RAIL CHRONOLOGY: A BIBLIOGRAPHY

Page last updated: 5 September 2021


This is an attempt to compile a list of publications (not periodicals) which have been principally (or exclusively) chronologies of some aspect of railways. The following is offered as a start of such a listing — not with any suggestion of being comprehensive yet (nor of endorsing items listed) but just to "start the ball rolling". This might lead to discussion of each work's merits / demerits, of any newer editions published and of amendments to them (published or otherwise). Many of the titles are no longer in print. "Title superseded" denotes that a later version appears within this listing with slightly different title or publishing details. Alas, the vast majority do not offer provenance for individual dates or events which they contain so their reliability depends on the credibility of the individual compiler/author. Other works and periodicals which contain chronological information in tabular format are not the subject of this present listing. Publishers' names are given in italics.

Details of further analogous titles which may qualify for inclusion will be welcomed by the Editor.


ADDY, RAY with SCHRODER, JOHN. A British Pullman Chronology. Pullman Society; editions of ??? and 1991

BEECROFT, GREGORY D.; FREW, IAIN D.O.; HOLMEWOOD, ALAN; RAYNER, BRYAN and STEVENSON, BARRY. London Transport Railways Handbook. Foxley Press; 1983
A competent compilation of line and station openings and closures.

BENNETT, A[NTONY] E[VEREST] and BORLEY, H[AROLD] V[ERNON]. London Transport Railways - A List of Opening, Closing and Renaming Dates of Lines and Stations. David & Charles; 1963 [plus typescript Additions and amendments (n.d. - obtained 1964)]
An early compilation, since overtaken by other titles - particularly Borley's own 1982 title.

BEST, STEPHEN. Railway Stations in Nottinghamshire - A hand list of stations open to passengers during the 20th Century [with dates]. Nottingham City Council Local Studies Library; 1978

BORLEY, H[AROLD] V[ERNON]. Chronology of London Railways. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1982 [plus Supplement of additions and amendments (n.d. - ca. 1984)]
Still the most competent, recent compilation, by a meticulous researcher - but, alas, lacking provenances for individual dates.

BRACKENBURY, ALLAN [W]. Railway passenger stations in Greater Manchester - a Chronology. author; 2005

BRAND, ANDREW. Caledonian Railway - Index of Lines, Connections, Amalgamations etc. Chronologically Arranged. Caledonian Railway; 1902; reprinted (incorporating items up to 1922 from "Addenda" document) by Caledonian Railway Association; 2004

BROWN, DAVID. Steam Railway - The Book of the Year [details for 1990 although that isn't specified on the cover or title page]. Emap Apex; 1991

BROWN, DAVID. Steam Railway - The Book of the Year [details for 1991 although that isn't specified on the cover or title page]. Emap Apex; 1992 [were there any subsequent issues?]

BROWN, MURRAY. Jane's Railway Year - first edn. [1981]. Jane's Publishing; 1982

BROWN, MURRAY. Jane's Railway Year [1982]. Jane's Publishing; 1983

BROWN, MURRAY. Jane's Railway Year [1983]. Jane's Publishing; 1984

BROWN, MURRAY. Jane's Railway Year [1984]. Jane's Publishing; 1985

BROWN, MURRAY. Jane's Railway Year [1985]. Jane's Publishing; 1986

BROWN, MURRAY. Jane's Railway Year [1986]. Jane's Publishing; 1987 [this was final issue; series superseded by "Today’s Railways Review of the Year" (q.v.)]

BUTT, R V J. The Directory of Railway Stations. Patrick Stephens; 1995
Alas, despite seeming to be the 'source of choice' for Wikipedia contributors, this work is unreliable and has long been overtaken by Michael Quick's compilation.

CARTER, DAVID and FOX, PETER. Today's Railways Review of the Year - Vol. 3 [1989]. Platform 5; 1990

CARTER, DAVID and FOX, PETER [not as shown on dust jacket]. Today's Railways Review of the Year - Vol. 2 [1988]. Platform 5; 1989

CARTER, ERNEST F. An Historical Geography of the Railways of the British Isles. Cassell; 1959
This title should be treated with the greatest caution: "...such a book ought not to be taken seriously." - Michael Robbins, review in The Journal of Transport History, May 1960.

CASSERLEY, H[ENRY] C[YRIL]. Service Suspended. Ian Allan (1952)
Apart from the illustrations, this title is best disregarded. However, a chronologically re-sorted tabulation of the text, together with Maurice Greville's blistering critique is here.

