This soppy 90 minute film doesn’t half romanticise criminality and ignore the violent assault of the train driver that really happened on August the 8th, 1963 when the Great Train Robbery took place. Phil Collins stars as Buster, the loveable rogue who steals a suit at the start of the film from a mannequin before hailing a taxi across the road from Broadway Market (below).
Buster and his wife June (Julie walters) live at 30 Beck Road (below) in Hackney which is seen after 4 minutes. Both Cambridge Heath and London Fields on the Overground Line are around ten minutes away on foot.
Just after the half hour mark, Abady House (below) on Page Street in Westminster appears and one of these flats is supposedly where Buster’s mother-in-law resides. The nearest Underground stations are Pimlico, Victoria and St James’s Park which are all a 10-15 minute walk away.
Having watched this film over the holiday season a couple of years ago, it did actually bring back some fond memories as it was one of the first films my family ever rented on VHS in the late 1980’s and after checking the fairly limited info in the filming locations section on IMDb (which a movie locations geek like me tends to do) I was quite surprised to discover that the great train robbery scenes were filmed on the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire.
In real life the robbery took place on the Euston-Northampton line near Tring in Hertfordshire but for the movie it was shot on the 2.5 mile stretch between Loughborough and Rothley.
‘Buster‘ was just one of many films and period drama’s to have been shot along this heritage railway which only runs for a total of 8.25 miles (13.28 km) between Loughborough and Leicester North. There are only two stops in between; Quorn & Woodhouse and Rothley (below). The latter consists of a single island platform on which the station buildings sit having been restored to their late Edwardian-era condition (circa 1910).
About 10 km north from Rothley is the Great Central Railway in Loughborough (below) which has a rich on-screen history having been used for countless TV and film productions such as ‘Cemetery Junction‘ (2010).
Having fled to Acapulco in Mexico, Buster eventually decides to follow his family back to London (having watched England win the World Cup Final in 1966) to accept his punishment. The closing moments of the film are set twelve years after his release from prison where he is seemingly content and owns a flower stall near Waterloo Bridge (below) on the Thames.
For other London filming locations click on the links below:
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