About the blog

British railways are run on a foundation of paperwork. Everything must have an instruction; a list; a rule. The railway was once such a huge, chaotic system that the only way to manage it was with reams and reams of paper. Today the system is much more compact but the mountain of literature upon which it is run is greater than ever. This is simply a collection of pages from railway documents. They may be old or new, interesting or tedious, large or small. Most are obscure and esoteric. Many feature interesting diagrams and all share the same strange mix of dry railway language and exotic nomenclature that has hardly changed in 200 years. I love these documents and have a large collection to share. If you want to see more of something or less of another, please get in touch or leave a comment.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Griddle..

From - Corporate Identity Manual; British Railways Board 1965 (This chapter 1968)

The 60s were a time of change in the UK, and this is as true for industrial design as it is for any other part of society. There was huge interest around design at this time, indeed the British Transport Commission had realised as early as 1955 that some sort of cohesive design policy would be needed during the modernisation of the railways. They set up a Design Panel in 1956 concerned with "the aesthetic design of fixed and moveable equipment" and out of this came some of the most iconic examples of industrial design ever seen in Britain. The BTC was abolished in 1963 and management of the country's railways was handed to the British Railways Board.

The British Rail corporate identity was launched in 1965 with much fanfare. This manual was intended to set out every aspect of the brand, leaving no room for regional differences or local initiatives. This page is taken from the second binder (out of four), from the chapter dealing with printed publicity material. Here is a reminder of a time when almost all trains had proper catering provision of one sort or another, from buffet cars selling the legendary BR sandwich to full silver service dining cars. If you board a train at Edinburgh Waverley for Aberdeen today, you will look in vain if you wish to dine at The Griddle.

More information on the British Rail corporate identity can be found at www.doublearrow.co.uk

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