Perceptions of the locomotive driver:
image and identity on British railways,
Clicking on the figures in square brackets
will bring up references.
Use your browser's 'back' button to return to your place in the document.
An important component of the notion of identity' is how a group, whether occupationally defined or otherwise, is perceived by others. This paper is concerned with some aspects of the way one particular railway occupation that of locomotive driver has been perceived in Great Britain from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth. The occupation of locomotive driver is one of the most significant within the railway industry in terms of the identity it projects to the wider community, and the meanings which are in turn read into it. The evidence I use in the study of which this paper is a small part (a study which is very much work in progress) reflects a process of forming, assigning and negotiating cultural significances around the figure of the locomotive driver across a range of discourses. Responses to, and representations of, the driver, whether in fiction, visual art, technical texts, or elsewhere, inevitably engage with this process, and reveal the preoccupations and tensions of a society constantly responding to the threat and the promise offered by the technologically-dominated modernity embodied by the railway and personified in the locomotive driver.
It will be argued here that there are two primary aspects to the image of the locomotive driver during this period: the invisible driver and the heroic driver. These two facets might appear contradictory, and indeed mutually exclusive; but there is an essential relationship, the key to which lies in the essential nature of the railway itself, and the position occupied by the driver within the railway system. William Powell Frith's The Railway Station (Figure 1) is a key image of the nineteenth-century railway. The picture, painted in 1862, depicts passengers boarding a Great Western Railway train at Paddington. The crowd on the platform is representative of the cross-section of society which was to be found at a Victorian railway station, and the railway as a presence in society not a static presence but an active, transforming agent of movement and dynamic social interaction is powerfully conveyed; but the railway as a machine is hardly present in this picture. The locomotive is distant and static, tracks, signals and the other apparatus of the railway system are marginalized or absent, the row of wooden carriages forms a stationary background to the activity on the platform, as a row of houses might provide the backdrop for the activities of a bustling street. And where is the driver? He is the most distant and indistinct figure of all, banished to the background, hardly visible on the footplate of his remote locomotive.
Figure 1: William Powell Frith, The Railway Station (1862).
The representation of the driver in Frith's picture reflects the fact that from the days of the earliest railways, certainly at least from the 1830s, the locomotive driver has been a paradoxical presence in the wider web of perception that has developed around the railway: both a central figure of the railway world and yet, for society beyond the railway workforce itself, a strangely invisible one. Seen from a distance, if at all, by the travelling public, always encased and in some sense defined by the locomotive itself, the driver has been almost as much part of the machinery of the railway as his locomotive; largely taken for granted, little understood, only thought about when something goes wrong. 'Of all men in the employ of railway companies there is not a class with which the public are so little acquainted,' remarked Hubert Simmons, the former Great Western stationmaster, of locomotive drivers in 1879. This invisibility' is an important element of the image of the locomotive driver throughout the century or so I consider here (and indeed is perhaps more significant than ever today, when the train driver is almost entirely absent from public consciousness at any level).
The locomotive driver stood at the centre of the arcane and complex mystery of the railway. His invisibility to a certain extent reflected a degree of unapproachability. E. Nesbit's story of three children exiled to the country when their father is imprisoned, The Railway Children (1906), provides an interesting summary of some of these perceptions. Chapter 4, The Engine-Burglar', revolves around the eldest of the children, Bobbie, inadvertently getting herself onto the footplate of a locomotive just as it pulls out of the station. She has gone there to try to persuade someone among the engine crews to fix her brother Peter's broken toy locomotive:
Then when the next train came in and stopped, Bobbie went across the metals of the up-line and stood beside the engine. She had never been so close to an engine before. It looked much larger and harder than she had expected, and it made her feel very small indeed, and, somehow, very soft as if she could very, very easily be hurt rather badly.
