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Bressingham steam locomotive plays part in upcoming Legend of Tarzan film

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 July 2016

Steam locomtoive from Bressingham Steam and Gardens, which features in the new Tarzan movie. Pictured is train driver Peter Vine.

Steam locomtoive from Bressingham Steam and Gardens, which features in the new Tarzan movie. Pictured is train driver Peter Vine.

A small village on the Suffolk/Norfolk border has played its part in a big-budget blockbuster movie.

Steam locomtoive from Bressingham Steam and Gardens, which features in the new Tarzan movie. Pictured is train driver Peter Vine.Steam locomtoive from Bressingham Steam and Gardens, which features in the new Tarzan movie. Pictured is train driver Peter Vine.

Bressingham Steam and Gardens’ Norwegian locomotive King Haakon is back on display in the village’s museum after undergoing a cosmetic transformation to be part of The Legend of Tarzan, which is released in cinemas on July 6.

Phillip Rooke, from the museum, said Warner Brothers had been looking up and down the country before it found the loco it was after.

He said: “They gave us a phone call and a couple of visits. More and more people came and at the end we got the contract.

“They wanted a loco, something that would’ve looked like it 
would have run in Africa and the Congo.”

Steam locomtoive from Bressingham Steam and Gardens, which features in the new Tarzan movie. Left to right, Ray King (Operations Manager) and Peter Vine (Driver).Steam locomtoive from Bressingham Steam and Gardens, which features in the new Tarzan movie. Left to right, Ray King (Operations Manager) and Peter Vine (Driver).

And despite being what the producers were looking for, they wanted a certain look, so staff and volunteers, who are at the museum from 
10.30am to 5pm, had to change the locomotive’s appearance. Mr Rooke said: “It was green but part of the specification meant we had to paint the loco black.

“We had to take the fitting and lamps and the generator off and then we had to paint it black with a bit of red.

“Then the special effects team and the design team changed it a bit more. They’ve put some cosmetic dust on it too so it looks like the real thing.

“They’ve completely changed the image of it.”

It took three months to transform the locomotive and staff and volunteers were at Warner Brothers’ Leavesden Studios in London while filming took place.

“It was really interesting. We saw the whole process, we saw the complete set during filming and saw the actors and directors,” Mr Rooke said.

“It’s a completely different world but we really embraced it.

“There were a lot of opportunities for a lot of people to go down there to see it.”

The loco did not have a current boiler safety certificate enabling it to run, but Warner Brothers put a steam generator on it to make it look authentic for filming, with Mr Rooke adding that producers’ spent a “small fortune” on filming.

Mr Rooke said: “It looked like it was in steam. It worked to the extent where you could work the steam whistle.

“It was coming through all the right places.”

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