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Old British Rail Timetables

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Up_Tilt_390

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Can anybody tell me where I might be able to find some old timetables from British Rail in the 1980s/90s? I'm just after some reference really, it's nothing too important. In particular I would like a timetable of some of the mainline train services out of London, which include...

  • East Coast Main Line
  • Great Eastern Main Line
  • Great Western Main Line
  • Midland Main Line
  • Southern Main Line
  • South West Main Line
  • West Coast Main Line
Along with several other lines on the railway, which include...

  • Liverpool and Manchester Lines (North and South)
  • Merseyrail Northern Line
  • Merseyrail Wirral Line
  • TransPennine Route
  • Manchester to Scotland
  • Settle and Carlisle
  • Thameslink
I know I'm asking for a lot of routes, and that is why I am willing to accept as much as you might be willing or able to give (I mean after all a lot of people on the forums probably know a lot), but if anybody can refer me to a site (or sites) where I can find information regarding old British Rail timetables on these lines, then it would be appreciated. Again, I am just after some reference and would like to know how services have changed. Thanks.
 
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ainsworth74

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If you're anywhere near a heritage railway you might try visiting and seeing if their shop has an old books/leaflets section. Quite a few do and you'll often find old timetables and similar on sale often very cheaply (less than a pound often). I've seen all sorts of old timetables floating around as well as National timetable books.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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A semi-rural part of north-west England
Because of its good page size in comparison to the smaller size later editions, I have always kept my copy of the British Rail timetable 1st June 1981 to 16th May 1982 (1280pp and 4pp card cover) to hand in the railway archives section of my study.

The inside page of the front card cover has a full page advertisement "You can't beat the train" with the footnote "This is the age of the train" and on the final printed page, there is a full page advertisement of Red Star headed "The parcel service of the future will run along these lines"

How things have changed over the last 35 years...<(
 

Taunton

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10,327
Separate timetables for each region (to a consistent national style) were produced until 1974, which made planning long journeys difficult, but then a single annual consolidated version was produced which became quite well known nationally, and many business offices would have them on the shelf. You can indeed commonly pick these up at various places that sell secondhand railway books.

The binding quality was fine for something intended to be thrown away after 12 months, but blocks of pages tend to become detached as the years go by.
 

CETRAILWAYS

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19 Feb 2016
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Dear Up Tilt 390

It might pay you to visit a Transport Collectors Fair which are held principally in London and Burton on Trent and run by TOBAZ. Full details are on the Web.

The Oxford GRoup of the Great Western Society, who have a stall at Didcot, had a long run of the complete public timetables for sale and might be worth checking out. Would you like me to check availability for you ?


CETRAILWAYS
 

EveningStar

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11 Jan 2016
Messages
188
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Deepest, darkest Northumberland
Separate timetables for each region (to a consistent national style) were produced until 1974 ...

First ever national timetable that followed I bought from WH Smith at Victoria and still have. It has some curious anachronisms of the older railway now long gone, such as anybody wanting to join at Hexham the late night boat train from Newcastle to Stranraer had to phone the stationmaster at Hexham before a certain time.
 

PaxmanValenta

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2015
Messages
156
Can anybody tell me where I might be able to find some old timetables from British Rail in the 1980s/90s? I'm just after some reference really, it's nothing too important. In particular I would like a timetable of some of the mainline train services out of London, which include...

  • East Coast Main Line
  • Great Eastern Main Line
  • Great Western Main Line
  • Midland Main Line
  • Southern Main Line
  • South West Main Line
  • West Coast Main Line
Along with several other lines on the railway, which include...

  • Liverpool and Manchester Lines (North and South)
  • Merseyrail Northern Line
  • Merseyrail Wirral Line
  • TransPennine Route
  • Manchester to Scotland
  • Settle and Carlisle
  • Thameslink
I know I'm asking for a lot of routes, and that is why I am willing to accept as much as you might be willing or able to give (I mean after all a lot of people on the forums probably know a lot), but if anybody can refer me to a site (or sites) where I can find information regarding old British Rail timetables on these lines, then it would be appreciated. Again, I am just after some reference and would like to know how services have changed. Thanks.

I did have a British Rail timetable book from 1985 but haven't seen it for a few years so might have been thrown out :( it had every rail service and Intercity 125 services were marked, so you knew you could choose a train time that would be operated by an HST or loco hauled.

I might also have some paper time tables from Rhymny valley line in Wales, if they're not gone too.
 

Bevan Price

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22 Apr 2010
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7,436
If you're anywhere near a heritage railway you might try visiting and seeing if their shop has an old books/leaflets section. Quite a few do and you'll often find old timetables and similar on sale often very cheaply (less than a pound often). I've seen all sorts of old timetables floating around as well as National timetable books.


If you go when there is a gala event, you will often find stalls selling railway books, timetables, etc., in addition to the railway's own shop.
Check here for dates of special events:

http://www.heritage-railways.com/events.php?bf=1

East Lancashire Railway (at Bury)
Great Central Railway (Loughborough Central)
Llangollen Railway (at Carrog)
Severn Valley Railway (at Bewdley or Bridgnorth)
Bookshop on Matlock Staion

are locations where I have sometimes seen old timetables on sale.
 

Welshman

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11 Mar 2010
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For what we now know as the "Trans-Pennine" route you would ideally require both a London Midland and a North-Eastern book, as I think the boundary in British Railways days was somewhere in the middle of the Standedge tunnel!

On the Calder Valley line it was between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.
 

higthomas

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27 Nov 2012
Messages
1,137
Also, don't forget Ebay and the like. They are slightly more pricey that they might be elsewhere, but are quite easy. I bought a 1974 version and from there, and it's fascinating.

A quick search reveals this example but I'm sure there are more.
 

theblackwatch

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Joined
15 Feb 2006
Messages
10,725
The National Railway Museum has copies in its 'Search Engine' (ie library!) which I think can be browsed if you visit - worth checking with them before making a trip though.
 

Johnuk123

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19 Mar 2012
Messages
2,802
I had hundreds of timetables from mid sixties onward till my dear mother decided to burn them all.
 
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