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TITLE
Problems with the railway 'tablet system'
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_HIGHRAILWAY_10
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2022
KEYWORDS
Second World War
transportation
audio

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During World War II the Highland railways played an important role, transporting freight and troops to and from the naval bases, airfields, coastal defences, and supply bases throughout the region. Women were employed on the railway to replace the signalmen, clerks, engine cleaners and porters who had been called up for duty. In this audio extract, a former female railway employee recalls problems with the 'tablet' system, used to regulate the passage of trains over single-line sections between stations.

'One night it dropped the tablet and I was in the office putting it at clear to Forres, you know? When I came out I saw this two lights coming back. This was the train coming back looking for the tablet. Gave me the scare of my life, when I saw the two lights, because it was the blackout, you know? And the driver came out and he says, 'I've lost the tablet.' And then when I went back into the station, the Forres was ringing me up, 'What's the delay? Where's the Jellico?' [The Jellicos were priority troop trains which ran right up until the end of the war]

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Problems with the railway 'tablet system'

1980s

Second World War; transportation; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Highland Railways

During World War II the Highland railways played an important role, transporting freight and troops to and from the naval bases, airfields, coastal defences, and supply bases throughout the region. Women were employed on the railway to replace the signalmen, clerks, engine cleaners and porters who had been called up for duty. In this audio extract, a former female railway employee recalls problems with the 'tablet' system, used to regulate the passage of trains over single-line sections between stations.<br /> <br /> 'One night it dropped the tablet and I was in the office putting it at clear to Forres, you know? When I came out I saw this two lights coming back. This was the train coming back looking for the tablet. Gave me the scare of my life, when I saw the two lights, because it was the blackout, you know? And the driver came out and he says, 'I've lost the tablet.' And then when I went back into the station, the Forres was ringing me up, 'What's the delay? Where's the Jellico?' [The Jellicos were priority troop trains which ran right up until the end of the war]