Published by the British Railways Press Office, established to represent the GWR, LMS, LNER, SR, and London Transport, this is a well illustrated account of the part railways played in Britain during the Second World War. The railways of Britain alienated most of their customers during the war, because the resources of the network were stretched to the limit in transporting fuel, food, raw materials, armaments, ammunition and troops. Maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock was postponed, because the railway workshops were building everything for the was effort from tanks to aircraft, nuts and bolts to howitzers.. Trains were often canceled at short notice, or ran late and heavily overcrowded. Timetables were disrupted by enemy air raids destroying track, bridges and large sections of some stations
Because of censorship, the railways were usually unable to give anything other than vague explanations canceled, disrupted or overcrowded journeys, and to discourage non-essential travel had to run advertising campaigns like “Is your journey really necessary?”
Once D-Day was over and the pressure slightly lessened, an easing of censorship allowed the railways to fight back through the medium of a joint Press Office established initially at Waterloo.
This booklet was followed by a sequel “Now it Can be Told”published under very different circumstances, in 1945.
For a gripping description of what life was like for railway managers and operators at the height of WWII see:
FOR THE EFFECTS ON INDIVIDUAL RAILWAYS SEE: