The Historical Model Railway Society
Please note that 'Warwickshire Railways' does NOT sell
any of the photographs on this website and that we host such information as a
gesture of goodwill to the HMRS and to the other many photographic sources who
have kindly given their support to Warwickshire Railways. To order any
photograph you need to contact the address or website on this page with the
appropriate HMRS photograph reference number. For information the HMRS has
agreed to become the future custodian of the 'Warwickshire Railways' website to
ensure its longevity as a source of information for the railway enthusiast,
local historian and railway modeller.
About the HMRS
The Historical Model Railway Society is a UK Registered
Educational Charity "founded in 1950 by historians and modellers to collect and
exchange records, drawings and photographs in the interests of historical
accuracy in modelling". (Andrew Dow in The Oxford Companion to British Railway
History, Simmons & Biddle (editors), OUP 1997).
A Definitive Rail History Source
The Society is one of the definitive sources of information
on Britain's long and varied railway history, from the very beginning to the
present day. It gathers, stores, and widely distributes historical railway
information, thereby providing you with all the vital information you need to
build historically accurate models. Whether you are a railway modeller, a
railway historian or a railway enthusiast you will find plenty to interest you
To find out more about how they can help you, browse their
their Museum and Study Centre, attend an Area Group meeting or make yourself
known to the exhibition stand. Liking what you find,
sign up and join in.
What is the HMRS?
The Historical Model Railway Society, an Educational
Charity, maintains a strong commitment toward obtaining, storing and
distributing information of value and integrity. Material placed in its care
will be treated with due regard to its information value.
If you have an interest in the railways of Britain and you
seek to expand your research options for making historically accurate railway
models, then the HMRS is definitely for you. With around two thousand members
worldwide, the HMRS is an active Society strongly committed to gathering and
distributing UK railway information. It has a large collection of photographs,
drawings and other archives. It also has a large library and has published a
series of definitive books, largely concentrating on railway liveries.
Their objectives are:
- To gather accurate historical information on Britain's
railways and make it widely available in perpetuity
- To provide the means of storing this information
- To provide this information to all members in the form
of published material, prints from their photograph collection, journal
references and copies of drawings
- To collect, store and distribute information from a wide
variety of archive sources
- To encourage modellers to build with greater historical
- To encourage the publication of specialist books based
upon the researches of its members
- To put people with a common interest in touch with each
other to share information
Area Group Meetings
Around the UK they have several area groups who meet
regularly. Their activities include informal evenings, speakers on various
historical or modelling topics, trips out and photographic surveys. All area
meetings are open to non-members and a very warm welcome awaits you.
The HMRS is unique in providing a 'Company Steward' service,
from where those who specialise in one railway company or operating aspect can
obtain specific information, or be put in touch with someone who may be able to
answer your questions. The Company Stewards keep registers of people who
specialise in their topic and always welcome new sources of information.
PC Methfix® & Pressfix® Transfers Range
The HMRS produce and supply the full range of PC Transfers
in 4mm and 7mm. HMRS Members receive a substantial discount on purchase by post
They invite you to have a look around their
web site to get
an impression of some of the other things they get involved with - not least
being their Museum and Study Centre!
An Introduction to the HMRS Archives
The H.M.R.S. Archives contain a wide collection of original
railway documents and other material collected together over the years. Some
have been the working documents of professional railwaymen whilst others have
been collected or compiled by enthusiasts as research material for specific
study or modelling projects. The one thing which all the items in the Archives
have in common is that they have been presented to the HMRS, or are on loan,
mainly by members of the Society. Now that the HMRS has a permanent
headquarters and study centre, the contents of the archive can, for the first
time, be made available for HMRS members for study. Archive material may not be
removed from the Study Centre but, within reason, copies of the material may be
made. Much has yet to be done with sorting, listing and storing the archive
material. The following notes summarise of the contents of the archive.
Original Railway Documentation
Over 1000 working timetables are listed and stored in the
archive room. The collection is strongly biased towards recent years from the
1960s to 1990s. Over 600 public timetables are listed and stored, with others
yet to be added to the list. Again, the collection is biased towards recent
years but there are about 100 timetables from before 1950. Large numbers of
small leaflets from the present train operating companies and heritage railways
are still to be listed. The Archive contains about 200 documents in the "Rules
& Regulations" category, ranging from full company rule books and working
appendices to specific instructions on aspects of railway regulations. There
are over 200 Operating Instructions such train working notices and marshalling
instructions and numerous commercial instructions dealing with classification
of merchandise, traffic routing and other similar matters. The Archive contains
about 150 Department of Transport accident reports. As well as describing what
went wrong, these are invaluable to the modeller in recording information such
as train formations. The Archive contains numerous documents such as drivers'
manuals for locomotives and signalling diagrams, which have yet to be sorted
and listed. There is an excellent collection of vehicle diagram books from the
British Railways period, together with some from earlier periods. A
considerable quantity of records from the British Railways Porchester Road
Archive and BREL works records are held. These have been listed but not yet
sorted into easily accessible categories.
Documentation collected and compiled by enthusiasts over the
years includes albums and files containing published material on specific
railways and topics, research material on specific modelling projects and
drafts for unpublished books.
The Archive contains about 600 model catalogues, ranging
from early Bassett Lowke to recent Hornby and a range of kit and component
catalogues. There are also about 100 Exhibition Guides, recording the
development of the model railway hobby over the years.
Apart from being generally aware of the range of material in
the Archive, little has yet been done to list this material and place it in
accessible storage. This all takes time but it is now happening.
Currently on-line, you may search the lists of timetables
(4060 entries) and general items (1244 entries).
The Societys large photograph collection is in the
process of being catalogued: so far there are 47233 in the on-line catalogue
and there are tens of thousands still to do. The photos have come from many
individual collections. Several thousand photos have been scanned and small
versions of these images are being added to the web site as they become
available but it is expected that it will be a long time before the majority of
our collection will be covered. You can search on-line using the form, reached
by the button on the left below - please read the introduction on the form
carefully or you may miss things of interest to you. Once you've found what you
want, you can order copies using the form reached by the button below. Prices
of prints and postage are displayed on the order form.
page gives you a summary in date order of events of
many clubs and societies, exhibitions and other events of interest to the
historical modeller: naturally the HMRS' own Area Group meetings are