Film: 1651

Railways | 1940 | Sound | B/W


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World War Two Wartime railway journey, timetables, moving munitions, troops, mainly LNER, signalling. Explanations to passengers on why goods and troop train may take precedence.

Nice shot from a bridge of a steam powered railway train moving around a left hand bend as it leaves the main line. Meanwhile another train approaches our position along the main line. Very nicely lit shot of a mainline (London?) railway station with shafts of sunlight crossing the station. Soldier studies timetable. The railway timetable. A Steam locomotive, tender and first carriages pass a signal box. Inside signal box, man changes points. Close up of points changing. Smoky steam train passes our position inside signal box. A Paddington to Plymouth timetable with graphics over it. Control room with men wearing one ear-piece head sets. Railway man talking into two-piece telephone and receiver. An engine, tender, van and open loaded wagons pass camera position. From train a tracking shot of goods trains in covered sidings and sheds near railway station. Our train approaches station platform with much activity taking place - large crates of straw evident.
To emphasise point of importance of goods over people on the wartime railways, a railway wagon with 'Priority' written on it passes. A yard near the Scottish / English border where trains are laid up - nice panning shot from a bridge or gantry. Marshalling yard. Point of view along tracks and points as railway workmen look on. Joining wagons together. Further south a place in the East Midlands, a railway yard. Individual wagons are released on a slope. Which siding they end up in is decided by the men in a control tower. A different points system is indicated - this one is more visual. The operator turns knobs on a plan of the local sidings and these correspond to the changes he wishes to make to the points. Other man can remotely use brakes to make sure wagons do not roll too fast. Everything is done by electrical remote control. Railway man motions 'keep coming' then 'stop'. Graphics over film of British Expeditionary Force going off to war and over them coming back again from Dunkirk. Animated map of imports into Britain by sea, with a big blockade of the east coast. Some film of railways runs under part of this. Explanation of Supply and Demand in graphics over images of trains and women railway workers. Map shows the divide of the railway network in to the S.R. the G.W.R, the L.M.S. and the L.N.E.R. Excellent shot of troops leaning out of a railway carriage window as it leaves a railway station. They wave and one drinks a bottle of beer. Close up of vehicle tracks as tracked vehicle drives onto railway wagon base. These tracked vehicles on trailer. Train with tanks on it moving in countryside. Tanks at a port. Large fleet at sea.

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