£2.6 million stolen in 46 minutes, prison sentences totalling 378 years, 23 criminals, countless victims.
In the early hours of Thursday, 8 August 1963 at Sears Crossing near Cheddington in Buckinghamshire, £2.6 million (£45 million today) in unmarked £5, £1 and 10 shilling notes was stolen from the Glasgow to London mail train in a violent and daring raid which took forty-six minutes. Quickly dubbed 'the Crime of the Century', it has captured the imagination of the public and the world's media for fifty years, taking its place in British folklore. Ronnie Biggs, Bruce Reynolds and Buster Edwards became household names and their accounts have fed the myths and legends of 'The Great Train Robbery'.
But what really happened?
This definitive account dismantles the myths and strips away the sensational headlines to reveal a flawed, darker and more complex story. The crime, the police investigation, the trial, two escapes from high-security prisons, and an establishment under siege are all laid bare in astonishing detail for an epic tale of crime and punishment.
Fifty years later, here is the story set out in full for the first time -- a true-life crime thriller, and also a vivid slice of British social history.