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Signalling Record Society - 50 Years

Reference Books

Books listed on this page form a useful library of reference information for researchers into railway signalling and related matters. No guarantee is offered that they will meet the needs of any specific research project and the Society does not necessarily endorse any views expressed. The list is not an exhaustive list of titles that may be of use.

Inclusion in this list is no guarantee that they can still be obtained new from booksellers; indeed the majority are out of print and will only be found in the lists of second hand book sellers or on auction sites.

Whilst the authors are credited and some are past or present members of the Society, examination of the lists of acknowledgements will reveal the names of many other Society members past and present and a goodly number of respected railway historians.

Researchers should also look at the various publications of the Signalling Record Society listed for sale elsewhere on this web site. And members may obtain back copies of The Signalling Record and the Newsletter which preceded it and contain much useful information.

Reference books frequently contain a glossary of railway terms and expressions used in the book and many of these are no exception.

Copyright. Books listed are subject to Copyright and content may not be reproduced other than in compliance with the relevant leislation.

If there is a “Members' Download” entry present in the item description, then Members (only) may download a copy of the book. Members will find the information needed to Log-in in Society's Forum. Non-members will need to JOIN the SRS first.

If you have been downloading files on a shared computer and have now finished doing so, please Log-out now.

The lists are arranged in sections.


Signalling

Books detailing signalling history past and present.
 

The Signal Box

Authors: The Signalling Study Group.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1986. Reprinted by Ian Allan 1998.

Peter Kay pulled together the collective efforts of the Group to produce a definitive work setting out the evolution of the signal box and its contents and should be read by everyone researching signalling. Many illustrations are included. The development of interlocking and the signal box is covered, as is the work of the contractors and their relationship to the companies, and signal box design plus an outline account of every railway company's signalling department.

The book contains the only comprehensive listing of the signal box “Type” coding used in so many subsequent publications including the Society's published Signal Box Registers.


A Guide to Mechanical Locking Frames

Author: Peter Kay.

Publisher: Peter Kay.

 


History and Development of Railway Signalling in the British Isles

Publisher: Friends of the National Railway Museum

Volume 1: Broad Survey (2000)

Author: Stanley Hall

This introductory volume traces the key developments in signalling from the earliest days, when it was realised that the original concept of simply running to a timetable wasn't sufficient, right up to the end of the 20th century. A good glossary of signalling related railway terms is included and the book is a good starting point for more detailed research.

Stanley Hall is an Honorary Fellow, Institution of Railway Signal Engineers. He spent his entire working life on the railway and his last post prior to retirement was Signalling & Safety Officer at BRH Headquarters.

Volume 2: The Telegraph and the Absolute Block & Single Line Operation (2002)

Author: David Stirling

Two volumes for the price of one! The first part is an 'in depth' study of the telegraph systems used by the railways and how these came to be used for operating the 'Block' system of signalling. The development of the block instruments themselves and Block Working is traced in considerable detail. This is followed by a second part dealing with the operation and control of single lines of railway, explaining the different methodologies used up to and including Radio Electronic Token Block.

David was a university mathmetician by profession. He has been a 'volunteer signalman' on the Ffestiniog Railway and is the Society's corresponding member for matters concerning block instruments.


Government and Railways in Nineteenth Century Britain

Author: H Parris

Publisher: RHP 1965

Essential background on railway working and signalling from the 1840s to the 1870s.


50 Years of Railway Signalling

Author: O S Nock.

Publisher: IRSE 1962. Reprinted by Peter Kay.

Background on the changing thoughts about signalling practices from the 1900s to the 1950s.


100 Years of Railway Signalling and Communications

Author: Project Group under the direction of Ken Burrage.

Editor: Andrew Emmerson.

Publisher: IRSE 2012.

Written to mark the Centenary of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers this book sets out the history of IRSE and then turns its attention to the development of technology and the influence of events such as accidents. Finally it looks at competence and training issues and attempts to look into the future. A comprehensive list of abbreviations and acronyms is included.


British Railway Signalling

Author: O S Nock.

Publisher: Unwin 1969.

A useful account of the development of power signalling from the 1920s to the 1960s.


British Railway Signalling

Authors: Geoffrey Kitchenside & Alan Williams.

Publisher: Ian Allan. At least four editions are known to exist.


Two Centuries of Railway Signalling

Authors: Geoffrey Kichenside & Alan Williams.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1998. Reprinted 1999. Second Edition published by Ian Allan 2008, reprinted 2010.

A sound starting point for the less technically minded. Starting with stop boards on the Stockton and Darlington and the Railway Policeman on the Liverpool and Manchester it traces the evolution of signalling right through to the late 20th century. Primarily British practice it does have some information about what lays beyond the Channel Tunnel.


Signalling in the Age of Steam

Author: M Vanns.

Publisher: Ian Allan 1995.

Regarded as the successor to Kitchenside and Williams' "British Railway Signalling" above.


Modern Signalling Handbook

Author: S Hall.

Publisher: Ian Allan 1996.

Companion to “Signalling in the Age of Steam”.


