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

Safety dance..

From - Working Manual for Rail Staff; BR30054/7 ("Buff Pages"), British Railways Board, 1985 revision.

The Working Manual contains the rules and procedures governing the loading, unloading and operation of freight and engineering trains. The Buff Pages (each section of the manual is printed on a different colour of paper) in this edition are titled "Instructions for Operating Cranes, Mechanical Appliances, Lifting Tackle etc." and the first chapter deals with the "Standard Code of Hand Signals for use with lifting & load-transfer equipment." as seen above. I'm sure the artist did his best and everyone knows that hands are particularly difficult to draw - almost on a par with bicycles - so I'm not going to criticise him for that. What interests me is why the chap is pictured wearing clown's shoes and a sou'wester hat.

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