So the vast scale of the locomotive is established, as is its potentially threatening presence. The implication is that by approaching it Bobbie is approaching a sacred, inviolate place, a kind of fortress of a certain occult mystery the mystery of the railway, a railway holy-of-holies. Furthermore, the locomotive protects its adepts, because every time Bobbie tries to attract their attention it prevents her voice from being heard:
'If you please,' said Roberta but the engine was blowing off steam and no one heard her.
'If you please, Mr. Engineer,' she spoke a little louder, but the Engine happened to speak at the same moment, and of course Roberta's soft little voice hadn't a chance.
The places of work of other railway employees, other adepts of the railway, are also described as sacred in the book: 'that sacred inner temple behind the place where the hole is that they sell you tickets through,' 'that sacred inner temple behind the little window where the tickets are sold.' Once she is on the footplate, and the train starts off, Bobbie knows that she is in a place set apart from the mundane world, where she has no right to transgress: "'And I've no business here. I'm an engine-burglar that's what I am,' she thought. "I shouldn't wonder if they could lock me up for this."' For Bobbie, the footplate is a strange, threatening environment 'Her feet and legs felt the scorch of the engine fire, but her shoulders felt the wild chill rush of the air. The engine lurched and shook and rattled, and as they shot under a bridge the engine seemed to shout in her ears' and the engine is like some kind of beast that must be tamed, yet the driver and his fireman are entirely at ease here, sitting Bobbie down and talking to her as if they were in their front room. Their kindliness and humanity reflects another aspect of the engine driver as paragon of the working class the fact that underneath his rough outer aspect and grubby clothing he is a true gentleman (an aspect of his heroic quality). And, of course, they are proud of the craft they have mastered, showing Bobbie the functions of the various controls and responding to her questions:
'This 'ere's the automatic brake,' Bill went on, flattered by her enthusiasm. You just move this 'ere little handle do it with one finger, you can and the train jolly soon stops. That's what they call the Power of Science in the newspapers.
The driver and his mate promise to see to the repair of the toy engine, and send Bobbie back home in the guard's van of another train and the revelations of the sacred realm of the guard are far less momentous than those of the footplate: 'She asked the guard why his van smelt so fishy, and learned that he had to carry a lot of fish every day' and she is later able to use her new status as an honorary adept of the sacred world of the footplate to impress her siblings, when on 'the day appointed . . . she mysteriously led them to the station at the hour of the 3.19's transit, and proudly introduced them to her friends, Bill and Jim', that is, the driver and fireman in whose world she is now something of an initiate.
The children of The Railway Children find in the railway a magical place: 'I always knew this railway was enchanted,' says Phyllis, the youngest child, at one point. It assuages their loneliness, brings them kindness and friendship, connects them to the world from which they are unwilling exiles, brings an ordering power to their lives which imprisonment and impoverishment have threatened with disorder and chaos (its recreation of order in their lives symbolized by the repair by their friends on the railway of the toy locomotive whose breakdown, on the night their father was taken away to prison, marked the beginning of their troubles). There is a threatening quality to this magic; they give certain trains names such as 'the Green Dragon', and 'the Fearsome-fly-by-night'. Yet by penetrating to the inner sanctums of the railway the stationmaster's office, the signalbox, and most importantly the locomotive footplate, the children tame that magic and find it beneficent and kindly. The locomotive driver, Bill, is a central part of that process.
Figure 2: William Powell Frith, The Railway Station (1862); detail.
Let us take another look (Figure 2) at Frith's Railway Station. In a crowded canvas, the driver occupies an uncluttered space; clear platform below him, the airy vault of the station roof above. In a canvas filled with movement, he is still. He is at one with the placid power of his locomotive. Below him, on the platform, stands a stout figure, the significance of whom is interesting. The Railway Station was commissioned by the art dealer and financier Louis Victor Flatow. Flatow himself wanted to be in the picture; to be precise, he wished to be depicted as the engine driver. But the real engine driver, who modelled, with his machine, for Frith, would let no-one but himself be depicted on the footplate of his locomotive. Frith and Flatow conceded; Frith painted Flatow standing on the platform, looking up at the real driver on his footplate, the unchallenged master of a domain he was forever unable to enter.
