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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 6 (October 1, 1927)

The Red Tie Passes

The Red Tie Passes.

When grouping came to Britain, there were introduced many striking changes in railway uniforms. Now there has come the final break from the sartorial traditions of a century. In future no more red ties are to be issued to Home railway workers. On the Southern line, the last system to retain the time-honoured red cravat, a neat blue tie is being issued in its place, to the general satisfaction of the employees.

It was the former London and South Western line that introduced the red tie in the British railway world. Many years ago a director of the Company, observing in the course of an inspection trip that there was some difficulty in stopping a train in an emergency, conceived the idea that all employees engaged in traffic movement should wear a red tie, which could promptly be used as a danger signal. Originally, the ties were neckerchiefs about a yard square, but by degrees smaller ties were introduced. In practice the red tie did not prove an efficient danger signal, and its withdrawl in this age of scientific operating methods has occasioned small surprise and few regrets.