Surrey [SRY]

SRY Header Picture
701006 on a mileage accumulation and training run from Eastleigh to Staines via Winchester (reverse), Bournemouth (reverse), Woking and Virginia Water. Seen approaching Woking Junction on 1st December 2020. Courtesy of Bob Ellison.
A group of Surrey Branch Members at King's Cross

Welcome to the RCTS Surrey Branch web pages.

We meet in the evening every month from September to May with meetings starting at 19.15, finishing at around 21.30 with a varied programme of speakers from within the railway industry, heritage, technical and other railway related subjects.  The venue is fully accessible and is located five minutes easy walk from Woking railway station, close to local bus routes and is adjacent to a large municipal carpark with some limited carparking on site.  As soon as the venue is no longer required as a vaccination centre, we hope to reinstate our twice a season afternoon meetings.  The branch also occasionally arranges virtual and hybrid meetings (part in person and part virtual) and we hope to reinstate hybrid meetings again in the very near future although it is not possible to do so for every meeting at the moment.  A selection of Society publications and good condition second hand books for sale is available at meetings.  Meetings are open to all members and non-members alike and we ask for a donation to offset the costs of running the meetings – this includes refreshments at the midway interval.

We arrange occasional visits to places of railway interest from depots, to heritage railways, to trips around parts of the railway network to name a few examples.  The branch also has a stand at some of the local railway modelling exhibitions where we promote the RCTS, the branch and can share our enthusiasm for railways more widely.

If you would like to know more about the branch and/or would like to become more involved, please do not hesitate to ask – contact details are further down this page.


Our Photograph of a Class 701 is courtesy of Bob Ellison.


The lower photograph shows a group of Surrey Branch members at King's Cross during  a tour of London to view new developments.

What's on


Click the venue name to see more

Books for Sale

RCTS Surrey and Windsor and Maidenhead branches have a large number of second-hand books available for sale at our meetings.

Click here for the list of books available as at May 2024 (.pdf file, requires Adobe Acrobat to view)

If you would like to purchase any of these books please contact the Surrey Branch Exhibitions Officer, Andy Davies to confirm availability.

E-mail : Andy Davies

We will then endeavour to have the relevant book available at our next meeting.  Only a selection of our books are taken to meetings, so please contact us in advance with any specific requests.

Please note that we can not sell these books other than when collected at a Surrey or Windsor & Maidenhead Branch Meeting.

Also see the Archive and Library pages for additional books for sale.


Chair and Exhibitions/Book Sales
Andy Davies
Tel: 01932 85515


Irene Rabbitts and Andy Davies
Tel: 01932 855015


Irene Rabbitts
Tel: 01932 855015


Alan Nichols
Tel: 07791 491395


Committee Members

Peter Bosomworth and Bob Ellison

Meeting reports

21 March 2024 – European Rail Traffic Management System by Matthew Teller – ERTMS Integration Manager, Govia Thameslink Railway

21 Mar 2024

Matthew began with a brief outline of what he would be covering ie the Plan, Background, Conventional Signalling, why ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System), and the GB roll out,…

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15 February 2024 – Final Journey – The Untold Story of Funeral Trains by Nicolas Wheatley (MSc)

15 Feb 2024

Nicolas began with a brief personal introduction and how he had first become interested in funeral trains.  A solicitor by trade, he has worked for the GLC and in private…

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18 January 2024 – The Heritage Railway Association by Steve Oates, Chief Executive, HRA

18 Jan 2024

Steve began with a short tour around heritage railways (HRs), defining what constitutes a heritage railway and where it all began around 400 years ago circa 1604 with waggon ways,…

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21 December 2023 – International Railways by Adrian Palmer

21 Dec 2023

The business of the Surrey Branch AGM was completed quickly and efficiently with the reports and accounts being accepted unanimously.  One member of the committee stepped down and another who…

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16 November 2023 – Flying Scotsman: 100 years in 100 pictures by Andrew MacLean, Deputy Director and Chief Archivist, The Railway Museum