The invisible driver is thus simultaneously a heroic figure, admired, from a distance, by painter, patron, and by the audience for the picture. Although he is in the background it is as if he occupies a higher realm than that in which the harassed figures of the congested, swirling crowd in the foreground of the picture have their being. Little boys, and even wealthy patrons of art, wished to be engine drivers precisely because the engine driver was a heroic figure. 'When the trains rushed by, we young 'uns used to run out to look at 'em, and hooray,' remarks the driver in Andrew Halliday's contribution to Dickens's Christmas 1866 'Mugby Junction' edition of Household Words, No. 2 Branch Line: the Engine Driver':
I noticed the driver turning handles, and making it go, and I thought to myself it would be a fine thing to be an engine-driver, and have the control of a wonderful machine like that. Before the railway, the driver of the mail-coach was the biggest man I knew. I thought I should like to be the driver of a coach . . . But when the train came, the engine-driver put them all in the shade, and I was resolved to be an engine-driver.
At a time when the railway was new, glamorous and exciting there must have been many who felt the way Halliday's imagined little boy did. And for much of the period of the steam railway at least, this attraction remained strong; the countless memoirs of drivers which have been published over the years almost invariably begin with a train-besotted little boy, committed against all the odds to becoming the man at the centre of the whole wonderful mystery of the railway, the driver. There are parallel instances of early and consistent commitment on the part of working-class children to the idea of following a particular occupation: boys who wanted to go to sea (and the parallels between locomotive drivers and seamen are something we will encounter again later), or who wanted to join one of the armed services, girls who wished to nurse or teach, and boys and girls who wanted to join the circus. But locomotive driving had a particular appeal, based on more than simply the practical attractions of the job. Quite apart from the down-to-earth issues of pay, security and status, the occupation of engine driver exerted a strong pull on the imagination. The 'heroic' image of the driver was an important part of that attraction.
Figure 3: London & North Western Railway locomotive crew, 1860s. The driver is on the right, with his hand on the regulator.
A potent part of this 'heroic' image is present in Halliday's reference to 'the driver turning handles' and 'having control of a wonderful machine like that'. The railway locomotive was powerful, noisy, dramatic, frightening, exciting, a focus of exhilaration and of awe; it redefined time and reordered space. There was something deeply stirring about its size and power, its speed, its use of the elemental forces of fire and water. To have control of such a machine, to have all its power and complexity obedient beneath your hand, is a truly heroic endeavour. Engine drivers certainly steam engine drivers have always, I think, been conscious of this; it can be seen in the stance of Frith's driver, and in photographs of footplate crews from the 1840s onwards (Figure 3 and Figure 4), and it contributes importantly to their identity as a occupational group.
Figure 4: London Brighton & South Coast locomotive crew, 1886, with the driver on the left.
There is a tension in this image of the driver, a tension between individual heroics and the responsibilities of the job, for a driver of course is never a free agent. The individualist flamboyance of coaching days was inappropriate in the steam railway locomotive driver. Drivers were often strong characters with a great deal of individuality; individuality was an essential ingredient in the many 'characters' to be found on any shed (indeed, reading some footplate memoirs one is left with the impression that railways were populated entirely with 'characters' and that to be conventional would have been the greatest eccentricity of all), but that individuality was regulated and sublimated. Everywhere the essential discipline of the railway constrained the individual heroic in the engine driver. There are countless texts from a great variety of contexts whose message, whether formal or informal, is, put simply, follow the rules, formal and informal, and you will be alright.
Mark Dennis; or, The Engine-Driver. A Tale of the Railwayis a short story with an evangelical Christian agenda, written by Mary Charlotte Leith and published, anonymously, in 1859. Young Mark Dennis follows his father and joins the railway to become a driver; there he is confronted with the example of driver Richard Farnall, whom, we are told, is 'reckless, and thought nothing of perilling his own life and the lives of his passengers, for the sake of making up a few moments of lost time'. Dennis travels with Farnall one day and returns enthusing to his father about the 'glorious journey':
We were twenty-five minutes late at Wyeford, and made every bit of it up coming here! You never saw anything like the rate we went at! Farnall says it was full sixty miles an hour the best part of the way.
