A Railway Rule Book

Here we have another small booklet which I rediscovered when I had to clear bookshelves. Lest anybody thinks I might be ‘decluttering’ let me hasten to assure them that the emptying of shelves is in connection with new floor coverings. And this little book is a railway rule book from 1950.


These are the rules which railway workers had to learn and abide by. It rather looks as though the employer (British Railways) thought they had rights to the whole life of their work force. Here is rule 1a.


Or, in other words, railways workers will live where they are told to and work all the hours there are if we, the management decree it. No wonder there were bad industrial relations.

Of course, many of the rules make basic good sense. Warning of danger is something everyone should know.


That is rule 51. Presumably the previous rules were deemed more important.


And here we have a rule for ladies travelling alone. Presumably, back in 1950, that was deemed unusual. Of course, closed compartments were sources of potential risk or trouble, depending on who else was in the compartment.

This little booklet is a fascinating glimpse into the way people thought 64 years ago.


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