Drawings and papers from railway works and companies
Working drawings for steam locos, carriages and wagons.
We have 100,000s for steam locomotives and rolling stock, from the mid-1900s to the early 1960s. (We don't have many drawings of diesel and electric locomotives because they've been retained by British Rail.)
Below you'll find:
- Selected images of the drawings - just the ones that we've already scanned in because people have ordered copies.
- Fuller PDF lists of the drawings we have. They're not always complete. (PDFs marked microfilm list aperture cards: cards mounted with pieces of microfilm.)
These are original lists of drawings, compiled by actual staff from the various works at the time.
Railway land plans and sections
19th to early 20th century plans showing railway lines and surrounding areas. They include landmarks such as stations, tunnels and prominent buildings. Some plans include information on local land owners.
Oxford Publishing Company microfilm collection
This is a partial list of microfilm aperture cards from various railway companies. This list was originally created as a quick way to look up the most popular drawings, so check this first before looking at the more complete microfilm lists below.
The Civil Defence Archive for British Railways Eastern Region comprises a wide range of papers related to preparations to keep the railway running in the event of a nuclear attack.
Great Western Railway (GWR)
A small set of drawings of bridges and crossings from the Civil Engineer’s Office at Paddington. We don't have a list of this collection, but you can come and see some parts of it.
London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS)
Carriage and wagon drawings, from works including Derby Newton Heath and Wolverton as well as some private manufacturers.
Built many of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway's Class D locomotives – including 737, which is in the National Collection.
One of the earliest railway-owned locomotive repair works, which at one point was building one loco every 4.5 days.
Produced locos for LSWR, Southern Railway and British Rail, including Cheltenham. (Original drawings from Eastleigh are in the Southern Railway list above).
A London, Chatham and Dover Railway works in Battersea, South London. Built William Kirtley's 'M' series, including Class M3 (pictured).
Newton Heath Works
See the London Midland and Scottish Railway section above – there are some Newton Heath drawings there too.
The centre for drawings by the Great Eastern Railway and its successors.
- Selected drawings
- Full list (microfilm only)
- Colne Valley & Halstead Railway drawings
- Supplementary Drawing Office drawings
Located on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, Wolverton produced highly decorated and luxurious carriages for the very wealthy – including the royal family.
Curzon Street Station
Architectural drawings for this now-closed Birmingham station, from the London & Birmingham Railway and London & North Western Railway.