Dennis senior is not impressed: 'How any man, with the thought of all those lives in his hand, can knowingly put them into such danger I can't think.' When Mark suggests that Farnall does not ever think of the danger, his father's response is firm: 'Then he's not fit for his place'. When Mark himself becomes a driver, and is about to set off on his first run, his father articulates a sober view of the 'place' and responsibilities of a locomotive driver:
I want to make you consider, and remember the responsibility you will incur. Some ninety or a hundred people will every day trust their lives to your care; and that, you must feel, is no charge to be undertaken lightly. There's hardly a position in life that you could name which has more responsibility and importance attached to it; and the greatest care and attention will be necessary on your part; for the least negligence, the disregard of a signal, or overweighting the safety-valve, or going at too great speed, or even overlooking some little defect in the machinery of your engine, might be the cause of an accident, and lives might be sacrificed, for which you would most surely be answerable.
Here is encapsulated the responsibility and loneliness of the locomotive driver; his position in those terms can perhaps best be compared to that of the captain of a ship (and in other ways, too: in Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart's Rick wonders: 'what about the engineer? Why can't he marry us on the train? Why not? The captain on a ship can . . .'). To the unprecedented working conditions and responsibilities of engine drivers the only close parallel was provided by seamen. Like a sailor, the engine driver was exposed to the elements, had a great measure of responsibility, was surrounded constantly by danger, and had to master a difficult and demanding craft. All these elements, reinforced by nautical imagery, are brought out in the comments of Sir Francis Head, in his account of the London & North Western Railway, Stokers and Pokers (1849):
Even in bright sunshine, to stand like the figure-head of a ship foremost on a train of enormous weight, which, with fearful momentum, is rushing forward faster than any racehorse can gallop, requires a cool head and a calm heart; but to proceed at this pace in dark or foggy weather into tunnels, along embankments, and through deep cuttings, where it is impossible to foresee any obstruction, is an amount of responsibility which scarcely any other situation in life can exceed.
Here too we find that the driver as hero is constantly constrained by his responsibilities as part of the railway machine; and it is his role as part of that vast and complex machinery that leads to his ultimate invisibility, as he becomes absorbed into the apparatus of efficient railway working. It is in this way that the paradox of the driver heroic, and the driver invisible, is reconciled; and the key to that process is the rule book.
It is that extraordinary writer Michael Reynolds who provides the clearest nineteenth-century formulation of this relationship. In Engine Driving Life: Stirring Adventures and Incidents in the Lives of Locomotive Engine-Drivers he depicts a railway landscape which is as beset with peril and adventure as any storm-tossed sea, and requires of locomotive crews that they 'exhibit heroism as genuine as that which graces a battle-field: men who die at the post of duty, in all the pride of manhood, turned by erring hands into the valley of the shadow of death.' The key, of course, is provided by those words 'turned by erring hands'; all the heroism and bravery of the best of engine-drivers is in vain, warns Reynolds, if that driver or someone upon whom he depends has not done his homework and is not following the rule-book: 'Discord and confusion underlay all railway working, but the rightly-prepared mind and eye can steer through the vague mass of points, and traps, and gullets, and signals, and tunnels.' Reynolds urges upon enginemen the finest human qualities, but these alone are not enough; 'that code of regulations which experience has taught us is absolutely essential for the safe working of railway traffic' must be followed, and while the most desirable solution would be 'to put the fallibility of man out of the reckoning, and to substitute automatic devices' in all possible aspects of railway operation, failing that the men on the footplate must be as close to machinery in their own behaviour as possible.
