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6 October 2020
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4 March 2016

SRS Logo    The Signalling Record Society

Great Western Railway
Other and Special Instructions Digital Archive

The railways have frequently issued notices of instruction that have operational significance but which don't fall readily into the main categories of the archive. These include notices of electrification, loading of trains, safety, local and more general instructions. Many of these items would today be included in Section 'D' of the weekly notices.

Most documents in the digital archive are in PDF format. However, some larger files may be in JPG, PDF, PNG or TIF format. The files are supplied strictly “As Is”. The entries in each list will make it clear what is available to download and what is only available by other means.

Please do not pass copies of the files around, instead ask interested persons to contact the Society to obtain their own copy. In terms of copyright, British Railways (Residuary) Ltd confirmed to the Society that it was 'not interested' in historical documents that had outlived their operational usefulness and this line seems to have been followed by Railtrack and now Network Rail, as may be evidenced by the quantity of modern material that has entered the public domain through eBay and other auction houses and second hand bookstalls. Similar advice has been received from London Underground in respect of material obtained lawfully from their staff or is already in the public domain.

If there is a download link in the left hand column, the notice concerned may be downloaded free of charge but bear in mind that the file may not contain all the items listed. Otherwise, if there is a “Members' Download” entry present in the item description, then Members (only) may download a copy of the file. If both links are present then Members will sometimes find additional information or a cleaner copy is available by using the “Members' Download” link.

Members will find the information needed to Log-in in the Announcements section of the Society's Forum. Be aware that the passwords will change from time to time and without warning. Non-members will need to JOIN the SRS first and then register for the Forum.

Notices flagged with an asterisk (*) are not included in the free download file.

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Recent Additions

Recent additions to the digital archive will be found listed here.


The following items are currently available ...


Superintendent of the Line's Circulars

Number Issue Date Description
  undated Advertised Departure Time of Passenger Trains.
Members' Download
416 June 1901 Assisting Through Passenger Trains Through Box Tunnel and Up the Wootton Bassett Bank.
Members' Download
1330 21 June 1901 Block Telegraph Regulations "Is Line Clear" Bell Codes.
Members' Download
1346 November 1901 Coupling of Goods and Mineral Trains.
Members' Download
1349 November 1901 Steam Heated Trains.
Members' Download
1354 January 1902 Backing Signals.
Members' Download
1358 February 1902 Instructions for Working Running Goods Loop Lines.
Members' Download
  April 1902 Standard Block Regulations for Double Lines.
Standard Lock and Block Regulations for Double Lines.
Standard Regulations for Single Lines.
Signalling Trains during Fogs and Falling Snow.
Coupling of Goods and Mineral Trains.
Starting of Goods Trains worked by two Engines, one in front and one in rear of the Train.
New Method of Communication between Passengers, Guards and Enginemen.
Members' Download
1374 7 May 1902 Cord Communication on Trains from 12 May 1902.
Members' Download
1411 November 1902 Slip Coach Regulations.
Members' Download
1413 January 1903 Engine Head Signals.
Members' Download
  9 March 1903 Standard Block Regulations for Double Lines.
General Regulations for Working the Vacuum Brake.
Members' Download
1426 March 1903 Instructions to Carriage Cleaners.
Members' Download
1494 22 April 1904 Ballast Trains Composed of Vacuum Stock.
Members' Download
1499 13 May 1904 Position of Vacuum-Braked Stock on Goods Trains.
Members' Download
1510 July 1904 White Lights in Ground Discs, Backing Signals and Siding Signals in place of Red Lights.
Members' Download
1528 October 1904 Handbrake Power on Passenger Trains, Number of Guards to be Provided.
Members' Download
1701 June 1907 Instructions in regard to the despatch of telegraphic and telephonic advices of the running of trains. These instructions involved many signalmen as well as the telegraph offices.
Members' Download
880 23 February 1917 London and North Western Railway Open Goods Wagons.
Members' Download

General Manager's Circulars

Number Issue Date Description
3048 September 1927 Alterations to Standard Rule Book (Yellow Arms & Lights for Distant Signals;
Alterations to the Instructions for Signalling Trains During Fogs and Falling Snow.
Members' Download
3251 December 1932 GWR Rule Book 1933.
Members' Download
3714 1 November 1947 Protection of Workshop Vans, Carriage Cleaners, Gasmen etc.
Members' Download

Chief Goods Manager's Circulars

These circulars contain a mix of commercial and goods traffic detail, missing wagons and goods, claims, cartage arrangements, private siding information, domestic traffic &c.

Number Issue Date Description
R 1534/163 11 March 1925 General Instructions
Members' Download
R 1534/189 26 February 1926 General Instructions
Members' Download
R 1534/197 24 June 1926 General Instructions
Members' Download
R 1534/207 4 November 1926 General Instructions
Members' Download
R 1534/330 1 June 1931 General Instructions
Members' Download
R 1534/335 10 August 1931 General Instructions
Members' Download
R 1534/337 7 September 1931 General Instructions
Members' Download