A Pictorial Survey of Railway Signalling

Authors: David Allen and Chris Wolstenholmes.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1991.

The book provides an overview and some detail of the entire British Railways network. It includes chapters on the principles of semaphore and colour light signalling, the types of signal boxes used by the railway companies, signalling methods and safety issues.

The photographs are accompanied by both a detailed general caption and another describing the signalling equipment and operation.

Both authors were teachers by profession and members of this Society. Chris qualified as an army signalman at Longmoor.


British Railway Signalling in Colour

Author: Robert Hendry.

Publisher: Midland Publishing 2001.

Aimed at both the modeller and the historian, a useful book setting out a brief history of signalling plus some excellent pictures of signals and signal boxes comparing different practices by some of the railway companies. Unlike some other books this one ventures across the Irish Sea as well.


British Railway Signalling Development

Author: Robert Hendry.

Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing 2009.

Aimed at both the modeller and the historian, a follow on volume to the one above. Ireland is included again.


An Illustrated Guide To Great Northern Signalling

Author: Michael A Vanns.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 2000.

A well illustrated guide to the organisation and signalling arrangements of the Great Northern Railway. There are chapters on early systems, signals, lever frames, block instruments, signal boxes and so on. All main types of signal box are illustrated.


A Pictorial Record of Great Western Signalling

Author Adrian Vaughan.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1973 and revised edition in 1984.

A detailed review with considerable detail of the signalling employed by the Great Western Railway from the very earliest of days right up to nationalisation and a bit beyond. There are many diagrams, drawings and photographs to illustrate and amplify the text.

Adrian was a signalman on British Railways, Western Region, a Society member and is the author of many railway books.


Western Region Signalling In Colour

Author: Kevin Robertson.

Publisher: Ian Allan 2008.

A selection of interior and exterior pictures mainly concentrating on the Berks and Hants route and extending down to Taunton with forays to Basingstoke and elsewhere. Particularly useful are pictures taken inside the S&T stores at Reading showing views of equipment.


A Pictorial Survey of London Midland Signalling

Authors: David Allen and Chris Wolstenholmes.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1996.

A companion volume to the authors' A Pictorial Survey of Railway Signalling. This work concentrates on the signalling and control systems employed in the area of British Railways London Midland Region. The origins of the Region's infrastructure and architecture are traced along with the equipment and buildings which survived from the LMS and its predecessors including the London North Western, Cheshire Lines Committee, Midland, Furness and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railways.

The majority of photographs are accompanied by both a detailed general caption and another describing the signalling equipment operation.

Both authors were teachers by profession and members of this Society. Chris qualified as an army signalman at Longmoor.


A Pictorial Record of L M S Signals

Author: L G Warburton.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1972. Reprinted by Noodle Books in 2010.

The book starts with the formation of the LMSR Signal & Telegraph department under A F Bound in 1929. It continues with a survey of the standard LMSR types of signal boxes, signals and ancilliary equipment. Most items are pictured and accompanied by detail drawings.

The book was followed by a long running series in the LMS Journal published by Wild Swan.


A Pictorial Record of LNER Constituent Signalling

Author: A A Maclean.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1983.

As the title suggests the drawings and pictures predominate. The collection of drawings is particularly good and avoids the need for excessive explanation. Period covered is from the earliest days through to grouping and a bit beyond. The book is split into sections, each dealing with a different aspect of signal types and lockings.


Pictorial Record of London North Western Signalling

Author: Richard D Foster B.Sc C.Eng M.I.C.E.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1982.

A well illustrated guide to the organisation and signalling arrangements of the London & North Western Railway. There are chapters on early systems, signals, lever frames, block instruments, signal boxes, the Crewe All-Electric system and so on. The main types of signal box are illustrated.

Richard is an engineer by trade and a long standing member of the Society.


Signal Boxes on Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Lines
North East Lancashire.

Author: Chris Littleworth.

Publisher: Signalling Record Society 2002

Descriptions of signal boxes together with signal box diagrams in the north eastern parts of Lancashire. The survey is comprehensive and what isn't included is probably lost (forever?) in the mists of time! An alphabetical list of the Locations included in this and the companion volumes below has been compiled by this Society.

The author has gone further, however, and added sections and appendices on lever frame types, electrical and ancillary equipment used, and traffic patterns.


Signal Boxes on Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Lines
North & West of Manchester, Parts 1 and 2.

Author: Chris Littleworth.

Publisher: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society 2013-2014

Descriptions of signal boxes together with signal box diagrams in the area bounded by Wigan, Manchester, Castleton, Wardleworth, and Euxton. The survey is comprehensive and what isn't included is probably lost (forever?) in the mists of time! Even the East Lancashire Railway heritage line is covered. An alphabetical list of the Locations included in this and the companion volume above has been compiled by this Society.

The author has gone further, however, and added sections and appendices on architecture, lever frames, equipment used, staffing and wages, signalling of trains, how the boxes were worked and how the trains were kept moving. For full value you need both volumes.


Last Levers on The Fylde

Authors: Chris Littleworth with Noel Coates, Ron Herbert & Mike Norris.

