British Railways as it was in October 1960

train picture

At long last, after years of collecting them, I now have a complete set of Sectional Appendices from 1960. From today (26/12/2008) all lines and all locations are (hopefully!) listed on the site. My next step is to fill in distances between the locations. Then I will add running lines. Next comes linking all the routes with clickable arrows. Finally other information will be added.

Introduction

For many years now it has been my ambition to produce the definitive historical guide to the railways of North West England. I commenced my research in my mid teens, continued through my 20s and finally faltered sometime around my 30th birthday. I abandoned the project for a number of reasons, not least of which was the disillusionment I felt following my dismissal from my job as a train driver with British Rail. In recent years my interest has been rekindled and now, with the advent of the internet, everything has changed. Whereas a book needs to be published complete, a web site can be an ongoing project.

I originally envisaged the object of my research as being to present an accurate snapshot of the railways around Manchester as they were c.1960. Why 1960? There are 3 reasons really; firstly, I think that the early 1960s represent one of the most fascinating periods in the history of Britain's railways. Steam was still much in evidence, the modernisation plan was in full swing, and the Beaching plan was yet to be implemented. Secondly, I was born in the early 1960s - so that makes it interesting for me - and, last but not least, October 1st, 1960 is the date that British Rail released a new issue of the 'Sectional Appendix', a hugely useful document upon which much of the information found in this site will be based.

I originally intended to stick to Manchester, with the occasional foray into other parts of the country purely on the basis of what interested me at any given moment. The reason for this was that I had acquired an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the railways of Manchester, so why not stick to what I knew? However. As time has gone by, it has become more and more apparent that I wanted to cover much larger areas of the country. I therefore closed down the Manchester site and started afresh.

The Sectional Appendix is probably unknown to many people and, since it forms the backbone of this website, it might be appropriate to briefly explain what it is. Although I have not studied the history of the Sectional Appendix, the earliest examples that I have seen advertised for sale date from 1937 and cover the London Midland Railway.Theoretically, armed with an up to date Sectional Appendix, engineering notices and a bit of common sense, any driver worth his job description could safely drive a train over routes with which he is unfamiliar. I should know. I've done it several times! For the railway historian they offer a unique window into railway operations from years gone by.

When you enter the main body of the site from the front page you will find a list of routes taken from the 1960 Sectional Appendices. My collection is not complete. I am still looking for the issues covering Scottish Region (North) and the Bristol and Plymouth Traffic Divisions from the Western Region. This means that there are gaps, but most of the country is covered.

Rail transport in Great Britain

As you probably already know, Britain has the fastest growing railway in Europe. Even since the first successful steam locomotive run on trails performed on nine miles in February 21 1804, the rail transport has evolved a lot. From the late Georgian steam engines to the current multi-billion pound civil engineering project used for High Speed 1, there are many interesting facts that will surprise you. Read further and discover more about National Electronic Sectional Appendix.

Enjoy a rail trip all across Britain

The steam had its golden age in the UK for over a century. Because of steam engines we experienced some of the most notable engineering triumphs. The truth is that many of the rail transport infrastructure dates back to the beginning. The amazing Forth Rail Bridge and the overwhelming curves of Brunel’s Great Western line were built almost two hundred years ago.

The steam had its golden age in the UK for over a century. Because of steam engines we experienced some of the most notable engineering triumphs. The truth is that many of the rail transport infrastructure dates back to the beginning. The amazing Forth Rail Bridge and the overwhelming curves of Brunel’s Great Western line were built almost two hundred years ago.

If you want to understand better the history of rail transport in Britain, you have to visit the National Railway Museum in York. Historically significant railways vehicles are displayed here and you can learn a lot more about them here. Come with a friend and admire the highlights within this museum: The Great Hall, Hogwarts Express, Class 31, 4468 Mallard and numerous other impressive trains and locomotives.

Coventry Railway Centre, Bidefort Railway, Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society and Corris Railway Museum are only some of the other great museums where you will enrich your acknowledge on railways and trains in Great Britain. London Transport Museum based in Covent Garden will explain you the transport heritage of London. However, the best way to learn about rail transport is by having a rail trip all across Britain.

Find the fares and train times at the Association of Train Operating Companies and plan your train tour thoroughly if you want to get the most out of your experience. You can buy your tickets online and even search for the occasional extra discounts. Get a railcard to receive 34% off anytime and split your journey, as two tickets are actually cheaper than one. Use a combination of tickets to reach at your destination and save some money, too.

Find the fares and train times at the Association of Train Operating Companies and plan your train tour thoroughly if you want to get the most out of your experience. You can buy your tickets online and even search for the occasional extra discounts. Get a railcard to receive 34% off anytime and split your journey, as two tickets are actually cheaper than one. Use a combination of tickets to reach at your destination and save some money, too.

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man waiting for train

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Main lines, click on the list below:

  • West Coast main line:
  • London to Crewe
  • Crewe to Carlisle
  • Carlisle Carstairs
  • Carstairs to Glasgow
  • East Coast main line:
  • London to Shaftholme Jn.
  • Shaftholme to Northallerton
  • Northallerton to Berwick
  • Tweedmouth to Edinburgh (Waverley)
  • Midland main line:
  • London to Chesterfield
  • Chesterfield to Darfield Main Station
  • Darfield Main Station to Leeds City North
  • Leeds City North to Skipton
  • Skipton to Carlisle
  • Carlisle to Glasgow St. Enoch
  • Great Central main line
  • Marylebone to Heath
  • Pilsley (L.M.R.) to Woodhead (L.M.R.)
  • Dunford Bridge West to Manchester London Road
  • Great Eastern main line:
  • London Liverpool St. to Norwich Thorpe
  • London Liverpool St. to King's Lynn
  • London, Tilbury and Southend main line:
  • London Fenchurch St. to Shoeburyness
  • London, Brighton & South Coast:
  • London London Bridge to Brighton
  • South Eastern & Chatham:
  • Victoria Eastern to Ramsgate via Herne Hill and Chatham
  • Charing Cross to Dover Marine (via Tonbridge)
  • London & South Western
  • London Waterloo to Weymouth
  • Western Region
  • London Paddington to Milton
  • Steventon to Huntspill
  • Steventon to Huntspill
  • Cogland to Totnes Station
  • Totnes Station to Penzance