We have already seen that to the ordinary travelling public the engine driver was in many ways invisible. He was, as it were, subsumed into his machine, or into the larger machine of the railway itself. Isambard Kingdom Brunel's comment on the undesirability of having locomotive drivers able to read is well-known:
I would not give sixpence in hiring an engineman because of his knowing how to read and write . . . It is impossible that man that indulges in reading should make a good engine-driver; it requires a species of machine, an intelligent man, an honest man, a sober man, a steady man; but I would much rather not have a thinking man.
Halliday's engine driver in Mugby Junction remarks: 'The thoughts of an engine driver never go behind his engine. If he keeps his engine all right, the coaches behind will be all right, as far as the driver is concerned . . . It would never do, you see, for engine-drivers to know too much, or to feel too much.' This was a widespread perception, and while the notion that work dictated by machinery and demanding a high degree of precision, repetition and obedience to routine made its operatives effectively extensions of machines themselves was not created by the railway, the railway did bring a new and potent dimension to the interface of human activity and mechanism. The locomotive footplate was, perhaps more than any other industrial location, where the human and the mechanical interacted most directly and most dramatically. The railway machine was one of the foremost expressions of the tendency whereby the ever more technologically advanced civilisation of the nineteenth century found itself both more and more rigidly regulated and simultaneously more and more at risk from the sudden, uncontrolled power of the disorderly machine. The locomotive driver stood at the heart of this paradox.
This perception found its focus in the image of the railway locomotive as autonomous agent of destruction, in some sense independently willed. From the beginnings of the railway era, locomotives shared with ships a high degree of personification. Railway engines 'were given feminine gender from the earliest days, and their individual foibles were the stock-in trade of shedmen, foremen and drivers.' Moving, hissing, steaming, noisy, often temperamental, each possessing its individual quirks and peculiarities, steam locomotives seemed to possess many of the qualities of living creatures. 'We are as proud and as fond of our engines as if they were living things', says Halliday's engine driver, 'And a engine [sic] has almost as many ways as a horse; she's a kicker, a plunger, a roarer, or what-not, in her way. Put a stranger on to my engine, and he wouldn't know what to do with her.' In Samuel Butler's Erewhon (1872) the individuality and, by implication, the unpredictability and autonomy of locomotives is a key image in Butler's discussion of the evolutionary progress of machines, their association with uncontrollable disorder, and the danger that they will come to dominate mankind:
Since my return to England, I have been told that those who are conversant about machines use many terms concerning them which show that their vitality is here recognised, and that a collection of expressions in use among those who attend on steam engines would be no less startling than instructive. I am also informed, that almost all machines have their own tricks and idiosyncrasies; that they know their drivers and keepers, and that they will play pranks upon a stranger.
The degree to which the image of machinery out of control, of human powerlessness in the face of breakdown, catastrophe and unstoppable motion, can be seen as symptomatic and symbolic of the condition of modernity itself, has recently been considered by a number of scholars, notably Anson Rabinbach, in The Human Motor (1990) and Daniel Pick, in War Machine: the Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (1993). Consideration of Pick's argument brings us to the converse of the 'machine ensemble' of train, locomotive and driver, its negative reflection, its 'unstated other': the driverless train. Pick considers the significance of the image of the driverless train as an animated and willed machine' to conceptualizations of disorder and war in the modern age:
So often both war and mind are cast as machine-like but also as potentially free-wheeling locomotives irreducible to some Clausewitzean political equation. The image of the driverless train is important. For what is being addressed here is how mechanisation in general and mechanised war in particular transports history elsewhere: how causes and effects are powerfully complicated by the course of the conflict. In this scenario, rehearsed again and again between the 1870s and the 1930s, machines are perceived as potentially uncontrollable.
