Jim’s eighth visit to SKLR 05.02.14

Thanks to the vagaries of the mainline rail service it’s been a couple of
weeks since my last visit to Kemsley. I’ve made good use of the time editing
the interviews we’ve recorded and also viewing even more train movies. I’ve
re-watched the amazing chase scene in William Friedkin’s French Connection.
Set in New York and using the elevated railway system, cop Popeye Doyle
commandeers a Pontiac to chase after a drug dealer who in turns hijacks the
train at gunpoint. Supposedly, Friedkin edited the scene using a track by
70’s rock band Santana called ‘Black Magic Woman’. I’ve never tried combining them but it’s said that the track makes a perfect fit to the edits. Actual NYC transit employees played the conductor and driver in the film.

If anyone ever decides on a remake they might like to consider that the
Sittingbourne part of the SKLR runs over a sort of elevated railway ­ the
concrete viaduct.

Two of the Coach and Wagon staff generously donate their time to give us
with interviews. Ernie, who used to work on Concorde (the most beautiful if
slightly noisy flying object ever devised) and Norman the carpenter who has
the most infectious laugh imaginable. In addition to diesel loco driving
tips, we discover much about the techniques and skills involved in restoring
a narrow gauge railway carriage or even building one from the ground up.

post by sound artist Jim Whelton


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