Electronic devices and machinery used on the railways and behind the scenes at British Rail.
High angle L/S of the new (nearly completed) Manchester Oxford Road railway station; M/S of the outside and inside, of a short queue at the ticket office. Commentator talks of "the new method of buying a ticket from machines which print everything on the spot" as we see a man putting a pack of tickets into a printing machine; it spits out a ticket into a small saucer.
Various shots of men and women putting punched tickets into large machines; flicking switches and pressing buttons on huge computers in the accountancy department of the railways. C/U of payroll being printed. The Robotug, an electronic machine that pulls goods trolleys around depots is seen in action, following a single wire below ground. In a laboratory (on the site of the old Alexandra Palace station in North London) a man is seen analysing diesel oil with a spectrograph; C/U inside the machine of the oil being tested.
Various shots of a Road Railer - a lorry that turns into a goods wagon; a mechanism in the under carriage lowers flanged wheels onto the railway as the rubber tyres lift off and the lorry cab unhooks. L/S of these silver wagons being pulled by a diesel train through the countryside. Point of view shot from the front of a train going into a modern maintenance depot for mainline diesel locos; various shots inside.
M/Ss and C/Us on the Gondola Car, which travels along the track, checking the electrified overhead wires with a pantograph and other equipment for height, wear and endurance. A man in the car looks at the machinery through binoculars and speaks on a phone. M/S of a train moving along using overhead wires. L/S of a diesel train speeding through the countryside as we track with it from a moving vehicle.
Note: Copyright of this film belongs to British Transport Films. On file is commentary for a British Transport film 'Second Report on Modernisation', presumably where this footage was taken from. See also CP 273 and CP 279 for earlier reports!