CLARK, R H. A Southern Region Chronology & Record 1803-1965. Oakwood Press; 1964 [actually published September 1965] [together with a typescript "Appendix" thereto compiled by "D.G.". Oakwood Press; 1975]

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH] and FIRTH, J M[ICHAEL]. Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1970. author (C R Clinker); 1971 [plus supplements 1 (1972) to 4 (1977)] [title superseded]

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977. Avon-AngliA; 1978 [plus supplements 1 (1979) and 2 (1981)] [also reissued as second impression with supplements bound in]
The passenger station information has been overtaken by Michael Quick's compilation. Goods station closure information has not been superseded - but should be read in conjunction with this list of corrections.

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Great Western Railway - A Register of Halts and Platforms 1903-1975. author; 1975 [title superseded]

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Great Western Railway - A Register of Halts and Platforms 1903-1979. Avon-AngliA; 1979

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Light Railway Orders. Avon-AngliA; 1977

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. L.N.W.R. Chronology 1900-1960 [title page: London and North Western Railway – A Chronology of opening and closing dates of lines and stations including joint, worked and associated undertakings 1900 to 1960]. David & Charles; 1961

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. The Railways of Cornwall 1809-1963. David & Charles; 1963

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Railways of Northamptonshire (including the Soke of Peterborough) 1800 – 1960. author; 1960

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Railways of the West Midlands – A Chronology 1808-1954. Stephenson Locomotive Society; 1954

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1923-1962. author; 1963 [title superseded]

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales – Volume II (1900-1964). author; 1964 [plus supplements 1 (1965) to 8 (1970)] [title superseded]

CLINKER, C[HARLES] R[ALPH]. Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales – Volume I (1830-1899). author; 1966 [plus supplements as for Vol. II] [title superseded]

CONNOR, J E and HALFORD, B L. Forgotten Stations of Greater London. Connor & Butler; n.d. (?1991) [there have been other similar titles from this publisher]

CREER, STANLEY. BR Diary 1948-1957. Ian Allan; 1986

CROUGHTON, GODFREY; KIDNER, R[OGER] W[AKLIN]; and YOUNG, ALAN. Private and Untimetabled Railway Stations, Halts and Stopping Places. Oakwood Press; 1982

CROWTHER, G L. Railway chronologies. author; 2000 [a partially completed series]

DANIELS, G[ERALD DAVID] and DENCH, L[ESLIE ALAN]. Passengers No More 1952-1962. GLO Publication; 1962 [this early version included Ireland, which was omitted from the Ian Allan editions] [title superseded]

DANIELS, GERALD [DAVID] and DENCH, L[ESLIE] A[LAN] Passengers No More. Ian Allan; editions of 1964, 1973 and 1980
Passenger station information is now superseded by Michael Quick's compilation. Line closures (up to the date of publication) should be treated with some caution as it seems some have been derived from Henry Casserley' "Service Suspended" (q.v., above).

DEMUTH, TIM. The Spread of London's Underground. Capital Transport Publishing; editions of ???? and 2004

FENWICK, K[EITH] and others. GNSR Stations [Great North of Scotland Railway Association Abstract No. 16]. Great North of Scotland Railway Association; editions of 1986 and 1997

FENWICK, K[EITH] and others. [GNSR] Signalling [Great North of Scotland Railway Association Abstract No. 21]. Great North of Scotland Railway Association; editions of 1979 and 1990

FENWICK, K[EITH] and others. Highland Railway Station Locations and Dates [Highland Railway Society Occasional Papers No. 1]. Highland Railway Society; editions of 1990 and 1995

FOX, PETER and CARTER, DAVID. Today's Railways Review of the Year - Vol. 4 [1990]. Platform 5; 1991 [this was final issue]

GALE, P R. The Great Western Railway, including the railways built under the Act of Incorporation, the railways since promoted by the Great Western Railway Co., the railways absorbed prior to the passing of the Railways Act, 1921, and the railways amalgamated therewith by virtue of the Railways Act, 1921. Great Western Railway; 1926 [issued privately for internal use]; reprinted by AvonAngliA, 1986
This leans heavily on "Burnell's Bible": Great Western Railway - A Record of development with reference to dates 1790 to 1907, an un-published manuscript work compiled in 1907 by Albert Robert Burnell for GWR internal reference use only, together with his accompanying Book of Diagrams (1908) (they can be consulted at The National Archives, Kew, references RAIL 1014/59 and RAIL 1014/43 respectively). Note, however, Charles Clinker's view of Gale which appeared in Railway Magazine, December 1980: "This work, which has an authoritative look, contains among its dates many requiring amendment, along with other factual mis-statements. In fact, the whole book requires very substantial revision having, as I understand, been compiled in rather a hurry under pressure of events." It is not clear whether or not the 1986 reprint contained corrections.

