A Train too far!

Probably not known to a great number of people is that during the making of the movie a Electric-Diesel train which was left on the tracks at the dyke at the Rosande Polder at Oosterbeek, was set on fire. As result of Diesel shortage the NS, the Dutch Railway Company, a Diesel/Electric train combinated was used during the war.

Although it was damaged during the battle and shot up several times after the battle by allied fighters, it was still that far intact that the NS would be able to repair it after the war, it could have been towed away, only would have cost some 5000 euro. (2330 GBP)

Many trains were destroyed during the war and this train was a very new type and most welcome by the NS after war to put back in service, however due damage on the tracks they were not able to tow it away.

However on September 13th 1945 the was to become part of the filming, from about 500/600 metres a (blank) mortar round was fired at the train and when it  "hit" the train it went on fire, and was destroyed, cynical is that this take was never used in the movie itself!.

The NS was not asked or informed on this and went to court in England, suing the film company Gaumont Distributors Ltd and C.T. Brocks and Son Fireworks Ltd, for 193.000 euro (168.000 GBP) for the trainwagons and 32.000 euro (28.000 GBP) for damages suffered.

Mr Wesselink who lived in Oosterbeek and still had a camera and some film left, made photographs of this and in court these photographs were used as evidence. In July 1951 the case who was pending to the Kings Bench Division was send to a special judge, who would look at in November 1951.


What exactly happened on that day, and after are described by me in a book called  "A Train to Far! in a limited edition in August 2021, which is sold out now. (see also topic Publications.