Publisher: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society 2017

Sub-titled “A commemoration and celebration of operation in the age of mechanical signalling”, the book is a comprehensive survey of signalling of the area of Lancashire known as The Fylde which lies north and west of Preston through to Blackpool and Fleetwood.

To aid understanding of the development and eventual decline of the railways in this area there are articles dealing with the historical background, excursion traffic and traffic patterns generally.

Appendices set out gradient profiles, signal box opening hours, distances, boxes as they were in 1914 and staffing.


Signal Boxes of the London & South Western Railway

Author: George Pryer.

Publisher: Oakwood Press 2000 (series X68).

The book is subtitled “A Study in Architectural Style” which more than adequately describes the nature of the content and makes it a good companion to The Signal Box above in respect of the LSWR. It is also a very useful companion to the LSWR area volumes of George's Signal Box Diagrams series. Much of the historical and background information is in the captions to the pictures.

George spent most of his career as a signalman in the Southampton District of the Southern and was one of the three founding members of the Society.


London Tilbury & Southend Railway Signalling

Author: Peter Kay.

Publisher: Peter Kay, 2011.

Lavishly illustrated survey of the signalling of this line from the earliest beginnings in 1854 through to 1996. It includes a Register of Signal Boxes and lists of level crossing and accidents.

Peter has published a number of books, a Society member, and is the author of the Society's Signal Box Atlas.


A Contemporary Perspective ... Semaphore Swansong

Author: Allen Jackson.

Publisher: Crowood Press, 2015.

Useful series of guides to the remaining semaphore signalling and mechanical frame signal boxes including some recently closed with brief details and background of each box included and one or more pictures per box taken between about 2004 and 2014.

Great Western.
LMS Volume 1.


The Railway Clearing House in the British Economy 1842-1922

Author: Philip S Bagwell.

Publisher: George Allen & Unwin 1968.

The Railway Clearing House was primarily a body established to sort out monetary settlements between the railway companies for the through carriage of goods and passengers. When the companies reluctantly let it, it did contribute to the standardisation of rules and signalling.


Signalling Text Books

Books of a technical nature.
 


Railway Block Signalling

Author: J Pigg AIEE.

Publisher: Biggs 1898.

Parts of this work had been published in The Electrical Engineer in the latter half of 1896. Included are the Block Regulations of 1896.
Members' Download


Mechanical Railway Signalling

Author: H Raynar Wilson.

Publisher: The Publishers of “The Railway Engineer” 1900. Reprinted by Peter Kay.

A massive work describing all aspects of mechanical signalling as then practised.


American Telegraphy

Author: W Maver Jr.

Publisher: Maver 1903.

subtitled Encyclopedia of the Telegraph.
Members' Download


Power Railway Signalling

Author: H Raynar Wilson.

Publisher: The Publishers of “The Railway Engineer” c1908. Reprinted by Peter Kay.

Number 5 in “The Railway Series of text books and manuals by railway men for railway men and others”. An equally comprehensive account of the then power signalling systems. Most of us today would regard the content as being part of mechanical signalling systems as it describes the power operation of semaphore signalling together with detail description of double line and single line block instruments. Although the book is undated it does refer to resignalling (then) currently under way at Birmingham Snow Hill.
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Railway Signaling

Author: various.

Publisher: Electrical Journal 1908.

Collation of a series of articles published by The Electrical Journal during 1907.
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Railway Signaling in Theory and Practice

Author: J B Latimer.

Publisher: MacKenzie-Klink 1909.

Covers all aspects of signalling at the time of publication.
Members' Download


First Principles of Railway Signalling

Author: C B Byles.

Publisher: The Railway Gazette 1910.

This is a good primer in signalling and signalling legislation as it stood in 1910 when it was published. As such it is a good start for understanding the whys and wherefores of UK practice early part of the 20th century.

The author was well qualified to write this work as he was Signal Engineer, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and a Special Lecturer in Railway Economics in the University of Manchester.
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Railway Signal Dictionary

Authors: A D Cloud & H H Simmons.

Publisher: Railway Age Gazette 1911.

First published in 1908, this is the second, revised, edition. Although oriented to American practice, there is much reference to British practice as well.
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Railway Signal Engineering (Mechanical)

Authors: Leonard P Lewis.

Publisher: The Glasgow Text Books 1912.

Glasgow Text Books series, well illustrated. The author was an employee of the Caledonian Railway.
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Railway Signal Engineering (Mechanical)

Author: L P Lewis.

Publisher: Constable. Second edition 1920. Reprinted by Peter Kay.

A readable but full guide to all aspects of mechanical signalling as then practised.


Electrical Interlocking Handbook

Authors: GERS staff.

Publisher: General Railway Signal Company 1913

Oriented to the publisher's own products (as one might expect) and American practice.
Members' Download


Railway Signalling

Author: E E King.

Publisher: McGraw Hill 1921.

Covers all aspects of signalling at the time of publication.
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Railway Signalling: Automatic

Author: Francis Raynar Wilson.

Publisher: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons 1922.

Pitman's Technical Primer Series. An introductory treatment of the purposes, equipment and methods of automatic signalling and track circuits for steam and electric railways.

