Railways | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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Maintenance workers at night in the London Underground in the 1950's and repairing a broken line in 15 mins.
London. Piccadilly Circus at night. Neon signs: 'Schweppes'; 'Have a Capstan'; 'Wrigley's'; 'Coca-Cola'; 'Gordon's'; 'BP'. London Transport double-decker buses pass in front of the camera.
Bright streetlamps on quiet city streets; the camera pans across to an 'Underground' sign, then down to the locked entrance to an Underground station. Inside a deserted Tube station. A piece of the floor is shifted, and two men (ventilator cleaners) climb out from under the floor. They replace the piece of the floor.
Looking down an escalator. Men standing on the platform at Piccadilly Circus station, changing their shirts: they are 'gang boys' who work in the tunnels. A man with a lantern walks along a tunnel. He stops to check a piece of rail. A ballast train passes by, loaded with materiel.
A ' reconditioning gang ': men carrying hammers, pickaxes and lanterns, they walk to the edge of the tunnel and descend from the platform to the tracks. A man hammering at a piece of rail. The gaffer passes by on a pedal-powered railcar. A man checks the signals in a tunnel. The reconditioning gang on track duty: drilling into the ground; removing and replacing old sections of track. Men lifting and turning a long piece of rail.
Bill stickers putting up posters in an Underground station. A man putting up a poster for Yardley, with the caption, 'Makes you feel so fresh and feminine'. Ventilator cleaners clearing away dust and debris in ventilation ducts and shafts. A man crawling through a ventilation shaft. Looking up at a man cleaning a ventilation shaft: he is sitting on a chair which is hanging on a rope in a shaft. The camera pans down the length of the rope. The back of the gaffer as he pedals along the tracks where women -- 'fluffers' -- are working. Close-ups of women using small digging and scraping tools to dislodge and clear away debris around the track and in the tunnel.
A man walking in a tunnel stops to examine a piece of track. Close-up of a piece of broken rail. He puts a chalk mark on the wall, turns around and runs off in the opposite derection. He climbs out of the tunnel, onto the platform, and runs past the camera. A man in an office answers the phone. A clock, reading 3:32. Men in a canteen. They are seen climbing into a lorry -- the emergency squad off to fix a broken rail. A man speaking into a microphone. Men in a small truck at night, speaking into a phone. A truck passing through deserted streets at night. Men with gas tanks, tools, and lanterns jump down from a lorry, enter a Tube station and are seen walking down an excalator. An alarm clock, reading 3:45; a man lying in bed beside the clock wakes up, sits up, rubs his face and eyes. Men working on the broken rail. A flat rail car with tools on it arrives. Ground-level shot of a piece of track, one end of it on the ground, the other leaning on the railcar; it then falls flat on the ground. A man leaves a house at night and gets onto a bicycle. A man with a blow-torch apppying it to the rail. Tube workers arriving at a station. The fluffers climb onto a platform after finishing their work in the tunnels. A ballast train passing the camera. Rail workers beginning their day's work: checking their daily schedules. Men replacing a broken rail. The central control room of the Underground system; close-up of switches on a control panel. Men replacing a piece of rail, hammering joints, turning screws. The tracks being made live (i.e. electrified). Men sitting on a platform, drinking tea out of enamel cups; close-ups of workers drinking tea. A train departing for the day. View of a train driver, in profile, in his cabin; cut to view out of the front window of a train as it passes through a tunnel and then through a station. A train enters a station with people waiting on the platform. Passengers alighting from the train. The doors close and the train pulls away. A sign in the Underground indicating the direction for Piccadilly Line trains. View out of the back of a train as it leaves a station and enters a tunnel. A man sitting in a train.
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