Sources for Scottish railway historical research

Sources for Scottish railway historical research (draft)

Company organisation and statutes
  • National Records of Scotland (holds records of nationalised industries including Transport)
    • by company : 1.6km of records. Company records (pre-grouping, LNE/LMS, and BR); 'Acts of Parliament'; 'Parliamentary Bills and Evidence'; 'Railway Clearing House'; 'Law Cases and Arbitration' ; 'Labour and Staff Matters'; 'Rule Books for Staff'; 'Welfare Societies, Savings Banks, Superannuation, Sick and Provident Funds etc'; 'Historical Records and Papers' (BR ScR’s own historic collection: miscellaneous plus 45 folders by topic); 'Periodicals' (94 titles over period 1836-2001)
    • by GB accession number
    • RHP series of plans
    • Court records, fatal accident records 
    • Searchable online index
  • Local historical societies: many have websites – especially useful for photographs.
  • Newspaper reports of proposed schemes: local history collections or BritishNewspaper Archive (£13 a month, £80 a year).
  • Facebook Scottish Railways group

Physical infrastructure
  • plans of sites mostly, but some full building plans and elevations. Often excellent. Well catalogued, but be aware that “plan” means just that – no elevation drawings!
  • National Library of Scotland Map Library: Online zoomable Ordnance Survey maps:
  • 1:63360 (1”:1mile) National surveys, 1870s to the 1940s. Excellent for finding old lines.
  • 1:10560 (6”:1 mile) National surveys, 1840s to 1960s. The largest scale for some rural areas.
  • 1:2500 (25”:1 mile) surveys of populated areas. Suitable for Templot overlaying.
  • 1:1250 (50”:1 mile) 1950s surveys of towns and cities. Excellent for Templot overlaying.
  • 1:500 (125”:1 mile) 1850-1890s surveys of towns and cities. Excellent.
  • Railway Clearing House junction diagrams and railway maps of Scotland (recently added online)
  • Historic Environment Scotland (RCAHMS): Canmore website. John Hume’s photos; aerial surveys.
  • Am Baile: Highland history and culture. Some of HRS collection available here.
  • Local authority planning websites sometimes have architect’s drawings of ex-railway buildings where planning permission was required. Building Control records are probably much more detailed regarding building use, but are not online.
  • The Scottish Line Societies:
Operation and Control
Timetables: Public, Working, and Trip Notices
  • National Archives of Scotland Jehu collection
  • Aberdeen University Library O’Dell collection (GNS and LNE (N. Scot) weekly notices)
  • Internet special interest groups
  • eBay and railwayana auctions
  • Newspapers and local travel guides
  • Local archives: Kirkintilloch library
  • Scottish Line Society reprints
  • Signalling Record Society
  • SRPS Forbes Alexander drawings; Ed Nicoll photo collection
  • UK National Archives BoT/MoT inspection reports; RAIL and MT archives
  • Railways Archive: over 9000 accident reports
Working methods
  • Stephenson Locomotive Society; Railway Correspondance and Travel Society journals
  • Railway Clearing House lists of sidings
  • Carriage Marshalling notices
  • Scottish Line Societies journals
  • Newspaper discussion of service quality and proposed changes
  • Loco Working in the 19th Century Vol 3 (Ahrons)
  • Railway Magazine back issues (and Back Track, Steam Days, etc)

  • Books: overview from Campbell Highet’s Scottish Locomotive History 1831-1923
  • CR: Campbell Cornwell; Nock’s Caledonian Dunalistairs; CRA Jumbos, 956s, Liveries
  • NBR: SLS survey; Thomas’s NB Atlantics; Sewell book
  • GSWR: David Smith Locos of the GSWR
  • HR: Allchin; Tatlow; Cormack & Stevenson 2 vols; Geddes & Bellas (Liveries)
  • GNSR: Gordon;
  • Essery & Jenkinson Illus History of LMS Locos Vol 3, Northern Division
  • Scottish Line Societies journals; The Locomotive; The Engineer
  • RCTS “Green Bible”
  • Manufacturers’ drawings archives (NRM; Mitchell Library)
  • Indices of modelling magazine drawings

Rolling Stock
  • CR: CRA Carriages book, Wagon book and supplement, coaching and wagon diagram books
  • NBR: Hooper book; Sewell books
  • GSWR: ??
  • HR: Hunter book; Tatlow book
  • GNSR: Fenwick books
Line histories
  • Oakwood Press monographs
  • Stenlake photo albums
  • Steam Days/Back Track etc articles
  • Scottish Line Societies journals
Line histories
  • Scotland-wide: Ellis; Nock; Thomas regional histories; Ross

  • CR: Nock; SLS
  • NB: Thomas (2 vols)
  • GSWR: Smith
  • HR: Vallance
  • GNSR: Barclay-Harvey; Vallance

Vernacular and industrial architecture
  • Buildings of Scotland series
    Buildings of the Scottish Countryside (Naismith, 1985, ISBN 0575033835)
  • Local history section of bookshops
  • John Hume, Industrial Archaelogy of Scotland x2
  • Mining industry – Lanark, Lothian, Fife: Guthrie Hutton
  • The Native Horses of Scotland (Fraser, 1987; ISBN 0859761908)
  • Highland Bridges (Nelson, 1990, ISBN 0080377440)
Landscape and Railway in Context
  • Scottish Screen Archive
  • British Film Institute
  • Youtube
  • Video publishers (Cinerail Railways of Scotland; Videoscene B&R; etc)
  • Photo albums, especially George O’Hara’s four volumes
  • Internet (eBay; Google image search; Pinterest; Urban Glasgow; Am Baile)
  • Private websites (Ernie Brack; Kenny Williamson)
  • Scottish Line Societies (NBRSG members’ section; GNSRA public archive)
  • Curated collections (National Archives of Scotland; Mitchell Library Robin; Kirkintilloch Library McEwen)
  • Albums
  • George O’Hara Urban/Rural, Scottish region, Steam, Diesel
  • Brian Morrison; David Anderson; Chris Gammell; WJV Anderson
  • Strathwood albums for BR diesel era
  • Bradford Barton albums (Stephen, Casserley)
  • NRM photo collection
  • Luftwaffe air survey (National Collection of Aerial Photography - subscription site)
  • Flickr (good for green diesels - search by loco number then browse from where you land)
To be extended and hyperlinked!

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