Francis Raynar Wilson is H Raynar Wilson's son and was Assistant Engineer, Victorian Government Railways.
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The Invention of The Track Circuit

Author: not stated.

Publisher: American Railway Association 1922.

The history of Dr William Robinson's invention.
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Modern Railway Signalling

Authors: M G Tweedie AMIEE, MIRSE & T S Lascelles MIRSE.

Publisher: Blackie 1925.

A full, readable, guide to the equipment and practices of the time, but especially power signalling and electrical equipment.
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The Railway Signal and Permanent Way Engineer's Pocket Book

Author: unknown.

Publisher: Locomotive Publishing Co undated.

A simplified book by comparison with the H Raynar Wilson ones, but better as a primer. It is particularly useful for interpreting plans that are found in various archives held by the NRM, TNA and this Society.
Members' Download


Railway Signalling and Communications, Installation and Maintenance

Author: A E Tattersall.

Publisher: The St Margarets Technical Press 1946.

Written as a handbook for practising S&T engineers and technicians and describes London & North Eastern Railway practice.


Railway Signalling

Authors: Committee of IRSE members led by O S Nock.

Publisher: A & C Black 1980 on behalf of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers.

The book is sub-titled “A treatise on the recent practice of British Railways” and is a text book describing the (then) signalling practices of British Railways. An essential read for anyone who is keen to learn how signalling works from a technical perspective and how to design signalling to meet the needs of the railway system. The technology has moved on since, but the principles described are just as valid today.


Railway Control Systems

Authors: Project Group, general editor M Leach.

Publisher: A & C Black 1991 on behalf of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers.

Sequel and companion to “Railway Signalling” from the same publishers, this text book brings that volume up to date (1990) and reflects developments and (then) current practice on British Railways. The technical aspects of solid state interlocking and single line signalling are explained as are other aspects of signalling control.

K W Burrage CENG FIEE FIRSE FCIT who chaired the group was Director of Signal and Telecommunication Engineering, British Railways Board and the Group comprised many prominent S&T Engineers from both BR and industry.


Green Booklets

Authors: various.

Publisher: Institution of Railway Signal Engineers. Various editions.

Series of technical booklets for practising S&T engineers and technicians.


Signalling Treatise and Lectures

Learned Papers and papers produced as notes of Lectures Given.

Power Interlocking & the Low Pressure System of Signalling

Author: John P O'Donnell MICE, MIME.

Publisher: London & South Western Railway Main Line and Metropolitan Districts Debating Society 1901.

Lecture given to that society at Guildford on Monday 13 May 1901 by John O'Donnell.
Members' Download


Railway Inspection

Author: (not stated).

Publisher: The Railway Gazette 1946.

Pocket sized history of Railway Inspction and Railway Inspectorate.


Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE)

Educational Lecture Series (“The Green Books”)

1. Principles of the Layout of Signals

Author: W H Challis.

Publisher: IRSE 1960.

Chapters on Mechanical Signalling, Colour Light Signalling, Signalling as an Aid to Increased Line Capacity.


2. Principles of Interlocking

Author: W H Such.

Publisher: IRSE 1949, 1963.


3. Mechanical and Electrical Interlocking

Author: W H Such.

Publisher: IRSE 1949, 1963.


4. Single Line Control

Author: P C Doswell.

Publisher: IRSE 1950, 1957.


5. Principles of Power Point Control and Detection

Author: H W Hadaway.

Publisher: IRSE 1950.


6. Signalling Relays

Author: J F H Tyler B.Sc.(Eng).

Publisher: IRSE 1951, 1958.


7. Signal Control Circuits

Author: J P Loosemore.

Publisher: IRSE 1951, 1958.


8. Typical Selection Circuits

Author: J P Loosemore.

Publisher: IRSE 1951, 1968.


9. Track Circuits

Author: W H Challis.

Publisher: IRSE 1951.


10. Mechanical Signalling Equipment

Author: Donald L Champion.

Publisher: IRSE 1952, 1957.


11. Railway Signalling Power Supplies

Author: D L Mitchell.

Publisher: IRSE 1952, 1958.


12. Block Instruments

Author: J H Currey.

Publisher: IRSE 1952, 1958.


13. Train Describers

Author: J E Mott.

Publisher: IRSE 1952, 1958.


15. Circuits for Colour Light Signalling

Author: J Hawkes.

Publisher: IRSE 1969.


16. Holding the Route

Author: W H Challis.

Publisher: IRSE 1964.


17. Track and Lineside Signalling Circuits in AC Electrified Areas

Author: J E Candler, G I Foster, W M Sweetenham.

Publisher: IRSE 1962.


18. Principles of Relay Inrterlocking and Control Panels

Author: N Marshall.

Publisher: IRSE 1961.


20. Route Control Systems (W. B. & S. Co.)

Author: J E Hawkes.

Publisher: IRSE 1961.


22. Route Control Systems: The S.G.E 1958 Route Relay Interlocking System

Author: J V Goldsbrough.

Publisher: IRSE 1961.


Level Crossings

Level Crossings

Authors: Stanley Hall & Peter Van Der Mark.