16 Nov 2023

The most famous steam locomotive in the World, and it’s her one hundredth birthday!  Whilst RCTS members need no introduction to LNER loco number 4472, she is the one steam…

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19 October 2023 – Planning and Performance by Steve Tyler – Planning and Performance Director, South Western Railway

19 Oct 2023

Steve started by giving a brief outline of his role regarding  train planning and performance, operational readiness, industry partnerships and operations projects, before moving on to describe his team and…

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21 September 2023 – Preserving the Mid Hants Railway 1973 to 1985 by Keith Brown, Stationmaster, Medstead and Four Marks

21 Sep 2023

Over the Alps from Alton!  You have to be well into your eighth decade to be able to remember taking that mysterious cross-country route west from Alton, over the Hampshire…

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Signalling High Speed Connections Across Europe by Chris McCandless-Stone, Fleet Performance Manager, Eurostar

18 May 2023

Chris briefly introduced himself and his railway credentials.  He began his railway career at age 16 and already has 21 years experience.  He is not a signalling engineer himself but…

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Ramblings of a Railwayman by Geoff Burch

20 Apr 2023

Geoff Burch grew up beside the Portsmouth main line.  Like many of his school peers he started trainspotting, got hold of a cheap Ian Allan ABC spotters book and took…

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National Railway Museum – Vision 2025 by Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of Rail Transport & Technology, National Railway Museum

16 Mar 2023

Oh, the tribulations and challenges of managing collections!  The National Railway Museum (NRM) has not perhaps had the best of press recently.  In the enthusiast world there have been mutterings…

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Tunnel Vision – The History of the Metropolitan Railway 1863 to 2023 by Colin Brading

16 Feb 2023

The presentation began with a ‘journey planner’ mapping out what Colin would cover in his talk, from the introduction and origins, through expansion and electrification, and suburban development, right up…

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A Life on the Railways by Tim Shoveller, Regional Managing Director, Northwest and Central Region of Network Rail

19 Jan 2023

Tim Shoveller is still quite a young man but, in his working life as a railwayman, he has not only got to the top but packed in an incredible amount…

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Toy Train to the Clouds, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway by Major Paul Whittle

15 Dec 2022

Paul introduced himself and his involvement with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) currently as Vice-Chair of the DHR Society.  He explained the reasons for having the hill stations during the…

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Claire Mann, Managing Director, South Western Railway

17 Nov 2022

It is winter, and the Gilbert and Sullivan season.  In ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ (a well-known Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera) a constable bewails the challenges of his professional life…

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From Nationalisation to Great British Railways by Fraser Pithie

27 Oct 2022

A potentially exciting new Title, but as Fraser Pithie explained in an electrifying lecture, the launch of Great British Railways, having recently been put on hold, may not now happen. …

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34081 92 Squadron by Dr Steve Lacey

15 Sep 2022

Our first meeting of the 2022-2023 season began with a minute’s silence out of respect for her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The chairman welcomed all to the meeting and…

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South Western Railway; An Update 19 May 2022

25 Jul 2022

South Western Railway; An Update Speakers: Andrew Ardley and David Wilby Date: 19 May 2022 It’s a generally improving picture announced Andrew Ardley, who with his colleague David Wilby gave…

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An evening with Gordon Pettitt Part 2 21 April 2022

25 Jul 2022

An evening with Gordon Pettitt Part 2 Speaker:         Gordon Pettitt Date:         21 April 2022 This was the second of a two part presentation originally scheduled for December 2020 but inevitably…

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Introduction to the Office of Rail and Road(ORR) 24 March 2022

25 Jul 2022

Introduction to the Office of Rail and Road(ORR) Speaker: Tom Wake Date: 24 March 2022 You may be a little unsure of what the office of Rail and Road actually…

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The Art of Railway Timetabling (or How to Plan a Timetable) 17 February 2022

25 Jul 2022

The Art of Railway Timetabling (or How to Plan a Timetable) Speaker:         Stephen Newman, Operational Planning Project Manager – Eastern Region Date:                17 February 2022 This was a virtual only…

