08/08/2013 03:21 BST | Updated 08/08/2013 06:13 BST

The Great Train Robbery 50th Anniversary: 14 Unusual Facts

A policeman stands guard by the hi-jacked mail train at Cheddington Station, 40 miles north of London, England, Aug. 10, 1963. Detectives continue investigations into the great train robbery in which gang members intercepted the Glasgow-to-London mail train on Thursday, Aug. 8 and stole over 2.6 million pounds, worth $7.3 million. (AP Photo)

It was once dubbed the "crime of the century", and half a century on the Great Train Robbery remains one of the most audacious crimes in British history.

At the heart of the 1963 Great Train Robbery was notorious criminal Ronnie Biggs and mastermind Bruce Reynolds, who assembled a gang of at least 15 men for the job he called the "big one".

Reynolds' plan was to hold up the Glasgow to Euston night mail train - which was carrying huge numbers of used bank notes - as it passed through the Buckinghamshire countryside close to Cheddington.

The gang netted £2.6 million (the equivalent of £46 million today) and the raid went on to become a part of British criminal folklore spurring television dramas and films.

14 unusual facts about the great train robbery