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About Us

Painting: Peter Annable (MGRA)

Mike Musson Collection

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 here.

To find out more about how they can help you, browse their site, visit 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 accuracy
  • 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 direct.

Other Activities

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.

Enthusiasts' Documentation

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.

Modellers' Documentation

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).

Search Timetable Listings               Search General Items Listing


The Society’s 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.

         Search Form                                    To Order Form

Events Diary

This 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 included.