Useful Publications

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This page is intended to be a listing of new publications and is not intended to be a review or a recommendation and is for information only. Publishers details can be found at the foot of the page. 

All information is supplied by Peter Nicholson.


The Allocation History of B.R. Diesel Multiple Units Part 2 (Nos 51829 to 56504)

By Roger Harris


£21.50 +£1 p&p from the author (63 Carol Avenue, bromsgrove B61 8RW), but also available from Platform 5 Mail Order.


A5-size 156 pages, paperback. No illustrations except on the covers. This is the second volume in the series detailing the allocation histories of all BR DMU vehicles. For each vehicle there are the allocations, renumberings, details of accidents, and disposals. Probably the most comprehensive and accurate record of the subject available.


Part 1 (Nos 50000 to 51828 is still available, for the same price, but stocks are getting low.


Roger has previously covered BR locos (The Allocation History of B.R. Diesels & Electrics) in a number of parts. These include building details, allocations and disposals, and is publishing a further volume, the ‘Final Update’ in July/August and is asking for expressions of interest from anyone who will wish to buy a copy so as to set the print run. This is a case where I can say these books are ‘thoroughly recommended’.



UK Light Rail and Tram Museum Guide 2016 publised by TrainCrazy

By James Millington


£9.95 incl. p&p Published 25 March2016

A new format, 144-page A5 paperback book replacing the former hardback pocket-size (A6) book. Fully revised, updated and re-illustrated, detailing the light rail and tramway systems, six heritage tramways, 14 tram museums and collections, and 14 cliff railways. Route maps, operational dates and times, histories and fleet lists.


London Underground Guide 2016  publised by TrainCrazy

By Jason Cross

£9.95 incl. p&p Published 19 March 2016


Like the trams guide this has been revamped into a 150-page A5 paperback book but again, kept to the same price as the previous, smaller editions. This third edition describes all eleven lines of the LU network, with fleet lists and sections on works trains, preserved and museum stock. Includes more than 100 colour photos.



Land Trains in the British Isles 1st Edition

By Rod Bryant

£8 incl. p&p. A5-size, 76pp Published January 2016 from R Bryant, The Acres, Faugh, Cumbria CA8 9EG

The first non-railway book to be mentioned here, but one which some members may indeed find useful. Believed to be the first comprehensive listing of Land Trains – as seen on seafronts and running around York serving the NRM, etc. Each train has a page to itself with all known details of location, operator, type of tractor unit, registration number, name, if any, livery and frequency of service.

This does not include temporary rides at Christmas markets or tractor-trailer rides as operated a farm parks, but concentrates on fixed-route, regular-service operations, on the street and at theme parks and gardens, such as the Eden Project. Entries are in county order covering England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands and Ireland. There are no illustrations. Well, it is trains, if not railway ones!



Minor Railways 28th edition published by Branch Line Society

By Peter Scott


£4 incl postage from Peter Scott.

ISBN: 978 1 902368 44 3. Published: March 2016


A complete list of all standard gauge railways, narrow gauge railways, miniature railways, tramways and cliff rails in the British Isles. This 36-page A5 size book is a full listing of all railways open to the public as mentioned in the lengthy subtitle. Full details of location with OS grid refs and telephone numbers, gauge, length of line and for NG and miniatures there is symbol indicating the type of track layout. A very useful, quick-and-easy reference.

Amendments are posted on website: This includes news of new lines opening, old ones closing or being extended, posted as the news becomes available.


Diesel & Electric Locomotives for Scrap 1st Edition published by Ian Allan
By Ashley Butlin

£35 (or currently available new, through Amazon for £21.85 incl. p&p, e.g. from Books etc.) 240 pages, A4

Probably the most expensive, and lavish, title yet featured in Useful Publications - and also, one I can recommend. It has been researched over many years by my long-time friend and colleague, Ashley Butlin who has compiled the detailed Stock changes every month for The Railway Magazine for as long as I can remember.
This amazing book records the disposal or current situation for every diesel and electric loco to have run on the UK national network, detailing withdrawal, cutting up dates and site of the final deed or present main line operator or preservation site. Departmental stock is included, but loco names and livery details are not.
The title is somewhat misleading however, as it not only records the details of every loco, including the smallest of shunters, that have been broken up, but all of them. Locos which survive in main line operation and preservation, with those that have returned to main line operators, are all detailed too. Information is said to be correct to 1 July 2015, with the most recent entry being No. 68015.
Well illustrated throughout with colour and black & white photos of locos in various stages of dismemberment.
The controversy over incorrect disposal information that has recently been discovered as published in the past and now being investigated, is not shied away from. Where doubt has been cast on a scrapping site and date, and which remains to be resolved by the team investigate the matter, this is mentioned and an appendix lists those awaiting confirmation of disposal details.
An essential source of reference for all enthusiasts of ex-BR diesel and electric locos, past and present.


