Typical questions• Have you got maps of where old railway lines used to go?• Who owns all the various railway services?• Can I go by train to Gainsborough?• How many passengers use the trains every day?
There is a huge interest in railways, both from the historical perspective (cultural and local history) and the modern concern for improving public transport services and reducing carbon emissions. Not forgetting the train spotters and model makers!
Where to look
Butcher, A. C. (ed.), Railways restored, Ian Allen. Annual Overall picture plus technical details.
A comprehensive guide to Britain's railways, 9th edn, Emap. Annual
Guide and directory to the routes, operating companies and infrastructure of today's rail network.
Glover, J. (2005) ‘Modern Railways’ dictionary of railway industry terms, Ian Allan
Holland, J. (2007) Amazing and extraordinary railway facts, David & Charles
Jackson, A. A. (2006) The railway dictionary: worldwide railway facts and terminology, 4th edn, Sutton Publishing
The modern railway: directory, review, opinion, reference, Ian Allen. Annual
Standard reference source for the railway industry.
Thomas, D. St. J. et al. (1960–) A regional history of the railways of Great Britain, David & Charles
The standard 14-volume series covering the UK.
Ottley, G. (1983) A bibliography of British railway history, 2nd edn, HMSO;
Supplement (1988), HMSO
Railway directory, DVV Media UK. Annual
Worldwide coverage of companies, personnel, statistics, suppliers and maps. Available also as subscription website.
Journals and magazines
Modern Railways Ian Allen. Monthly
The Railway Magazine, IPC. Monthly
Today's Railways, Platform 5 Publishing. Monthly
Maps and atlases
Baker, S. K. (2007) Rail atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, 11th edn, Midland Counties Publications.
Every operating line, whether passenger, private, freight or narrow gauge.
Ball, M. G. (1996) European railway atlas, Ian Allen, 3 vols
Wignall, C. J. (1985) Complete British railways maps and gazetteer from 1825 to 1985, OPC Railprint
Bradshaw's April 1910 railway guide (1968 reprint) David & Charles
Bradshaw's railway timetables were published from 1840. This reprint shows the full extent of the UK rail network at its height.
European rail timetable, Thomas Cook. Monthly
Covers 40 countries including the UK, but does not give full details of purely local services.