Books

Locomotives

Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Volumes 1–14:, Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RTCS),
  • 1. Preliminary survey
  • 2. Broad Gauge
  • 3. Absorbed engines 1854–1921
  • 4. Six-wheeled tender engines
  • 5. Six-coupled tank engines
  • 6. Four-coupled tank engines
  • 7. Dean's larger tender engines
  • 8. Modern passenger classes
  • 9. Standard two-cylinder classes
  • 10. Absorbed engines 1922–1947
  • 11. The rail motor vehicles and internal combustion locomotives
  • 12. A chronological and statistical survey
  • 13. Preservation and supplementary information
  • 14. Names; railmotor services; war service; preservation



A Pictorial Record of Great Western Engines, Volumes 1–3, J.H Russell, OPC

  • Volume 1: Gooch, Armstrong & Dean Locomotives
  • Volume 2: Churchward, Collett & Hawksworth Locomotives
  • Volume 3: Absorbed Locomotives


Great Western Railway Locomotive Allocations for 1921, Ian Harrison, Wild Swan Publications

Great Western Railway Locomotive Allocations for 1934, N. Pocock & I. Harrison, Wild Swan Publications

Great Western Diesel Railcars, J.H. Russell, Wild Swan Publications

The locomotive allocations registers for the last century are (with about three exceptions) in the Public Record Office. See the RAIL 254 series.

 

Coaches and non-passenger-carrying coaching stock ('brown' vehicles)

Great Western Coaches from 1890, Michael Harris, David &Charles

This gives an overall picture of the passenger coaches built from 1890 onwards, and therefore does not cover early 4- and 6-wheel stock or the early bogie stock. The 1985 edition is probably the best so far. Passenger coaches, SRMs, Passenger Brake Vans and similar only. It omits Siphons, Horse boxes and Carriage truck vehicles.


 
Great Western Coaches Volumes 1 & 2, J.H. Russell, OPC

Particularly good for the photographs. Beware of some of the captions – especially in Volume 1. In spite of the errors this complements the Appendix volumes and goes further back.



Great Western Coaches Appendix Vol 1, J.H. Russell, OPC

This deals with bogie coaches only: Firsts, Thirds, Brake Thirds, Composites, i.e. it covers diags A – E. Note that it largely deals with coaches built this century. The coverage of older coaches is very limited


Great Western Coaches Appendix Vol 2, J.H. Russell, OPC

Covers diagrams F onwards – i.e. Slip coaches, Saloons, Catering, Sleeping, Passenger Brake Vans, Mail, Parcels, Trailers etc. Its coverage of older coaches is better than Vol 1, but not perfect. Some Brakedown vans and tenders are included, and there are some interior views.

Register of GWR Absorbed Coaching Stock 1922/3, E.R. Mountford, Oakwood Press

Useful if you are modelling an absorbed line before say 1930 (after which most had been scrapped).

Great Western Autotrailers Vols 1 & 2, J. Lewis, Wild Swan Publications

Part 1 deals with trailers built before the Great War, and Steam Rail Motor conversions. These mostly lasted until the end of the GWR. Also includes the clerestory trailers, Clifton Downs stock, etc. Part 2 deals with absorbed trailers and ones built/altered from ordinary coaches after the Great War.


Official Drawings No.3: Great Western Coaches, J. Lewis, Wild Swan Publications

This is an attempt to cover most designs of coach from Dreadnoughts onwards. Only gangwayed coaches are given:
  • Dreadnaught compo to dia E77
  • Concertina third to dia C27 and compo to dia E80
  • Toplight 57' single ended slip to dia F14
  • Toplight 70' 3rds to dias C29/C33/C38
  • Collett PLV to dia K38
  • Ex-toplight ambulance coach with Collett style body to dia C55
  • Riveria third C59
  • Collett 9' wide large window brake third to dia D124
  • Collett 8' 11in wide large window third to dia C77
  • Hawksworth brake third to dia D133

Great Western Siphons, J.N. Slinn & B.K. Clarke, Historical Model Railway Society

Covers all siphons and derivatives but not milk tanks etc. Includes lot numbers, diagram codes and running numbers. Includes drawings which are unfortunately largely undimensioned. Now out of print.



General notes:

If you are modelling a main line then the Public Record Office has many of the Through Coach Programmes booklets. They also have a number of the Bristol Division local coach workings booklets, but otherwise these are rather more rare than hen's teeth on the open market. Copies from the PRO are not cheap, but finding copies elsewhere is difficult/impossible – though you might try the GWS Library at Didcot, or the Swindon Museum.

