The film crew in Stoney Middleton – including Hollywood star Tom Cruise – last night captured a thrilling action scene showing where a train tumbles over the edge of the former Darlton Quarry.
And, in a shot he claims he has been “waiting for months” to see, Peak District photographer Villager Jim was waiting on a nearby hill to capture the unforgettable moment.
"It was definitely a one of a kind experience,” said the legendary anonymous snapper. "The shoot has been bumbling along for five months but yesterday I got a call from someone in the know who said ‘Jim, it’s happening today’. So I sat across the valley for the afternoon and waited.
"It was amazing on its own just to watch the helicopter and film crews do dummy runs to see how they would pan the cameras during the real thing.”
Then came the long-awaited moment – when a steam train was set loose and sent hurtling down the tracks and off the rails before plummeting to the rocks below.
Jim said: “It started at the top of the hill and plowed down. You can imagine the momentum of a massive train. And the noise was amazing. it plummeted out of view for me, then four or five seconds later there was this almighty crash.
"I'm so glad I was there to get the shot.”
Jim was also in the right spot to see the franchise’s lead actor and producer Tom Cruise arrive by helicopter to watch the planned disaster unfold.
Jim said: “He was wearing black to match his helicopter. He was only there for 15 minutes before he took off again. He’s a busy man I’m sure. I suppose in the next shot he’ll be hanging off of the train since he does his own stunts.
"The film shoot has been the talk of the village for months. There’s always rumours of what’s going on and which actor might be in town.”
The film, production of which was halted due to the pandemic, is set to premiere in Summer 2023.