British Rail Coaching Stock Vol. 3 Mk1 Non-Passenger Carrying Coaching Stock published by Coorlea Publishing
By Ashley Butlin

£13.95 including a contribution to p&p
A long-awaited book which has taken many years to compile. In its 52 pages it details every vehicle, including conversions, re-numberings, departmentals, preservation, exports and disposals. All extant stock is shown with ownership and, where applicable, storage details. Only available from Coorlea Publishing and a few specialist outlets such as Platform 5.


Loco Data File 2015 published by Brush Publications

£8.95 (plus £2.99 P&P) Cheques for £11.94 to be made payable to: The South Yorkshire Railway and sent to Evander Bramhall, 1-3 St Mary's Drive, Catcliffe, Rotherham S60 5TN

Published in September 2014, but I have only just become aware of it through the Heritage Shunters Trust website. It is exclusive to the HST.
There, it says it 'includes all UK mainline locomotives currently in service, plus scrapped and all known stored locomotives. Also, preserved and privately owned locomotives. Information includes current number, previous numbers, pre-TOPS numbers and all names ever carried. Locomotive builder, owner, current depot and preserved locations are also included. Where a locomotive has been scrapped the scrapping location is given together with the month and year when this occurred.' Presumably, 'all UK locos' actually means ex-BR and present-day main line operators, diesel and electric.


Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland 14th edition published by Ian Allan
By S. K. Baker

£20 (or currently being offered by Amazon for £13.60, post free)

First published in 1977 and the 13th edition in 2013, despite many other UK rail atlases being published in the meantime, this remains the most up-to-date and clearest layout to use. The maps are said to have been enhanced with more detailed inset maps for complex areas, and the size of type in the index enlarged. The sequence of maps has also been reorganised to make it easier to follow a route.


UK Preserved Coaches 2015 published by Specialist Transport Publications

£13.00 post free (published January 2015)

All standard gauge preserved, Network Rail-registered, charter and stored carriages. Covers ex-BR, 'Big Four' and pre-Grouping vehicles still in existence. Build dates and previous running numbers are listed where known, together with current location.


The Spotter’s Companion 2015: British Locomotives Multiple Units and Coaching Stock published by NREA

£9.95 incl. postage

Now in its 37th annual edition this 148 x 105mm book with laminated cover features current main line motive power including HSTs, multiple units and coaching stock. Details numbers, names and depot allocations, loco pool codes, multiple unit formations and technical specs for all loco classes.


abc Rail Guide 2015 published by Ian Allan


Hardback 210 x 150mm, 312 pages
Compiled by Colin J. Marsden, this is a comprehensive annual now in its sixth year. Details locos and multiple units along with the main line companies, passenger and freight, found on the national network. Includes new train orders, ex-main line preserved motive power, ex-BR industrial locos, light rail systems, and off-lease rolling stock, etc.



London Railway Atlas 4th Edition published by Ian Allan


Hardback 297 x 210mm, 160 pages
Detailed mapping of all London railways showing tracks and platforms. Covers present-day and historical lines.



abc London Railway Atlas published by Ian Allan


Paperback 184 x 120mm, 96 pages
This is the first edition of a pocket-size book designed specially for the travelling enthusiast. Does not include the historical information that's in the larger book above.



Railway Atlas of Ireland: Then & Now published by Ian Allan



Hardback 297 x 210mm, 120 pages
A new title with pre-1920 maps of the Irish rail network alongside those of 2014.



Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotives of Great Britain & Ireland published by Platfrom 5 Publishing

Compiled by CARS member Peter Nicholson

£14.95 plus £1.50 p&p Published September 2014

80 pages, A5

A new title in the Platform 5 series, covering all steam locos from 1ft 6in to 4ft 6in gauge. Listed in builder’s number order together with year built, type, class where applicable, gauge and location. Footnotes for each loco give details of its pre-preservation origin, for UK locos the last industrial location (or passenger line) and for imported locos, the country of origin, with the date of entering preservation or arrival in UK.

