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About Us

Painting: Peter Annable (MGRA)

Mike Musson Collection

The scope of the website

What should be included within the scope of the website

In creating this site we have had to confront a number of issues such as how to accommodate the number of border changes affecting the county over the last 150 years. In addition, the county's border meanders thereby dissecting some routes which would result in one or two stations being omitted from an otherwise complete route e.g. Redditch and Alvechurch on the Evesham to Birmingham line. Therefore for the sake of completeness we have decided to include all the stations that have been within the county at one time or another and to include those stations that would otherwise have been omitted by the county's meandering border. In the latter instance we have noted their appropriate county. As steam enthusiasts we had originally chosen to limit our coverage to end in 1968, being the end of steam in the country. We were also conscious that there are some very good modern image web sites covering all or part of the county (see column on left for links) which we feel compensates the modern image enthusiast. However we have become more flexible over the end date because a number of post-1968 photos have come to light showing railway infrastructure in pre-1968 condition and often showing information not available in pre-1968 photographs. We decided that to not include them would be counter to our fundamental underlying philosophy of recording the county's steam era infrastructure. There are also instances where part of our railway infrastructure disappeared within a decade or so after the end of steam but are not to be found on other websites. One example being the branches from Rugby to Marton Junction and Marton Junction to Stockton serving Southam Cement works on the former Leamington and Weeden branches. Another reason was connected to the life span of the county's industrial railways. The major decline in the country's industrial base resulted in much of the county's industrial railway heritage disappearing by the mid-1980s. We therefore decided to adopt a later end date for industrial railways than for the main line railway network.

One advantage of websites over hard publications is that we are not confined by the number of photographs we can use because of cost considerations. Consequently, we are able to include photographs that are not of a standard such publications require, yet can still provide potential interest to the enthusiast. Similarly, we have identified details/information that would be difficult to see on standard 'postcard' sized photographs and we have therefore 'blown up' this information as separate images. Whilst not necessarily as clear as one would like, they do provide information that would otherwise be lost forever in the absence of a photograph taken specifically of the said subject. A classic example being the two photographs of Coventry Station, an 1860 and 1880 view of the station, showing details that have not existed for more than a century.

With regard to the captions that are provided for each of the large images we have tried to balance the information across the photographs for each location. It should be noted that the shed or depot code given reflects the shed number at the time the locomotive was allocated to the shed. As sheds closed so British Railways amended the depot codes. As an example, in 1948 Tyseley was originally given by British Railways the depot code 84E which they later changed in 1963 to 2A (previously the depot code for Rugby) when Rugby shed was re-coded 1F. The length of the caption reflects the amount of personal knowledge or information we have to hand. Clearly there are locations where we have no personal knowledge nor third party information and therefore commentary is brief. This is where you could assist by providing information. If writing is not one of your strengths don't let this stop you. Just drop us a quick email so we can call you and turn your comments into captions. We have assumed that not everyone will read every single page written as people may only be interested in one or two locations or a particular railway company. Nor do we expect that the reader is necessarily fully conversant with railway practice even from the 1960s. Therefore we have on occasion repeated information where we believe it is appropriate. If you therefore come across duplicated information then that's the reason why we have repeated it and not because, after writing several thousand captions, we cannot remember what we have written. That's our excuse anyway!

The Future

As stated elsewhere, the Warwickshire Railways website was created for the railway enthusiast, local historian and railway modeller by a fellow enthusiasts. It is dedicated to the research, study and recording of the history of Warwickshire's railways from 1837 to circa 1970 and to publish and disseminate all the information found via on-line resources including this website. The objective was and still is to gather as much information as possible from a vast and diverse range of public and private sources and to present this material in a web-friendly manner whilst preserving their historical integrity. The initial focus has been upon identifying and gathering photographic records but increasingly we are now researching and identifying other types of material produced both by the relevant railway companies and other applicable organisations.

With some 11000 pages created by the end of May 2015 it might be thought that there is little new that could be added to the website. However as we have added detail we became more conscious of what is still missing. Relatively few of the stations listed on the website have external or roadside views with even much fewer having internal views. It might be that such photographs do not exist however unless a more determined effort is made we will not know. In the absence of such photographs then large scale drawings showing plans and sections can go some way to help.

It is our intention to attempt to identify Ordnance Survey maps (and other maps too) for each station or area of interest that will help to record its development from when it first opened to circa 1968 or its closure. Ideally we would be looking to identify maps covering three distinct periods: maps covering the period shortly after the station opened, maps covering the Edwardian period considered to be the heyday of railways and maps covering the period immediately after the Second World War. These would be supplemented by others if they showed significant difference to the others. Similarly if there are no significant differences between the maps for a given station then this would be recorded and the map would be omitted. Other information that would be beneficial is material generated by the different railway companies as is ably demonstrated by Robert Ferris with his various articles either quoting official railway documents on operational matters or extracts from the GWR Magazine relating the company and its officers working with the County of Warwickshire.

Finally, we are pleased to report that the Historical Model Railway Society has agreed to be the long term custodian of the website thereby guaranteeing its future for the benefit of generations to come. As a second line of defence we will deposit digital copies with local historical research centres and educational establishments.

Thank you for visiting our pages. We would be very pleased if you would add to the new Guest Book we are keeping!