven a car before making this film.
The credited driver, fireman and guard were not actors, they were British Railways employees from Westbury depot and were originally to be uncredited extras. After director Charles Crichton spoke to them on location and realised they "looked and sounded the part", they were given speaking parts.
The 'Thunderbolt' is a genuine veteran locomotive, its real name is 'Lion'. It was built for the Liverpool and Manchester railway in 1838, making it 115 years old when it was used in the film.
The locomotive, "Lion" was damaged during filming when the carriage train is reunited with the locomotive. The rear frame was bent by the force of the impact. The damage was still visible in 2001.