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Introduction of class 701 EMUs to South Western Railway 20 January 2022

25 Jul 2022

Introduction of Class 701 EMUs to South Western Railway Speaker:         Neil Drury, Engineering Director SWR Date:               20 January 2022 The good news – they (701s) are coming, and are in…

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The Williams Rail Review

31 Dec 2021

The Williams Rail Review by Dick Fearn 28th October 2021 This was an eagerly awaited presentation and Dick began by giving a brief outline of his background within railways from…

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The View from the House

20 May 2021

Speaker: Chris Loder – MP for West Dorset Chris is unusual as an MP on the Transport Select Committee as he has first-hand experience of working on the railways.  He…

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15 April 2021 · Taking trains abroad before the Tunnel

15 Apr 2021

Presenter: Dave Coxon Everyone was welcomed, before a minute’s silence for HRH Prince Philip whilst photographs of the late Prince were shown. Dave introduced himself with a brief outline of…

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18 March 2021 · The High Speed Train’s impact on the Railways

18 Mar 2021

Presenter: Andrew McLean – Assistant Director and Chief Archivist, National Railway Museum RCTS Surrey Branch organised the evening as a joint meeting with the Southern Friends of the National Railway…

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18 February 2021 · Railway Safety – Lessons from Privatisation

18 Feb 2021

Presenter: Cliff Perry, Railwayman All were welcomed especially our speaker Cliff Perry, who would be talking about railway safety and providing an update since his previous visit to the branch…

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21 January 2021 · HS2 – An Overview

21 Jan 2021

Presenter: Paul Seller – Interim PMO Director, HS2 Paul was originally scheduled to talk to the branch in October 2019 but was taken ill at the very last minute so…

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15 December 2020 · AGM + Leatherhead Station: The Stationmaster’s House

15 Dec 2020

Presenter: Andy Davies The business of the Branch AGM went smoothly with the agenda, minutes of the previous AGM, reports and accounts all having been circulated in advance. They were…

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24 November 2020 · Classic Southern Electrics in Colour

24 Nov 2020

Presenter: David Brown After being introduced, David went straight into his presentation. A number of railway companies were experimenting with electrification by the early 20th century and David explained how…

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27 October 2020 · Bringing Back the Brighton Belle

27 Oct 2020

Presenter: Gordon Rushton The presentation started with a question – why restore a 1930s train for 21st century mainline use as this is ‘insanely difficult’? It was said that it…

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22 September 2020 · South Western Railway

22 Sep 2020

Presenter: Mark Hopwood, Managing Director (MD), South Western Railway (SWR) We welcomed Mark as the speaker at our first virtual branch meeting. He explained that he was only supposed to…

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12 March 2020 · Sir Nigel Gresley – his work and times

12 Mar 2020

Presenter: Chris Nettleton, honorary editor of the Gresley Magazine, membership secretary of The Gresley Society Chris briefly introduced himself before going straight into the presentation. Herbert Nigel Gresley was born…

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25 February 2020 · Vivarail

25 Feb 2020

Presenter: Adrian Shooter – CEO Vivarail Long-time career railwayman Adrian Shooter described how he had retired about 8 years ago but quickly became bored after only two weeks of retirement.…

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21 January 2020 · National Railway Museum

21 Jan 2020

Presenter: Anthony Coulls – Senior Curator, National Railway Museum Our original speaker from the National Railway Museum (NRM) was unable to attend so we welcomed Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator instead.…

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17 December 2019 · An Evening with Gordon Pettitt preceded by the Branch AGM

17 Dec 2019

Presenter: Gordon Pettitt The meeting held on 17 December 2019 comprised the Branch AGM and ‘An evening with Gordon Pettitt’ separated by an interval for socialising and enjoying some excellent…

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26 November 2019 Part 1 · Network Rail – Putting Passengers First

26 Nov 2019

Presenter: Andrew Haines – Chief Executive Officer, Network Rail Andrew Haines was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Board member of Network Rail (NR) in August 2018.Prior to this…

