Film: 997

Railways | 1940 | Silent | B/W


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Experiments were made on February 27th 1947 with jet aircraft engines at Dowlis Top. (sic). Engines were mounted side by side on a 12 ton container wagon, a type of innovative snow plough for the railways. After this test the experiment was abandoned as it was found that the jet blew away everything - ballast, wood pegs and blocks and in the worse cases distorted the tracks !!!

Wide shot Railway goods yard, which may be Swindon with some snow on the ground. Small crane lowers Whittle jet in mounting frame onto flat wagon. Closer 3/4 view about ten men at work guiding engine down to wagon. Comp. Angle from beside crane showing tubular boom arm in f/g. Direct reverse favouring other end of wagon where fuel tank has been temporarily positioned. View from side of wagon with pile of debris in lower f/g, on wagon oxyacetylene cutter is being used to form a mounting place. Jump cut, as previous shot. M.C.S. Man with torch cuts away wagon to accept engine mounting. Jump cut, same action. M.S. Crane repositions jet engine to fit cut-outs on wagon. Another larger yard crane lifts the box crate off a second jet engine, the wooden crate is slued across above an open wagon. Several men stand around looking at engine on its mounting. W.S. as 258. Jet engine suspended from crane with tubular boom arm after having been lifted from back of lorry. Jump cut to engine being lowered onto ground, lorry having departed. View of flat wagon with two Whittle engines mounted side by side, inclined towards at a 30 degree angle, the nozzles pointing at the rails. The fuel tank is now in a transverse position behind them on a wooden framework. M.S. Railway yard, jet wagon coupled to clerestory coach is shunted away from camera. Test wagon with jet nozzles towards camera seen from across flat wagon which is marshalled in front of it. L.A. fuel tank being filled, man standing on wooden framework, holding one of two flexible hoses going into tank.

Extension tubes are fitted to the engines. (sic). W.S. train with carriages at rear, steam engine midway pushing engineers vans, extra fuel tanker and the jet engines at test location, section of double track line in countryside, heavy snow on ground. Men working on jet engines at front of train, fitting a lightweight metal tube onto the front of one of the nozzles. 3/4 view, same action. Man with plate camera and tripod exits camera. R. Jump cut. More people in shot as they fix an extension tube to the second engine on R. Jump cut. Both extensions nozzles visible. The ends of the tubes are now approx. in same position as buffers and pointing towards rails at about 30 degrees.

After warming up, the engines are given full throttle; with this result. Seq. Test train approaching camera 1~r. Signal-box and crossing keepers house in f/g. slight amounts of snow are blown off track in front of jets. (3 jump cuts as camera is moved back). Rig reaches level crossing. Seq. Reverse angle. Camera in six foot as train slowly past 1~r between station platforms. Air filled with looses snow being blown away as it progresses (5 jump cuts). W.S. Train moved over to wrong road, camera in signal-box. (Otherwise as previous set-up.) M.S. Jet nozzle into shot frame R. loose snow and larger lumps are blown away camera L. W.S. camera in four foot looking at last carriage of stationary test train standing in drifted snow about 2 ft. deep. M.S. Four men shovelling snow from underneath carriage and throwing it onto cess. Seq. M.C.S. trailing bogie of penultimate carriage which has derailed (3 similar angles). Seq. W.S. Deep snow in open country with line curving away camera L. Test train approaching slowly in distance 1~r behind cloud of steam and snow on a line already partly cleared. (4 jump cuts). Seq. W.S. Similar to previous set-up but camera moved R. to other side of track. Train in distance setting back away from camera the track in f/g showing snow cleared down to top of rails. (4 jump cuts). Seq. W.S. Train up to camera 1~r blowing cloud of snow ahead of itself, steam from engine in middle of train also being blown away camera R. in strong wind. (1 jump cut). W.S. Last two carriages of the stationary train. L.A. Camera in cleared four foot in front of jet engines, man in f/g signals as train sets back away from cam. Jump cut, same set-up without train. Onlookers begin leaving. M.C.S. Rail and sleepers partly cleared of snow, in places ballast is visible between sleepers. Slow tilt up to show uneven effect of the jets. Repeat of previous shot. The end.

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