In this, the third of five 100% archive film programmes, the story of steam locomotives is taken through the end of independence into the early days of Nationalisation. The first half of the decade saw the railways at the forefront of the war effort, from which the black-painted steam locomotives emerged bloodied but unbowed, still the principal power force on the railways. Nationalisation in 1948 was to see a unified system, with locomotives straying to lines away from their traditional haunts. We see them on trial and bearing their new owner's name in full - 'British Railways'. Postwar types such as Ivatt tanks and Moguls, ex-GWR 'Modified Halls', ex-LNER Peppercorn-designed Pacifics and Thompson 'Bls' are seen.