Ha Ha Ha…

This was on the BBC news page today, lovely.

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Railway Safety Posters • Brice Angrave • 1950s

Here are a set of small posters produced to encourage best-and-safe-practice on and around the station. These posters are by Bruce Angrave. They date from the early 1950s.

Here is a link to a page about Angrave, here

Bruce Angrave (b 1914; d.1983)

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Flying Scotsman • 2017

Here is the Flying Scotsman at the Bluebell Railway, East Sussex.

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Heaven’s Gate • Michael Cimino • 1980

Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980), is a notorious film, credited with the ruination of the United Artists production company. You can read about the how and why of this debacle in Final Cut (1985) by Steven Bach.

In its original version the film was way too long for a normal theatrical release. Various attempts were made to find an edit that didn’t compromise the complex narrative of the story too much…None of these edits has been entirely convincing yet. But eventually, people have begun to see that there was some good in the film.

One of the best things about HG is the cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond…he combines light and landscape brilliantly and creates a 19c (slow) paced dynamism through the action of people, horses, and steam trains…

The scene when the train of migrants arrives at the station is almost as good as the scene in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) when Claudia Cardinale arrives at Flagstone…

The film is not a work of genius…but, I have seen much worse. At least you can see where the money went. There are a few magical images…A bit like David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter (1970), the film needed a ruthless editor working alongside Cimino.

There’s also a terrific soundtrack by David Mansfield…and a roller-disco scene at the eponymous Heaven’s Gate dancehall…both on youtube.

Isabelle Hupert and Kris Kristofferson, and their supporting colleagues, were all amazing too.

Well worth watching.

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Japanese Railway Posters • 2017

The Seibu Railway Company in Japan has just issued a set of posters reminding passangers of how to behave on the train…

The posters are designed in a pop-art variety of the traditional style of ukiyo-e coloured woodblock prints.

Marvellous and beautiful.

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Streamliners Across the USA

Here is a map of the historic streamliner services across the USA…

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The Girl on the Train • 2015

I have just started to read this crime novel…not a new idea (Agatha Christie did the same back when) but interesting.

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Ost-West Express • 1987

I was remembering that, back in 1987/1988, we took this (once-a-week?) service from Ostende to Warsaw.
The train was made up of various national carriages…at various points along the route, the train re-formed to branch out, north and south, etc.
The Warsaw carriage was excruciatingly uncomfortable…they had dessigned it as such.
On the return we simply took a berth in the Russian carriages with bed and samovar!
Crossing into Eastern Germany was weird…they kept searching the train.
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Graphical Train Schedule • EJ Marey • 1885

Everyone is familiar with the usual layout of train timetables that plot times of arrival and departure against a list of destinations…but what if we plotted this information in a different way?

E J Marey, French scientist and pioneer photogtrapher of movement (called chronophotography), proposed a graphical train schedule that is both timetable and graphic representation of speed.

Above, is his diagram of the Paris-Lyon train service. The speed of the train is expressed by the slope of the line. timed stops are expressed through the visual step in the line.

Below, is Marey’s famous sequential image of the flight of a pelican…one of the most important visual images of the 19C.

You can download the whole of Marey’s, Methode Graphique (1885) as a pdf…

Ed Tufte used this famous diagram on the cover of his book.


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Poster to Poster • Richard Furness • NRM • 2017

Here is a picture of the last part of a big poster project by Richard Furness. He has gone through the poster collection of the National Railway Museum and mapped each poster against its physical location! And published this informationa as a series of beautifully illustrated books.

The eight volumes of the series provide a visual and topographical index of the collection. Brilliant.

I am very proud to have contributued to the project. The last volume includes my essay, How to Design a Railway Poster.

I posted the text of this essay a while ago, here

How to Design a Railway Poster


Congratulations and thankyou, Richard!

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