Publisher: Ian Allan 2008.

A useful history and review of legislation over the years in respect of railway level crossings. A useful starting point for anyone wishing to know more about this subject.


Railway Companies

Register of British Railway and Tramroad Companies

Author: Anthony R Warren.

Publisher: Railway & Canal Historical Society 2006.

Alphabetical list of all companies incorporated before 1948 showing dates of incorporation, name changes and subsequent ownership prior to 1 January 1948, all in tabular form. The register has been compiled from original sources such as Acts of Parliament and thus serves as a cross check against repetative sources elsewhere.

Copious background information is given including lists of companies that came under Government control 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 and those included in the various Railway Acts of 1921, 1924, 1925, 1933 and 1947.

Also included are notes on how various other Acts of Parliament affected the formation of Railway Companies and the tale of how the West Cornwall Railway survived until 1947.


Encyclopedia of British Railway Companies

Author: Christopher Awdry.

Publisher: Guild Publishing 1990 (by arrangement with Patrick Stephens Ltd).

The railway companies are grouped into five sections; one each for the 'big four' of 1923 and a fifth one for everything else. Family tree charts are included as a set of appendices. 'Readable' format with a few illustrations.

In case you were wondering, Christopher Awdry's father wrote much about the railways of Sodor.


The Great Western Railway

Author: P R Gale.

Publisher: Great Western Railway 1926, reprinted Avon-Anglia 1986.

Lists all the constituent companies of the Great Western Railway setting out where they operated, the acts of authorisation and dates of openings. The original was accompanied by a coloured map which Avon-Anglia chose not to reprint.

P R Gale worked in the Chief Goods Manager's office of the GWR.


Lines and Branches

These books detail histories and surveys of specific lines.
 

An Historical Survey of the Chester to Holyhead Railway

Authors: V R Anderson and G K Fox.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1984.

Following the same pattern as the 'Selected Stations' series this volume covers the entire line from Chester to Holyhead plus the Llandudno Branch.

An index to the locations included is available here.


An Historical Survey of the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway

Author: C W Judge.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1984.

Following the same pattern as the 'Selected Stations' series this volume covers the entire line from Didcot to Shawford Junction. Included are some selected timetables and a route description.

An index to the locations included is available here.


An Historical Survey of the Forest of Dean Railways

Author: Peter Smith.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1983.

Following the same pattern as the 'Selected Stations' series this volume covers the lines of the Great Western, Severn & Wye, and Forest of Dean Central Railways from Lydney Junction to Cinderford, Lydney Junction to Severn Bridge, the Mineral Loop line, Coleford and Lydbrook Branches, Awre to Howbeach Sdings, and Bullo to Bilson Junction.

An index to the locations included is available here.


An Historical Survey of the Midland in Gloucestershire

Author: Peter Smith.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1985.

Following the same pattern as the 'Selected Stations' series this volume covers the line from Barnwood Junction at Gloucester to Mangotsfield Station. Included are sections on the branches to Nailsworth, Dursley, and Thornbury.

An index to the locations included is available here.


Stations & Structures of the Settle & Carlisle Railway

Authors: V R Anderson and G K Fox.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1986.

This book covers the Settle & Carlisle line from Settle Junction to Petteril Bridge Junction. Details of each station and signal box are shown. The Book is from the same series and follows the same style as the Historical Surveys of Selected Great Western Stations.

An index to the locations included is available here.


An Historical Survey of the Somerset & Dorset Railway

Authors: C W Judge and C R Potts.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1979 and reprint in 1985.

Following the same pattern as the 'Selected Stations' series this volume covers the entire line from Bath Green Park to Wimborne. The lines to Burnham, Bridgwater and Wells are included.

An index to the locations included is available here.


Stations and other Locations

These books detail with specific places.
 

Handbook of Stations

Publisher: Railway Clearing House, later British Railways.

The official list of stations and sidings produced by the industry for the industry. Details of station accommodation, sidings, and crane power are given as at the date of publication. The railway companies existing at the time are listed and the entries are useful for determining the county and which pre-grouping line in which each location belonged.

Published in (at least) 1890 (7th edition ), 1895 (8th edition), 1900, 1904, 1925, (1929), 1938, and 1956. Annual supplements were issued and these were aggregated into Appendices from time to time, those for 1891, 1892, 1936, 1941, 1944, 1949 and 1962 being known. Supplements continued to appear until November 1964. The Clearing House was absorbed by British Railways in 1955.


Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain

Author: Michael Quick

Publisher: Railway & Canal Historical Society 2009.

As complete a listing as you are likely to get of the passenger stations in England, Scotland and Wales together with all their known opening and closing dates, changes of name and other pertinent points. The book includes notes on the development of passenger train services and a long list of line notes in chronological order. Finally there are some route diagrams and sketches to clarify some of the more complex locations.

First issued in 2001, new editions supersede earlier ones and annual updates are available to download from the publisher's web site.


The Directory of Railway Stations

Author: R V J Butt.

Publisher: Patrick Stephens Limited 1995.