Location address details are abbreviated in the loco listing but appear in full in an appendix at the rear of the book for locations open at least one day a year to the public. Locos which are at private locations are shown with the owner’s name and town or county only.

A list of loco names gives a cross-reference to the builder’s details and which section it will be found. There ar six sections: British commercial builders; Overseas builders; Locos built by owners and operators; Homebuilt ‘Coffee Pots’; Large-scale models, and New-builds under construction. Illustrated throughout in colour.


Manchester Metrolink Handbook published by Venture Publications

By C. Reeve

£9.95 plus £2.49 Published September 2014

64 pages 210 x 148mm; 100 illustrations

Describes the development and expansion of Manchester's pioneering light rail system from the initial phase of converting the Bury and Altrincham railway lines, through to the various extensions that have taken place in recent years. It looks forward to the airport line and second city crossings currently under construction. Note, does not include a fleet list.


UK & Ireland Tram and Light Rail Systems 3rd edition published by Venture Publications

By Bob Rowe

£6 plus £2.49 p&p. Published August 2014

64 pages 105 x 148mm

Details all UK and Ireland light rail systems including description of each, service frequency, maps, illustrations and fleet lists.


UK Grounded Vans and Coaches 2014 (3rdEdition) published by Specialist Transport Publications

By Tony Ellis

£9.00 post free. Published July 2014

80 pages A5, spiral bound

An updated version of the 2013 edition including details of further grounded vehicles that the compiler has become aware of. Entries are by county, giving vehicle number where known, railway of origin, type of vehicle, location and brief notes. Appendices list locations in alphabetical order with OS grid refs.


UK Combined 2014 (Published December) published by Specialist Transport Publications

£13 post free

Lists all the locomotives, units, coaching stock, track machines, trams and underground stock of Britain and Ireland, together with a side number index for DMUs and EMUs. Also included is a brief listing of preserved diesel and electric locomotives, and DMUs to be found in the UK, together preserved steam locomotives authorised to run on Network Rail lines.


UK Narrow Gauge Railways 2014 (8th edition) published by Specialist Transport Publications

Published November 2013

£13 post free

Includes all non-standard and miniature gauge locomotives, wagons and carriages and funicular railways

This edition now includes information on carriages and wagons at each location, which are listed nationwide, in alphabetical order of their title, from Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester to Yaxham Light Railway. Part 2 lists steam locos in numerical order (running number or builder's number for NG locos) cross-referred to their location by an abbreviated address. Likewise, Part 3 lists diesel (and petrol and electric) locos. Part 5 is Plinthed Exhibits at the Roadside or Museums which are mainly mining tubs and similar, on public display. Finally, there is a list of more than 100 miniature railways, many quite well known, giving title, address, postcode, OS grid ref and gauge, but headed: 'A list of Miniature Railways I have no information for'. There are just two pages of colour illustrations.


UK Rail Series Ultimate Sighting Files published Inter City Railway Society

No. 10 Main Line Diesels 2013


No. 11 Shunters, Mainline Electric and Prototype Locomotives 2013


Both books are updated to 27 September 2013 and include all locos, as per their titles, to have operated in the UK post-Nationalisation, with details of build, conversions, works numbers, disposals and re-numberings

Publishers contact information.

Branch Line Society

BLS Sales

84 Mornington Road






Coorlea Publishing
Coorlea Cottage



Scottish Borders 



Inter City Railway Society
c/o 14 Partridge Gardens

Ian Allan Publishing

Mail order: 0844 245 6944
Online from:


National Railway Entusiasts Assocation

NREA Sales Department

3 Churchill Drive




Platform 5 Publishing Ltd
52 Broadfield Road
South Yorkshire
S8 0XJ
Tel: 0114 255 8000 - 24hr order line

Specialist Transport Publications 
ST Publications
51 Kendal Street


Mail order to: ‘Freepost Videoscene’ – no stamp or postcode required!

or from The Blackpool Tram Shop

Front North Pier



Tel. 01253 738336 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm


Venture Publications
MDS Book Sales
128 Pikes Lane
SK13 8EH
Tel. 01457 861508

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Last updated 23/10/2019