In June 2014, TNT trialled an overnight rail freight service from the Midlands to London. Surprisingly, UK railways have not been used for such ways for nearly 20 years, so it was quite a big operation, involving many other large companies to make this trial happen. Every part of the trial was timed to enable TNT to analyse the commercial viability of setting up a permanent overnight freight service by rail.
I was commissioned to produce a short video and to take still photos of the trial. Initially, TNT asked me to ride on the train, but when I pointed out that if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to get shots of the train’s departure or arrival, it soon became clear that we would need two videographers, so I employed another videographer to film the footage of the train being loaded and departing from Rugby station and I filmed and photographed the train’s arrival and unloading in the very early hours of the morning at Euston station as that was the main part of the trial. I then edited the video to my client’s very exacting requirements.
I found it a really interesting assignment as it gave me an opportunity to see Euston station as not many people get to see it, as it closes completely to passengers for a few hours every night. This allowed TNT’s fleet of vans to drive onto the platform and to enable the parcels to be sorted on the platform after being unloaded from the train. Once the sorting was complete and the vans had departed, I was required to send some still photos off for immediate release to the press and for use on TNT’s social media. As I was finishing, it was getting light and I then headed back up the M1 in the opposite direction to all the London commuters who were heading to work, so I could get home to bed for a few hours’ sleep. It was a long hard night’s work, but very rewarding too. Also, it was an honour for such a large company to commission me to record such an important trial.