Details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present. The book was the first in its field and is heavily quoted on Wikipedia as the source of information. Very broad brush grid references are given and there is an index of renamed stations. In all other respects Michael Quick's book has eclipsed this volume.

R V J Butt is a schoolmaster and a passionate collector of railway tickets.


Great Western Railway Stations 1941-1947

Author Robin J Smith.

Publisher: Author in conjunction with Kidderminster Railway Museum 2004 (Issue B).

An historical survey of stations and lines under Great Western or Great Western joint ownership which were open at some time between 1941 and 1947. It lists the companies which were involved with the history of each line, the acts of incorporation, opening and closure dates.

Photographs of a representative selection of stations are included.


Great Western Railway Halts

Author: Kevin Robertson.

Publisher: Irwell Press (volume 1) 1990, KRB Publications (volume 2) 2002

Lists all the Railmotor Halts of the Great Western Railway with some useful drawings and photographs. Volume 1 covers those with names commencing A to L and volume 2 covers M to Y.


An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volumes 1 to 4

Authors: Ralph H Clark and Chris R Potts.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1976, 1979, 1981 and 1985 respectively and subsequent reprints.

Details of 377 stations are shown, 141 in volume 1, 101 in volume 2, 75 in volume 3 and 60 in volume 4. For each station there is a potted history, one or more track and signalling diagrams, an ordnance survey map and a photograph.

Ralph was a career railwayman mainly on the Central Section of the Southern Region with posts for the most part in the commercial side of the business. Ralph fully authored the first two volumes and well under way with the third which was completed by Chris Potts after Ralph's demise. Chris was also a career railwayman and was responsible for volume 4.

An index to the locations included is available here.


An Historical Survey of Selected LMS Stations Volumes 1 and 2

Authors: Dr R Preston Hendry and R Powell Hendry.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1982 and 1986 and subsequent reprints.

Details of 153 stations are shown, 86 in volume 1 and 67 in volume 2. For each station there is a potted history, one or more track and signalling diagrams, an ordnance survey map and a photograph. The Book is from the same series and follows the same style as the Historical Surveys of Selected Great Western Stations.

An index to the locations included is available here.


An Historical Survey of Selected Southern Stations Volume 1

Author George A Pryer and G J Bowring.

Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company 1980 and reprinted 2000.

Details of 61 Southern stations are shown, 12 with SER origins, 7 from the LBSCR, 1 SR and the rest from the LSWR. For each station there is a potted history, one or more track and signalling diagrams, an ordnance survey map and a photograph. The Book is from the same series and follows the same style as the Historical Surveys of Selected Great Western Stations. Although marked as volume 1 no further volumes appeared.

George spent most of his career as a signalman in the Southampton District of the Southern and was one of the three founding members of the Society.

An index to the locations included is available here.


Middleton Press Series

Authors: various.

Publisher: Middleton Press 1981 et seq.

In this large and still expanding series of books, each volume contains a branch line (or more) or section of line. For each location in the chosen section of line a (very) brief note is given of historic matters. However, the major value for signalling researchers is the selection of pictures which often include signal boxes in the view; in some cases of signal boxes rarely seen in pictures at all. Anyone researching a particular line would do well to 'start here' before going on to more detailed line histories but double check references in captions.

An index of which stations appear in the volumes published so far is maintained by the publisher and periodically updated. Unlike the books themselves, the index is free.


Track Plans and Layouts

Quail Map Series

Authors: Gerald A Jacobs, John Yonge (cartographer), TrackMaps (Cartography from 2004), Martyn Brailsford.

Publisher: Quail Map Company and TrackMaps (volumes 1 to 5 from September 2004)

Track layout diagrams based on the traditional style of Control Track Diagrams but with addition of milepost mileages and Engineer's Line References. Sectional Appendix line codes also appear in later editions reflecting the extensive use made of these maps by professionals in the railway industry. The content is primarily drawn from official sources. Volumes 1 to 5 cover the whole of England, Scotland and Wales split according the the five Regions of British Rail just prior to the Businesses being set up. Volume 6 covers the whole of Ireland. The Isle of Man is included in the Scotland volume and London Underground in the Southern. Many heritage and narrow gauge lines are included, placed in the most relevant geographical volume.

Each volume is a snapshot of the railway at the time of publication. Later editions omit track that has closed since the previous one so obtaining all editions is necessary to build the full picture. From 2005 electrified lines have been picked out in colour. In the table the publication year is shown with the snapshot date in brackets.

Amendments have been published each month for many years now under the Track Watch title in Modern Railways. Signalling Digest entries in The Signalling Record also refer to pages in the Quail series.

1 Scotland & Isle of Man 1987, 1993 (January), 1996, 2001 (June), 2007 (December).
2 Eastern & Anglia 1988 (January), 1998 (January), 2006 (September), 2016 (November).
3 Western 1989 (March), 1992 (January), 2000 (March), 2005 (November), 2010 (August).
4 Midland 1990 (October), 2005 (March), 2013 (August), 2018 (December).
5 Southern & London Underground. 1994 (October), 2002 (September), 2008 (November).
6 Ireland 1995 (October), 2003 (November).

