Library Collections

A brief guide to the RCTS Archive and Library Collections is availiable HERE.

A more detailed description intended for our volunteers is availiable HERE.

Books and Magazines

A book catalogue and a magazine catalogue are available as Microsoft® Excel spreadsheets or Adobe® Acrobat® files, both formats are searchable. The files may be downloaded from the links below.

Book Catalogue – Excel format

Book Catalogue – Acrobat PDF format

A large quantity of magazines (mostly professionally bound) are available in the Archive and Library. These include The Railway Magazine, The Railway Gazette, and many Heritage Railway and Railway Society Magazines. We also have magazines from “The Big Four” and professional bodies.

There is a collection of foreign language magazines, most of which are not at Leatherhead. Those available at Leatherhead are listed in the Magazine Catalogue

Magazine Catalogue – Excel Format

Magazine Catalogue – Acrobat Format

The Library collections are extensive and it is not possible to produce full printed catalogues at an economic price. A paper copy may be consulted in the Archive.

Working Timetable Collection

The Library holds a major collection of working timetables, traffic notices, appendices, rule books and other official documents together with a large collection of public timetables most of which are available on loan to members.

For more details click here.

The Working Timetable collection is not currently at Leatherhead. The size of the collection requires a large amount of shelf space to be created before it can be moved to our Archive and Library.

The Railway Observer

Two compete sets of each year from Issue 1 of (When it was called “The Railway News”) to the current issue are held in the Archive. One set is for reference only, the second set is available for loan.

Many bound volumes and single copies of RO issues for many years are available for sale from the Archive and Library, please enquire if you wish to purchase specific issues..

Railway Observer Index

All indices to the Railway Observer have been scanned and are available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. The file is, however, too large to e-mail (87MB). If members require individual years, they can be extracted from the file and sent by e-mail. For this service, a donation to the Society would be appreciated.

Papercopies of the indices are bound in the relevant volume of the Railway Observer. There are also three separate volumes just containing the indices from 1928 – 2005.

Rail Tour Itineraries

We have a comprehensive collection of the itineraries of RCTS Rail Tours, a set on paper and also scanned as PDF files.  We also have many (300+) itineraries of commercial and other Society’s Rail Tours.  These are being scanned and kept as PDF files.  However due to copyright restrictions, these are only available for viewing in the Library.

Please note that rail tour itineraries often contain descriptions of the route and, as such, contain much useful historical information.

A list of Rail Tours may be downloaded here

Accident Reports

A considerable number of accident reports are held. Early reports from the Ministry of Trade or
Ministry of Transport are present as paper copies. Some current copies of reports from The
Railway Accident Investigation branch (RAIB) are held as PDF files.

A list of reports may be downloaded here.


The list includes all RAIB reports, with links to the reports on the government website.

Other Lists

We have, over the years, had a number of lists and indicies generated by our volunteers.  Links to those lists are below.

Railway Leaflet List – Excel format
Railway Leaflet List – PDF format
GWR Debating Society Index of Papers – Excel format
GWR Debating Society Index of Papers – PDF format
Ian Allan Annuals Index – Excel format
Ian Allan Annuals Index – PDF format

Surplus Library Books and Magazine Sales.

The Archive and Library holds many surplus books, magazines (bound and unbound volumes) including ROs and RCTS out of print publications, which are offered for sale at Leatherhead.  If items are to be posted to the purchaser postage cost will be advised in each case and payment will be required prior to despatch.

Books For Sale – Excel Format

Books For Sale – Acrobat PDF Format

Last updated: 2nd October