GLOVER, JOHN. BR Diary 1958-1967. Ian Allan; 1987

GLOVER, JOHN. BR Diary 1978-1985. Ian Allan; 1985 [final title in this series]

GOSLING, F A. Register of Closed Signal Boxes 1.1.1887 to 31.12.1967. D E Blades; 1970

GOUGH, JOHN [VAUGHAN]. The Midland Railway - A Chronology. author; 1986 [plus Amendment List No. 1 (1986) and Cumulative Amendment List No. 2 (1987)] [title superseded]

GOUGH, JOHN [VAUGHAN]. The Midland Railway - A Chronology. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1989
Magisterial - but if you can find the unpublished electronic version which includes detailed provenances and some updating....

GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY. Dates of openings of various portions of the system, including joint railways. Great Central Railway; 1909 [issued privately for internal use]
A typescript up-dated version - probably produced around 1915/6 - with the slightly different title: "Summary of the dates of opening of stations and portions of the system, including joint railways" also exists: both versions can be found in The National Archives under reference RAIL 1005/273. These lists should not be used without reference to George Dow's definitive three-volume history of the railway.

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND]. Chronological List of the Railways of Cheshire 1837-1939. Reprinted from Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire; n.d. (c.1953) [title superseded]

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND]. Chronological List of the Railways of Lancashire 1828-1939. Reprinted from Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire; 1953 [title superseded]

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND] and SPENCE, JEOFFRY. Closed Passenger Lines of England & Wales. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1955 [title superseded]

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND]. A Handbook of Closed Passenger Lines of Scotland up to 1939. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1963 [title superseded]

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND]. Chronology of the Railways of Lancashire. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1973 [title superseded]

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND]. Chronology of the Railway of Cheshire. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1973 [title superseded]

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND] and SPENCE, JEOFFRY. Closed Passenger Lines of Great Britain 1827-1947. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1974

GREVILLE, M[AURICE] D[RUMMOND]. Chronology of the Railways of Lancashire and Cheshire. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1981

HAMILTON, R[OY]. Branch Lines Opened and Closed September 1955 to December 1963. Branch Line Society; n.d. (1968) [issued as supplement to Branch Line News]

HARDY, BRIAN; FREW, IAIN D. O.; and WILLSON, ROSS. A Chronology of the Electric Railways of Great Britain and Ireland. Electric Railway Society; 1981 [plus Supplement 1, 1981, and Supplement 2, 1987]

HEAPS, CHRIS. BR Diary 1968-1977. Ian Allan; 1988

HEMINGWAY, GUY Y[EOMAN]. Source material - Nottingham and Lincoln Railway [also including the Rolleston - Mansfield line]. Unpublished (available for reference at Nottinghamshire Archives, Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham, NG2 1AG, under reference 38.5q); 1979
Hemingway produced a number of similar compilations, some of which may have found their way in libraries in Nottinghamshire.

HILL, N[ORMAN] J[OHN] and McDOUGALL, A[NGUS] O[LIPHANT]. A Guide to Closed Railways in Britain 1948-1975. Branch Line Society; 1977 [issued incorporating Amendment List No. 1, plus Amendment List No. 2 (1979) which was issued with errata list thereto]

HURST, GEOFFREY. Register of Closed Railways 1948-1991. Milepost Publications; 1992

JAMES, L[ESLIE]. A Chronology of the Construction of Britain's Railways 1778-1855. Ian Allan; 1983
Received a less than flattering review in Journal of Railway & Canal Historical Society for March 1985: "This book would have benefited greatly from a pre-publication reading by a railway historian (or better, several), a wider knowledge of the available literature, and advice from those with specialised knowledge ... the book cannot be regarded as definitive." Subsequent volumes – vide inside rear dustwrapper – were never published.