Because each book is 'current' when published, lines closed since the previous edition are omitted. For research you may well need all the published editions for the line(s) you are interested in.


Track Atlas of Mainland Britain

Author: Mike Bridge (Managing Editor).

Publisher: Track Maps 2009, second edition 2012. Platform 5: third edition 2017.

In this book Mike has set out the track layouts of Network Rail's system in a geographically related style as distinct from the diagrammatic layouts of the Quail series. They are based on the Sectional Appendices and maps drawn for the railway industry. Official milepost mileages are given but sectional appendix line numbers and engineer's line references are omitted. The A4 page size greatly adds clarity.

Gerald Jacobs contributed a useful section on the origin of milepost mileages, something rarely seen in this form.

As with the quail series above, each book is 'current' when published, lines closed since the previous edition are omitted. For research you may well need all the published editions for the line(s) you are interested in.


The London Extension of the Midland Railway

Author: Geoff Goslin.

Publisher: Irwell Press 1994

Particularly rich in track and signalling diagrams covering St Pancras to Bedford.


Track Layout Diagrams of the Great Western Railway & BRWR

Author: R A Cooke.

Publisher: Author 1974 et seq.; reprints and later volumes Lightmoor Press.

A series of booklets depicting the track layouts and how they have changed over time. The booklets have appeared gradually since 1974 and the northern end of the GWR territory through central and north Wales and to Birkenhead has yet to be published. They can be regarded as an addition to the Atlas of the Great Western Railway 1947. Included are the former LSWR lines west of Salisbury that became part of the Western Region.

Tony Cooke is a long standing member of the Society.


Track Layout Diagrams of the Southern Railway & BRSR

Author: G A Pryer, some volumes with A V Paul.

Publisher: R A Cooke 1980-1987.

A series of 10 booklets depicting the track layouts and how they have changed over time. The series covers the LSWR area, partially duplicating the Great Western series, plus West Sussex.

George Pryer was a founding member of the Society.


Gradient Profiles

Gradients of the British Main-Line Railways

Authors: Cecil J Allen M.Inst.T (editor) and R P Angus Lewis (cartography).

Publisher: The Railway Publishing Company 1936 (2nd revised edition same year) and 1947.

Gradient profiles are included for the principle main lines accompanied by route and milepost mileages. The drawings are scaled but the printed size makes it difficult to derive precise mileages for the various stations and junctions shown. Separate sections are provided for the lines of the LMSR, LNER, GWR, SR and Joint Lines. Notes on the location of mileposts are included as well. Of the two the 1936 revised edition is probably the more useful as profiles of key routes in Ireland were included whereas they were omitted from the 1947 one.

The profiles had previously been published in the Railway Magazine during 1929 and 1930. In 2003 Ian Allan reissued the profiles in a portrait rather than landscape oriented book form under the title "BR Main Line Gradient Profiles In The Age of Steam". Have they really changed that much - and steam still roams the rails!


Maps and Atlases

Pre-Grouping Railway Junction Diagrams 1914 and 1915

Authors: Railway Clearing House

Publishers: David & Charles 1969 (originally 1915); Ian Allan 1992 (originally 1914)

158 pages of Junction Diagrams showing ownership of lines and chainage at boundary points. The maps are not arranged in any geographic sequence but the volumes are indexed in a manner a lot less comprehensive than it should have been. The year of issue is shown on each map - the range is 1901 to 1914 for the Ian Allan reissue, and 1901 to 1915 for the David & Charles one. This leads to each volume containing a different set as 14 sheets were reisued by the Clearing House for 1915. Some were also out of date by 1914 which led to one or two anomolies when pages for adjacent locations are compared. Ireland is included but not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

The David & Charles version is more comprehensive in that it includes a list of the changes to the diagrams made in the 1915 RCH Supplement and a list of Running Powers set out company by company, including those not actually exercised. There is also a list of joint companies with details of who owned and actually worked them.

The diagrams themselves are out of copyright and copies can be found scattered all over the internet. The best place to view them on line is probably here where they are listed by county despite their falling into the trap of assuming 1914 is the correct date for all the maps.


Macaulay's Station Map of the 1881 Railways of Great Britain

Publisher: Ian Allan 2016.

Macaulay's maps are similar to the Railway Clearing House maps with the lines of companies differentiated by colour. The map has been split into page sized sections and are interspersed with Airey's Junction Diagrams of the same date to provide a useful work of reference.


Jowett's Railway Atlas

Author: Alan Jowett.

Publisher: Guild Publishing 1989.

Redrawn from the Railway Clearing House maps using colour codes to show ownership and joint arrangements. No precise date of validity is given and the maps do seem to be an amalgam of several editions with the 1900 to 1920 period predominating. Handier than the large original sheets, Alan has added gazetteers and overlaid grid lines to the maps and a comprehensive index. The gazetteers include references to changes which largely overcomes the fact that the maps represent a period of time rather than just a snapshot date.

Other information included on the maps are goods sheds, loco sheds etc. which most atlas maps omit.

Alan was a railway enthusiast with a considerable interest and experience in cartography.