If you are interested in 4-wheelers, join the Great Western Study Group, (recommended anyway) and get hold of their publication "Pannier" No.12 and No.14, which have details on these coaches.

 

Goods stock

GWR Goods Wagons, Atkins, Beard & Tourret, Tourret Publishing

A Pictorial Record of Great Western Wagons, J.H. Russell, OPC

Great Western Wagons Appendix, Vol. 1, J.H. Russell, OPC

All about Iron Minks, HMRS

 

Goods services

GWR Goods Services: An Introduction, Tony Atkins & David Hyde, Wild Swan Publications

GWR Goods Services 2A: Goods Depots and Their Operation

GWR Goods Services 2B: Goods Depots and Their Operation



Great Western Docks & Marine, Noodle Books

GWR Goods Train Working: From Development To Guard Duties, Crecy

GWR Goods Train Working: From Control Offices to Exceptional Loads Volume 2, Crecy

GWR Goods Cartage. Vol 1: From Horses and Carts to Tractors and Trailers, Crecy

GWR Goods cartage Vol 2: Garages, Liveries, Cartage and Containers, Crecy
 

 

Modelling

Great Western Branch Line Modelling: Part 1 Prototype Layouts, Track and Signalling, Stephen Williams, Wild Swan Publications

Great Western Branch Line Modelling: Part 2 Prototype buildings, fittings & traffic operation, Stephen Williams, Wild Swan Publications

Great Western Branch Line Modelling: Part 3 Creating a Model, Stephen Williams, Wild Swan Publications

 

Stations

A Pictorial Record of Great Western Architecture, Adrian Vaughan, OPC

An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume One, R H Clark, OPC

An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume Two, R H Clark, OPC

An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume Three, R H Clark, OPC

An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume Four, C R Potts, OPC

 

Broad Gauge

A Broad Gauge Album, Newton Abbot Library

Great Western Broad Gauge Album, A.K. Steele, OPC

Taunton in the 1880s, Broad Gauge Society

Brunel's Cornish Viaducts, J. Binding, Atlantic/HMRS

Brunel's Broad Gauge, C. Awdry, OPC

The Great Western Broad Gauge, Walters, Ian Allan
(Beware of the captions!)

Broad Gauge Finale, A. H. Malan, Wild Swan Publications
(Particularly strong on the last days of the Broad Gauge. Malan's photos of moving trains caused a sensation in photographic circles at the time.)

 

Edwardian GWR

Edwardian Enterprise, John Norris, Gerry Beale & John Lewis, Wild Swan Publications

Pregrouping Railway Scene No.1 : Great Western, O.S. Nock, Ian Allan

The GWR at the Turn of the Century, A R Kingdom, OPC

Pre-grouping in the West Midlands, OPC

Great Western Portrait, 1913–21, Adrian Vaughan, OPC

a particularly good selection of pictures taken by Bill Kenning

 

1920s and 1930s

The Great Western in the 1930s, D. Fraser, D. Geen & B. Fox, Kingfisher

The Great Western in the 1930s, Volume 2, D. Geen & B. Fox, Kingfisher (concentrates on trains in the Bristol area)

Great Western Pictorial, P. Hopkins, Wild Swan Publications (photos of Philip Hopkins (WSP) in the 1920s and 1930s.

Great Western Pictorial No.2, J. Hodge, Wild Swan Publications (photos of Gerald Hubback in the 1920s and 1930s)

Window on the Great Western, M. F. Yarwood, Wild Swan Publications (covers 1930s with some from the 1940s)

Truly the Great Western, M. Earley, OPC (photos of Maurice Earley, 1920s–1940s)

 

Other subjects

Great Western Way, J. N. Slinn, Historical Model Railway Society   (contains extensive livery details)

Great Western Engine Sheds 1947, E. Lyons, OPC


Great Western Engine Sheds 1837–1947, E. Lyons & E. Mountford, OPC

A Pictorial Record of Great Western Signalling, Adrian Vaughan, OPC

GWR Switch and Crossing Practice, David Smith, Great Western Study Group

 

General

The Great Western Railway Journal, Wild Swan Publications

Newsletter and "Pannier", Great Western Study Group

GWR Drawings Catalogue, National Railway Museum

Also consider books on other railway companies wagons and Private Owner wagons; and if there are through passenger trains from other companies, then look for books on the appropriate company's coaching stock.




Webmasters note:

If you decide to purchase any of the above books, consider Nigel Bird Books, a friendly, reliable and very knowledgable trader of both secondhand, new, and out of print railway books. (Branchstow is also a dealer in books.)