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26 November 2019 Part 2 · From Bank Manager to Train Driver

26 Nov 2019

Presenter: Alan Nichols, Train Driver retired Alan kindly stepped in at short notice when Andrew Haines advised that he would have to leave early because of his work commitments. He…

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22 October 2019 · High Speed 2

22 Oct 2019

Presenter: Paul Seller, Commercial Director, Infrastructure Directorate, HS2 Please note that this did not go ahead for reasons which will be apparent when reading the report Our booked speaker Paul…

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10 October 2019 · Flying Scotsman – Steam, Sweat and Tears

10 Oct 2019

Presenter: Mike Corbett, ex Project Manager, Flying Scotsman Mike’s recent involvement with Flying Scotsman (FS) began when First Class Partnerships (FCP) were contracted to manage the project in 2012 after…

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24 September 2019 · South Western Railway – an Update

24 Sep 2019

Presenter: David Wilby, Regional Development Manager, South Western Railway A relative newcomer to railways, David’s background is in planning, including transport planning in his previous job at Wokingham Borough Council.…

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21 May 2019 · Elstree & Borehamwood – the first 150 years

21 May 2019

Presenter: John Cartledge – former Head of Policy and Research at London TravelWatch Our booked speaker was unable to attend so John stepped in to tell us about his home…

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30 April 2019 · The Anniversary Tour

30 Apr 2019

Presenter: Steve Ollive Steve introduced himself and explained what the talk was about – a railway tour in Europe to celebrate three sixtieth birthdays and a silver wedding anniversary with…

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26 March 2019 · Clan Line

25 Mar 2019

Presenter: Chris Meredith Chris gave a brief outline of his early contact with the Merchant Navy class of steam locomotives as a child living in Broadstairs, before providing an outline…

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14th March 2019 · 40 Years of Preserving the Legendary Deltics

14 Mar 2019

Presenter: Murray Brown – Deltic Preservation Society Murray began with a brief resumé of his background in railways mentioning that his father used to work for ICI and knew Dr…

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Local Railway Attractions


The Mid-Hants Railway (The Watercress Line)
Running from a main-line connection at Alton through rolling countryside to Alresford in Hampshire, the line portrays Southern practice in the 1960s era.  See for further information on services, special events and facilities.

The Great Cockcrow Railway
This is a 7¼ in gauge line located in Lyne, near Chertsey, Surrey. The railway offers an intensive service over two routes, each over two miles long. The site has some twenty steam locomotives and several petrol units. The site is open every Sunday afternoon between Easter and October and certain other afternoons. See for further information on services, special events and facilities.

The Frimley Lodge Miniature Railway
Frimley Lodge Miniature Railway is located in Frimley Lodge Park, Sturt Road, Frimley Green, Camberley, GU16 6HT. The Park has large open spaces, wooded areas and is adjacent to the Basingstoke Canal.

This is a 1km line with gauges of 7¼", 5" and 3½" with varied resident and visiting locomotives. Trains normally run on the first Sunday in each month from March to November. The are a number of additional sessions during school holidays and some Bank Holidayss
Further information available at

Mizens Railway
Operates every Sunday afternoon from the start of May until the end of September and Thursday Afternoons in August at Barrs Lane, Knaphill, Woking.  Further information available at

Malden and District Society of Model Engineers Ltd
Operates the Thames Ditton Miniature Railway, Claygate Lane, Thames Ditton, which can be seen from the main line near Hampton Court Junction.  The railway operates Easter Sunday and Monday, then the first Sunday of the month and every Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday until the first Sunday in October.
Further information is available at

Stoke Park Railway, Guildford

Operated by Guildford Model Engineering Society at their site in Stoke Park, Guildford with access from London Road, GU1 1TU. Regular public open events include miniature passenger hauling trains running on 3½" and 5" gauge raised track and also 7¼" gauge ground level track. Both feature live steam and diesel outline electric locomotives. 16mm and Gauge 1 Garden Railways featuring mainly live steam locomotives, and 4mm indoor layout. For further information see