Atlas of the Great Western Railway as at 1947

Author: R A Cooke.

Publisher: Wild Swan Publications (revised) 1997.

Sectional Maps depicting the Great Western Railway's network immediately prior to nationalisation. Milepost mileages are shown as is the direction of the Up Line. The lines of other companies are shown where they are adjacent and the interface mileages are shown as well. For good measure the locations of signal boxes with the milepost mileages are shown making it an excellent companion to the Society's Signal Box Registers and Signal Box Diagram publications.

A comprehensive set of indexes are included which also form the master index to the author's series of Track Layout Books.


As They Were

Author: Ordnance Survey with foreword, introduction and index by Aeneas J L Mackintosh.

Publisher: Offington Press 2002

The book reproduces the 6th series 1 inch OS maps which were published about 1947. However, they are at reduced scale to fit the pages of the book which makes them harder to read than a collection of the original thing and harder to read than Col. Cobb's Atlas.

Published as Book 1, Southern England, it covers everything south of a line drawn Gravesend - London - Reading - Bristol and extending from Lands End in the west to Thanet in the east. The labelling of the book as Book 1 implies that further volumes would appear but no such intent was stated in the book. Perhaps the publishing of Col. Cobb's Atlas in 2003 inhibited publication of any further volumes.

Nowadays it is possible to browse maps of this vintage free of charge on the internet with, sometimes, greater clarity than this printed version.


London Railway Atlas

Author: Joe Brown.

Publisher: Ian Allan 2006, second edition 2009, third edition 2012.

Covers the Greater London area, sufficient to reach the ends of the London Underground Network plus the Croydon tram system. He shows the track layout in geographic context and distinguishes between lines open and lines now closed. The enlargements of complex areas in particular make it easy to follow how the junctions and inter-company connections related to one another.

The 2009 edition marked an improvement in clarity over the earlier one, aided particularly by the move to A4 page size. A third edition appeared in 2012.

Joe Brown's interest in mapping layouts started when he was at school and has continued into his working life with London Underground.


Birmingham & West Midlands Railway Atlas

Author: Joe Brown.

Publisher: Ian Allan 2006.

Covers the lines in the West Midlands within an area bounded by Kidderminster, Cosford, Penkridge, Colwich, Croxall, Rugby, Stratford on Avon and Salford Priors. Long closed stations are placed but the track layouts were those current at the time of publication.


Johnson's Atlas & Gazetteer of The Railways of Ireland

Author: Stephen Johnson.

Publisher: Midland Publishing 1997.

Atlas in a style similar to the Baker and Ian Allan series but with larger A4 pages. Each line shown has been given a route number linking it to a table listing the locations on the route with such milepost mileage information as is avalable. All known lines are included including short lived and industrial and differentiated by colour coding based on ownership in 1922. The scale is 5 miles = 1 inch plus enlargements for major centres.


Chronology

The Midland Railway

Author: John Gough.

Publisher: Railway & Canal Historical Society 1989

Tabular listing of all known opening and closing dates of lines, stations, signal boxes etc., also realignments, changes of name. Even the opening and closing dates of principle booking offices are mentioned. The book is arranged in line order starting at St Pancras.

A full set of LMSR 'strip' maps relevant to the Midland Railway are included in the book.

John is a railway enthusiast long associated with the RCHS and the Midland Railway Society.


Railways of the West Midlands 1808-1954

Author: C R Clinker.

Publisher: Stephenson Locomotive Society 1954.

Notable dates of opening, closing, commencement and withdrawal of services in the west midlands area.


Handbook to Closed Passenger Lines of England and Wales 1827 to 1939

Authors: M D Greville and Jeoffrey Spence.

Publisher: the authors 1955.

Opening a closing dates of lines to passenger traffic listed in closure date order by railway company.


Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830 - 1977

Author: C R Clinker.

Publisher: Avon - Anglia 1978.

Closure dates in alphabetical order. Supplements are known: 2 covering closures 1979 to 1981.


A Chronology of UK Railway Signalling 1825 - 2018

Author: Peter Woodbridge.

Publisher: Peter Woodbridge 2018.

Exactly what it says it is. There is an 'event' summary by subject (effectively an index) followed by the main chronology in date order.

Peter's background is in the signalling supply industry with the result that this book contains much information gleaned from the Westinghouse archives and not usually referred to by most historians writing line or location histories.


Biographical Accounts

The books in this section may see, on the face of it, to be of little relevance to serious researchers. However, signalling is operated by human beings - even the computerised variety! These books often contain information that 'fleshes out' the bare facts and signalling records of the past.

 

Burghclere Signalman

Author: Kevin Robertson.

Publisher: KRB Publications 2002.

Set in 1958, the book explains a typical routine day encountered by Bill Hiscock, a signalman at Burghclere, based on the evidence of surviving train register books from this signal box on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway. Included is a signal box diagram by George Pryer from volume 20 of his signal box diagram series.


Railway Lines and Levers

Author: Ron Bradshaw.

Publisher: Unicorn Books 1993.

Tells of the author's careeer as a signalman in the north west of England as he worked his way up the promotional ladder, ending up in the western region.