Film: 5790

Railways | 1980 | Sound | Colour


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An overview of Railways in Europe in the 1980's but also their history and development.

Young male mime artist reacts to voice-over on cartoon-like railway set. Mimes arriving for train, getting on train opening window and is enveloped in steam.
Introductory titles in French, English, German, Italian, Polish and Japanese. B/w footage of early 2-2-2 locomotive with man in formal Victorian dress and top hat on footplate with driver /stoker. Locomotive is said to be 'Adler' the first engine to run in Germany in 1835.

Close up of old engine and people again. Title; Engine achieved 60Km/Hr. between Nuremburg and Fursth. Engine travels over camera on track.. Titles: In 1938 British A4 engine 'Mallard' achieved a speed of 200km/hr. B/w footage of London North Eastern Railway LNER streamlined engine 'Silver Fox' identical to 'Mallard' pulling train. Views from footplate driver at controls. Caption :- In 1955 an electric test train reached a speed of 331 km/hr.

B/w footage of fast moving electric train. No commentary but music on soundtrack. Children at a station watching the speeding train go past. Colour mime artist and drawing board. View of track from driver's cab on moving train. Executives, designers in conference. Problems of increased speeds. Power supply must make railways pay. Modern electric train in operation. Technicians making tests on moving experimental train. There is an English commentary throughout the following;-
Colour mime artist re-appears with design portfolio opening - Japan. - Map of Japanese network . Country views from moving Japanese train. Before World War Two system was narrow gauge. Changed to standard gauge after war. 1st important line opened 1964, Views of modern trains travelling to and through cities and countryside. Control rooms and drivers in cabs in contact by telephone. High speed network being built to cover whole of country.

Great Britain - Mime artist opens portfolio with picture of network. England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain went mad at outset of railways and finished up with too many railways. Trains negotiating sharp bends. Bends a problem. Designers and
technicians working on the Advanced Passenger Train. Tests on wheels, lines and braking. Material used in construction. Close ups of bogeys and materials used to make carriages. Ends with voice - 'It is truly an advanced passenger train.'
Poland. Mime artist - portfolio introduction. Map of system. New line needed to link Silesia to Balkan ports. Old trains and trucks. Urgent need of line so they used single track while second track was being built. Freight trains as important as passenger trains. High sped not so important. Industrial landscape. Technicians and surveyors mapping out routes. Taking care of environment. Views from inside and outside driver's cab. Ends 'Poland enters the new railway age.'

Germany. Mime artist portfolio of German network with German Democratic Republic shaded out. New system has to run North to South. Manheim - Stuttgart line under construction. Inside test laboratory. Passengers sitting in a railway carriage on the move. Large scale earth moving equipment.
France - Mime artist - portfolio map of network. New line needed from Paris to Lyon. High speed line. New trains needed. New design of train emerging from works. Best propulsion is electric power. Technicians and workers laying tacks. Explosives used to construct line. New bridges under construction 'new line opens in 1981'. Bridge stanchions over wide river.

Italy - Mime artist - portfolio - network. Concentrates on line from Florence to Rome Electric train travelling at speed. New line under construction connecting in many places with old line; Tunnelling equipment at work Tunnels and bridges under construction. Viaduct being built over river Parlia? One of the longest railway viaducts in the world. New trains. Electric gantries being fitted in place.
Summation: montage of scenic views. Passenger comfort - dining cars and bars views of modern train travel. Train arriving at terminus or large station. Back to mime artist. 'Another railway age Is on the way'. End.

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