Mr Mainline Steam

Steam locomotives are some of the largest mechanical land vehicles that reside on the earth and for a long time, they were the preserve of only governments and large corporations. The fact that individuals could acquire and even operate full size trains was considered impossible up until the time that steam locomotives were phased out by the railways around the world. Initially, it was mainly people banding together in groups that saved these from being scrapped and operated them on isolated railway lines that had been abandoned by the major railways. For an individual to aspire to not only owing one or more steam locomotives, but to operate them on the main lines was very rare and those that have done so can be counted virtually on one hand.

This story is based around the lifetime experiences of Ian Welch and explores what inspired him to gather the largest private collection of mainline steam locomotives in the world. The film highlights that there are people who display different characteristics that enable them to achieve what is well beyond what is considered normal. It investigates whether these characteristics are hereditary and handed down genetically from their parents or are learnt over the period of oneís life.

The film examines what it is that motivated
Ian to achieve far more than others and what particular events triggered various key moments that enabled this to happen. His determination is continuously scrutinised through the many events that have occurred throughout Ianís life. The aim of discovering if there was any one single defining moment that triggered him into accepting and overcoming the multitude of obstacles that he has had to endure is finally revealed by Ian himself.


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Based in Wellington, New Zealand