JOHNSON, STEPHEN. Johnson's Atlas & Gazetteer of the Railways of Ireland. Midland Publishing; 1997

JOHNSTON, HOWARD and KNIGHT, STEVEN. Today's Railways Review of the Year - Vol. 1 [1987]. Platform 5; 1988

KIDNER, R[OGER] W[AKLIN]. Southern Railway Halts: Survey and Gazetteer. Oakwood Press; 1985

LEONARDS, A. A Chronology of Railway Stations in Greater London. author; 1980

LEWIN, HENRY GROTE. The Railway Mania and its aftermath 1845-1852. Railway Gazette; 1936; second edition with revisions and introduction by C[harles] R[alph] Clinker, David & Charles; 1968

LEWIN, HENRY GROTE. Early British Railways, A short history of their origin and development 1801-1844. Locomotive Publishing Co.; [1925]
Apparently a revised version of his 1914 publication "The British Railway System: outlines of its early development to the year 1844"

LINDSAY, DAVID M. E. North British Railway - Register of the stations, routes and lines. North British Railway Study Group; editions of 2001 and 2006
Apparently derived from secondary sources.

LINDSAY, DAVID M. E. Glasgow & South Western Railway - Register of the stations, routes and lines. Glasgow & South Western Railway Association; 2002
Apparently derived from secondary sources.

LONDON & NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY CO. List of Lines (not including those jointly owned) with the Acts of Parliament authorising them, and the Dates of Opening. England and Wales (Part I), Scotland (Part II), with separate indexes of Stations, etc. LNER [under the name of Sir R. Francis Dunnell, Bart., KCB, Chief Legal Adviser], 1926; reprinted by AvonAngliA, 1987

MAUND, RICHARD. Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway and its predecessors: a chronology from primary and secondary sources. Railway & Canal Historical Society website; 2020

MAUND, RICHARD. various compilations listed on the Rail Chronology website; various dates

METROPOLITAN RAILWAY. Record of events from the opening of the line in 1863. Metropolitan Railway; [1929][issued privately for internal use]
Chronology up to 1 January 1929 - copy in Railway Studies Library, Newton Abbot - serialised in Railway & Canal Historical Society Railway Chronology Group Co-ordinating Newsletters 22, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29 and 33 (but missing period Feb 1875 - Dec 1879)

PETCHEY, TIM. A List of Railway Undertakings in England, Scotland and Wales [up to 1950]. author/Winchcombe Railway Museum; n.d.
A competent earlier attempt at the same task as Warren (but use Warren in preference).

PROCTOR, RICHARD V. A Railway Chronology of the Sheffield Area. Sheffield City Libraries; editions of 1956, 1961 and 1975 [no author/editor quoted for 1956 and 1961 editions]

QUICK, M[ICHAEL] E. Opening Dates of Public Passenger Railway Stations in England, Scotland and Wales. author; editions of 1996 and 1997 [plus supplements in 1997 and 1998] [title superseded]

QUICK, M[ICHAEL] E. Railway Passenger Stations in England, Scotland and Wales: a Chronology. Railway & Canal Historical Society; editions of 2002, 2003 and 2005 [2003 and 2005 editions are mirrored by supplements of same dates, which act first supplement to 2002 edition, and second supplement to 2002 edition and first supplement to 2003 edition, respectively] [title superseded]

QUICK, MICHAEL [E.] Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain: a Chronology. Railway & Canal Historical Society; editions of 2009 [plus Supplement 1 (2010), 2 (2011), 3 (2013), 4 (2014) and 5 (2017); subsequent amendments carried in Railway and Canal Historical Society Railway Chronology Group Co-ordinating Newsletter] and 2019 (so called) which is published online at RCHS Publications, and updated periodically - current version 5.02 dated September 2020
Supersedes all previous listings of passenger station history because it provides provenance for every date.

RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY. A-Z of Rail Reopenings. Railway Development Society; editions of 1988, 1992, 1998 [plus Supplement for 1998 & 1999] and ???? [title superseded]

RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (RAILFUTURE). Britain's Growing Railway - A-Z of Rail Reopenings. Railway Development Society; editions of 2010 (fifth edition) and 2017 (sixth edition)
Not as reliable as Michael Quick's compilation.

SAVILL, R[AYMOND] A[RTHUR]. The Southern Railway 1923-1947: A Chronicle and Record. Oakwood Press; 1950.
A competent, early compilation.

SMITH, DAWN. A Genealogy of the LNER and a Chronology of its Antecedants (sic). Glebe Publications; 1988
None of the other three books - one for each of the other grouped companies, promised in the introduction - ever appeared.