The model of society which gives rise to this powerful image of uncontrollable machinery is one in which a human abdication of responsibility is taking place in favour of the power of the machine. Perceptions of the railway, its influence upon those who worked upon it and the society it served, played a vital role in furthering this view. In the crisis of war, the mobilization of machine-dominated industrial society builds up a momentum which renders it no longer amenable to human control. But the essential point is that war concentrates and accelerates a process which is already occurring, and which is itself an essential concomitant of mechanized civilization. Modern war does not arise in a vacuum, nor is it the product of purely military and strategic determinants, free from the influence of cultural and social factors; it has to be seen in the context of mass-production, factory farming, new visions of a world in which 'technology, factory production and calculated death were coming together in many new ways.' The driverless train, the autonomous freewheeling locomotive, can be seen as a symbol of a society outwardly regulated but beset by sudden crises of the uncontrollable energies which underlie technological modernity. How often have political crises been depicted, verbally or visually, in terms of a train with an absent driver, or a driver dangerous or incapable? A political cartoon from the 1860s provides an example that could be multiplied many times over (Figure 5). The man on the footplate here is Benjamin Disraeli.
Figure 5: Political cartoon from the satirical magazine Tomahawk, showing Disraeli driving into danger, 1860s.
The final body of evidence I want to look at here is twentieth-century railway publicity material. The invisible driver and the heroic driver are both present in publicity images, but more common is the absent driver, and indeed the absent train. Much modern railway publicity ignores the technology of the railway completely, and thus the driver is also, inevitably, absent. This reflects the railways' concern with what their services enable you to do, rather than the mechanics of the system itself; yet more interesting and suggestive in many ways are those examples of railway publicity which can be interpreted as relating to the concept of the invisible driver, and which in a sense are making the same point as the train-free images but in a rather different way. The Southern Railway's 'So Swiftly Home' poster of 1932 (Figure 6) is concerned to show us a modern railway system in which train and driver are part of the same unified mechanism of electric power, steel rails and colour light signals the invisible driver, subsumed into a railway machine whose reliability, comfort and safety is held up for our admiration and reassurance.
Figure 6: 'So Swiftly Home by Southern Electric': Southern Railway poster, 1932.
The Southern's famous Summer Comes Soonest in the South' (Figure 7) poster brings us the contrasting, highly visible, heroic driver again: kindly, dependable, elevated above the platform and surrounded by the responsibilities and duties of his position, but susceptible to the innocence of childhood and accessible in his remoteness, if approached in the right way. The London and North Eastern Railway took the pattern of this poster and made of it a modernist fantasy (Figure 8), with their driver a tiny figure, dwarfed by the technology he serves, bawling through a megaphone (any real communication clearly impossible) at a child who stands miles below him, lost in the threatening shadow of his looming engine. In this poster, the blend of humanity and heroism in the SR original so replaced by a kind of futurist technological nightmare, embodying a far colder, dystopian heroism; it is little wonder the LNER version was less popular.
Figure 7 (left): 'Summer Comes Soonest in the South': Southern Railway poster (1936 version).
Figure 8 (right): 'Take me by the Flying Scotsman': London & North Eastern Railway poster, 1932.
More typical of the way in which the locomotive driver was featured in railway publicity, where he featured at all, was the driver heroic, as in the Your Friends on the LMS' poster of 1946, produced by the London Midland and Scottish Railway (Figure 9). This image also gives expression to the position of the driver as the central element in the interconnected and interdependent system of duty, responsibility and service underlying the railway.
Figure 9: 'Your Friends on the LMS': London Midland & Scottish Railway poster, 1946. Note the central position of the driver.
Through the changing image of the locomotive driver since the last century run consistent themes: particularly, I have suggested, the relationships and tensions between humanity and mechanism, and between regulation and control and individual skill and endeavour. These have been issues for many groups of workers in technologically-dominated and highly regulated industrial environments, and have a direct bearing on many aspects of the definition, upholding, and challenging, of occupational identity. The tropes of the invisible driver and the heroic driver which I identify in this paper serve to indicate the extent to which the perceptions of such occupational groups reflected in wider cultural phenomena can illuminate the complex and many-faceted processes that contribute to the forming and negotiating of concepts of occupational identity.
