Reference books on British trains

Volvictof

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I’m just wondering if there is any reference book out there which has all (or most) of the trains that were built/designed/ran in Britain, be it steam, diesel or electric? I’m really thinking about something in historical order with pictures of each unit along side general information and history of that unit.
I’ve got books at home in the same sort of format for all sorts of things (tanks, planes, guns, cars etc) but haven’t seen anything similar with trains.
If not is there something similar for say, just steam locos and maybe something else for DMUs etc?

thanks
 
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birchesgreen

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There are books that cover separate areas though i've never seen a book which covers everything from the earliest steam to the latest MUs - it would be a rather thick book to be honest!

There are the Diesel & Electric Locomotive and Multiple Unit Recognition Guides - though they are by Colin J Marsden so some details may be incorrect...

My favourite books of this ilk are the British Rail Fleet Survey series by Brian Haresnape, well worth tracking down on Ebay or similar.
 

yorksrob

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Capital Transport has some fairly detailed books on the development of Southern region electric and diesel rolling stock.
 

hexagon789

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There are the Diesel & Electric Locomotive and Multiple Unit Recognition Guides - though they are by Colin J Marsden so some details may be incorrect...
Correction - lots of details are incorrect., even when the latest version supposedly contains many corrections. Not worth the money at all.
 

Peter C

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O. S. Nock's Pocket Encyclopedia of British Steam Railways, and O. S. Nock's Pocket Encyclopedia of British Locomotives, are the closest things I can think of from my collection. They each have just under two-hundred colour drawings of engines, coaches, and even signals (in the first of the two books I mentioned). They were reprinted in 2018 and are really quite nice.

-Peter
 

birchesgreen

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Correction - lots of details are incorrect., even when the latest version supposedly contains many corrections. Not worth the money at all.
Yeah i was being kind!

One book i have got, and which is a very detailed volume indeed, is British Railways Multiple Units to 1975

A similar kind of thing is British Rail Main Line Locomotives Specification Guide
 

Volvictof

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Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated. I have a bit of an obsessive personality when it comes to learning things, and ive recently got a job on the railways so like to know what people are talking about when they mention all the different classes of trains etc.
 

ANDREW_D_WEBB

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Platform 5 publish Locomotives and Coach Stock each year giving full details of all locos, units, coaching stock and track machines registered to run on Network Rail metals. Very comprehensive and used by many in the industry as a reference guide.
 

TheEdge

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Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated. I have a bit of an obsessive personality when it comes to learning things, and ive recently got a job on the railways so like to know what people are talking about when they mention all the different classes of trains etc.

The Platform 5 books will give you are pretty full list of everything running today. If you want a comprehensive list of every historical class of loco you are going to need a lot of space for those books. The information will exist but it will be across hundreds of books. Maybe narrow down to your local area?
 

DelW

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For steam locos, I'd put in a recommendation for H C Casserley's "Observer's Directory of British Steam Locomotives", which I think is long out of print but seems to be readily available secondhand at modest prices. It covers more or less all standard gauge designs, listed in order of wheel arrangements, from 0-4-0s to 2-10-0s. There are also short sections on early locos (up to 1854) and non-standard types like Beyer Garratts, Fairlies, Sentinels etc. In total 565 types are listed, mostly with (small) photos.
 
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Merthyr Imp

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A book I've had for years is 'Locomotives of British Railways' by H. C. Casserley and L. L. Asher, published by Spring Books in 1961.

It has photographs and brief details of every class and variation of steam locomotive to pass to British Railways in 1948 plus all the Standard designs.

I think it should be available second-hand.

md30794920557.jpg
 

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