SMITH, PAUL, and SALMON, SALLY. Directory of British Railways New and Reopened Stations 1948-2018. Pen & Sword; 2019

SMITH, ROBIN J. Great Western Railway Stations (and Great Western Joint Stations) 1941-1947 An Historical Survey of Stations and Lines under Great Western or Great Western joint ownership. [endorsed "Issue B 31/7/04"] author in conjunction with Kidderminster Railway Museum; 2005 [it is not clear that Issue A was published]

TURNER, MICHAEL. Handbook of Great Western Railway Luggage Labels. Railway Print Society; 1995 [includes opening dates of GWR stations and halts listed; alas, the dates given are not provenanced and are unreliable]

WAITE, GLYNN and KNIGHTON, LAURENCE. Rowsley and Darley Dale: A Chronology of Railway History. authors; 1991

WARREN, ANTHONY R[OBERT]. Register of British Railway and Tramroad Companies incorporated before 1948 (also Joint Committees). Railway & Canal Historical Society; 2005
The definitive list of the dates of incorporation, name changes, leasing, vesting, lapsing/abandonment of railways in England, Scotland and Wales, with an authoritative introduction to the relevant legal provisions, together with lists of companies brought under government control in two world wars, merged at grouping, and vested at nationalisation.


Depicting chronology "cartographically":

BROWN, JOE [H. T.]. Birmingham and West Midlands Railway Atlas. Crécy Publishing; 2016

BROWN, JOE [H. T.]. Liverpool and Manchester Railway Atlas. Crécy Publishing; 2021

BROWN, JOE [H. T.]. London Railway Atlas. Ian Allan; editions of 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015; Crécy Publishing; 2018
An admirable attempt to show London's railways' development cartographically. Historical detail derived from secondary sources - such as Borley (see above).

COBB, Col. MICHAEL H[ERBERT]. The Railways of Great Britain - A Historical Atlas. Ian Allan; editions of 2004 and 2006; Patrick S Cobb; (Third Edition) 2015
The island's railways mapped at 1:50k scale with passenger stations denoted, all with opening (and, where applicable, closing) dates. The historical data is confined to nearest year and (inevitably) no detailed provenance is given; some dates apparently derive from revision dates of OS mapping. A significant list of queries does not appear to have been addressed in the later edition.

COOK, R[AYMOND] A[LBERT] and HOOLE, K[ENNETH]. North Eastern Railway Historical Maps. Railway & Canal Historical Society; editions of 1975 and 1991
Useful as a quick over-view of line openings.

COOK, R[AYMOND] A[LBERT]. Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Historical Maps. Railway & Canal Historical Society; editions of 197? and 1976
Useful as a quick over-view of line openings.

COOK, R[AYMOND] A[LBERT]. Great North of Scotland Railway and Highland Railway Historical Maps. Railway & Canal Historical Society; 1977
Useful as a quick over-view of line openings.

COOKE, R. A[NTHONY]. Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR (WR). initially author, latterly Lightmoor Press
A series (alas, as yet uncompleted) in more than 60 parts, published over many years. Drawn from OS plans and internal GWR and BR documentation, shewing the detailed layout development of all locations in the former GWR area.

CRÉCY PUBLISHING. The Atlas of Rail Station Closures. Crécy Publishing; editions of 2018, 2019
An attempt to cross Passengers No More with the Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer? Interesting as an atlas showing passenger closures by decade (although lines which never had a passenger service - such as Bristol Temple Meads to Ashton Gate Halt, page 3 - creep in), but the station closure dates' tabulation is rudimentary (for examples, try Barry Pier or Llanberis [LNW]).

CROWTHER, G[EOFFREY] L[EIGH]. National series of waterway, tramway and railway atlases. author [an extensive but apparently as yet uncompleted series published over many years]

MALTHOUSE, STUART. An Atlas of the Railways in South West and Central Southern England, including the Channel Islands, from 1731 to the present day.Crécy Publishing; 2019
This pretentious tome - weighing in at over 2kg - takes some 75 pages to set out its philosophical paradigm of how to use the 304 pages of atlas cum chronology. It is a compendium of dates drawn entirely from secondary sources, no date being given its specific provenance.

ROSE, DOUGLAS. The London Underground. author; editions of 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994 and 1999; Capital Transport; editions of 2007 (8th) and 2016 (9th)

Richard Maund

An earlier version of this paper also appeared in Railway and Canal Historical Society Railway Chronology Group Co-ordinating Newsletter No. 39 July 2004.


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