Note: this paper was first given at the Occupational Identity and Railway Work' conference held on 15-16 September 1999 at the National Railway Museum, York.
|IRS&TH home | University of York | National Railway Museum|
|IRS&TH / 11 Feb 03|
© Ralph Harrington 1999. Except for bona fide
individual or academic purposes, this paper may not be reprinted in whole or in
part, or stored, or transmitted by any means, including electronic, without the
prior written consent of the author. All commercial use, reproduction or
transmission of this paper is strictly prohibited.
Last modified 21 September 1999
IRS home page | IRS research page | Working papers index page
 H. A. Simmons, Ernest Struggles (1879), p. 61; quoted in J. Simmons (ed.), Railways: An Anthology (London: Collins, 1991), p. 174.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 90.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 90.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. III, p. 59.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. III, p. 75.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 91.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 94.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 96.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 97.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. IV, p. 97.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. VI, p. 128.
 E. Nesbit, The Railway Children (London: Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906), ch. III, pp. 50, 51.
 Aubrey Noakes, William Frith: Extraordinary Victorian Painter (London: Jupiter, 1978), p. 75.
 Andrew Halliday, 'No. 2 Branch Line. The Engine-Driver', from Mugby Junction (1866); in Charles Dickens, The Nine Christmas Numbers of All The Year Round (London: Chapman & Hall, 1870), pp. 25-6.
 Anon. [Mary Charlotte Leith], Mark Dennis: or, The Engine Driver. A Tale of the Railway (London: Rivingtons, 1859), p. 23.
 Anon. [Mary Charlotte Leith], Mark Dennis: or, The Engine Driver. A Tale of the Railway (London: Rivingtons, 1859), pp. 25-6.
 Anon. [Mary Charlotte Leith], Mark Dennis: or, The Engine Driver. A Tale of the Railway (London: Rivingtons, 1859), p. 27.
 Anon. [Mary Charlotte Leith], Mark Dennis: or, The Engine Driver. A Tale of the Railway (London: Rivingtons, 1859), p. 50.
 Casablanca, dir. Michael Curtiz (MGM, 1943).
 Sir Francis Head, Stokers and Pokers, or, the London and North Western Railway, the Electric Telegraph and the Railway Clearing House (2nd edn., 1849), quoted in J. Simmons (ed.), Railways: An Anthology (London: Collins, 1991), p. 174.
 Michael Reynolds, Engine Driving Life: Stirring Adventures and Incidents in the Lives of Locomotive Engine-Drivers (London: Crosby Lockwood & Son, 1889), pp. vii-viii.
 Michael Reynolds, Engine Driving Life: Stirring Adventures and Incidents in the Lives of Locomotive Engine-Drivers (London: Crosby Lockwood & Son, 1889), p. 57.
 Michael Reynolds, Engine Driving Life: Stirring Adventures and Incidents in the Lives of Locomotive Engine-Drivers (London: Crosby Lockwood & Son, 1889), pp. 177-8.
 Parliamentary Papers, 1841, vol. viii, pp. 67-8.
 Andrew Halliday, 'No. 2 Branch Line. The Engine-Driver', from Mugby Junction (1866); in Charles Dickens, The Nine Christmas Numbers of All The Year Round (London: Chapman & Hall, 1870), p. 28.
 Frank McKenna, The Railway Workers 1840-1970 (London: Faber, 1980), p. 90.
 Andrew Halliday, 'No. 2 Branch Line. The Engine-Driver', from Mugby Junction (1866); in Charles Dickens, The Nine Christmas Numbers of All The Year Round (London: Chapman & Hall, 1870), p. 27.
 Samuel Butler, Erewhon (1872; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970, repr. 1985), p. 220, note.
 Anson Rabinbach, The Human Motor (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1990).
 Daniel Pick, War Machine: the Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993).
 Daniel Pick, War Machine: the Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 108.
 Daniel Pick, War Machine: the Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 178.
 For more on the relationship between these two posters, see Beverley Cole & Richard Durack, Railway Posters 1923-1947 (London: Laurence King, 1992), pp. 77, 145.