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Welcome to the Railway Studies Friendswelcome to Railway Studies Friends

About Us


6233 Duchess of Sutherland on the down Royal Duchy approaching Langford Bridge Aller. September 2019. © Graham Walker.

Established in 1991 the Friends support the Collection by various means including volunteering for Saturday opening hours, fund raising for the purchase of new titles for the Collection or giving specialist advice on the many unidentified photographs and slides held by the Collection and compiling a database of the Collection’s photographs.

The Friends also hold a series of talks /slide shows throughout the year, details of which are in the News Section of this web site.

Membership of the Friends costs £10 per annum and membership details are available from:

The Secretary, G. Walker, 68 Mile End Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 1RW.

Private collections are often left to the Railway Studies Library and these are dealt with by the Railway Studies Librarian, with volunteers on hand to assist in sorting out such collections. If there are any duplicate titles these are donated to the Friends who then dispose of them and use the money raised to buy new titles for the Collection.


Friends of the Railway Studies Collection Meetings


60163 Tornado on the down Torbay Express works past the preliminary works to the sea wall at Dawlish in July 2019. © Denis Lewis.

All meetings are held on the first floor of the Passmore Edwards Centre, Newton Abbot and start at 7pm.

All are welcome to attend. The Friends of the Railway Studies Collection have free entry; guests are also welcome and are invited to make a small donation of £1 which adds to the funds for the purchase of new books for the Collection.

All meeting are held in the Passmore Edwards Centre and commence at 7pm. All are welcome.

The programme for meetings is as follows :-

Date 2019 – 2020 Subject and speaker
15th October 2019 People & Places: An illustrated talk by Paul Shackcloth of the Mancunian Railway Society, about locomen, railway staff, spotters and railway photographer.
19th November 2019 The Western Hydraulics: An illustrated talk by Bernard Mills.
17th December 2019 The John Woods Somerset & Dorset Collection: A selection of images taken on the S&D Railway, 1958 to 1967. Presented by Mike Beale.
21 st January 2020 Swiss railways Kaleidoscope: An illustrated talk by David Goodyear.
18th February 2020 Contrasts in Communism: An illustrated talk by Paul Silvestri.
17th March 2020 The Moretonhampstead Branch Line: An illustrated talk by Mike Lang, Bovey Tracey Heritage Centre


Opening Hours of the Railway Studies Collection


60009 Union of South Africa on the sea wall at Teignmouth working a down Torbay Express. © Denis Lewis.

The Railway Studies Collection is in the refurbished Passmore Edwards Centre, Market Street, Newton Abbot and is located on the first floor and accessible by a lift and stairways. The Collection is open on:

Monday – Saturday: 9.00am - 4.00pm

A member of the Library Staff will be able to assist with queries. Friends Volunteers are usually present on Wednesdays.


Future Working of the Railway Studies Collection.

After some considerable time Libraries Unlimited have made some decisions as to how the Railway Studies Collection will be managed in the future. There will be no replacement for the former dedicated Railway Studies Librarian. Instead a new Libraries Team Leader together with two Library Assistants will be trained in the running of the Collection as part of their day to day duties and they will be available on a six days per week basis and be able to handle day to day enquiries after completion of a period of training likely to last about a month. They can be contacted on the following email address or by phone 01626 886226.


Foreign Railway Scenes

The Library Service has agreed to now collect Foreign Railway images for the Collection. Anyone with any surplus foreign images should contact Graham Walker on the number listed on this web site.


New books provided by the Friends of the Railway Studies Collection

The following new titles have been acquired by the Collection:


Donations to the Collection

The Collection has recently received a Collection of photographs from the late Peter Braine.

Included in the donation is research material compiled by the late Peter Braine about Sir Richard Moon a former Chairman of the London North Western Railway from 1861-1891. The donation also includes a copy of the book which Peter Braine self published titled “The Railway Moon”.


Photograph Collection


23rd March 2019 GBRF Class 50’s work the 07:08 Paddington to Penzance special train approaching Hackney. © Denis Lewis.

Recent new photographs to the Collection include several thousand modern day images of Diesel and Electric traction images the photographs having been taken by Steven & Sean Gammage and donated to the Collection by Mr & Mrs Beech.

David Braine has recently also donated the books and photographs of his late father, Peter Braine. The photographs include a series images of the London & North Western Railway.

Digitisation of the Collection’s Railway Photographs

Running in parallel with the date base of railway photographs the Volunteers are also digitising the photographs so that they can be accessed on line. To assist in this task the Friends would like to recruit a further Volunteer to assist the team. Training is available and the work can be undertaken on a stand-alone pc system in the Railway Studies area. Anyone interested should contact Graham Walker on 01626 352077.

Copyright Issues

A new team of Volunteers has taken on the task of identifying the Collections Photographs Copyright Holders. This is important to the Collection as in some cases we have been asked for permission to use a Collection photograph. All the holders are being identified and where possible are being contacted about the use of their images.

Ottley's Bibliography of British Railway History

The collection is arranged in line with Ottley's Bibliography of British Railway History.


Collection Details


13th April 2019 DRS 68034 and 88003 approaching Shaldon Bridge, Teignmouth on a special from Penzance following the Long Rock Open Day. © Denis Lewis.

The Collection opened in 1991 and is housed on the first floor of Passmore Edwards Centre which is a Grade 1 Listed Building. Newton Abbot was chosen because of the town's significance as a railway centre.

Newton Abbot has a main line station, and was the site of a large locomotive shed [Shed code 83A] engine repair works and carriage and wagon works.

All aspects of Britain's Railways are covered by the collection with material of interest to railway and social historians, writer's, modellers, researchers and those with a more general interest.

There is comprehensive material on West Country Railways from the Great Western and London South Western/Southern periods up to the present day. In addition there is a substantial amount of information on the remainder of the UK's railway network with limited coverage of railways in Ireland.

As well as providing information of all types on standard gauge railways, the Collection caters for other key areas of interest such as :-

This wealth of data is arranged according to a classification scheme based on that devised by George Ottley for his Bibliography of Railway History. A guide to this scheme is available in the Library.

Items in the Collection form part of the Devon Libraries Unlimited catalogue. This available on their website:

Click here to view details of the Railway Studies Collection at the Passmore Edwards Centre, Newton Abbot.

The Railway Studies Collection contains:-

Please click here to view a full list of our Magazines and Periodicals

Contact UsContact Us

Phone: 01626 886226
Email: Railway Studies
Post: Railway Studies Collection, Passmore Edwards Centre, Market Street, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2RJ.

Copyright of all photos DG Walker


directionsFind Us...

By Rail: Newton Abbot Railway Station is served by main line and local services between Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay and Paignton and is less than a mile's walk from the Passmore Edwards Centre.

By Bus: The Bus Station is within 400 feet of the Passmore Edwards Centre. There is a bus service from the Railway Station to the Bus Station.

By Car: The nearest car park is the multi-storey car park which has a ramped entrance on Sherbourne Road and pedestrian steps or a lift to all levels. This is a pay on exit car park.

Click here to view a map of how to find us



Chairman of the Friends of the Railway Studies Collection,
Denis Lewis
Broadway Road
TQ12 3EH.

Secretary and Saturday Rota Secretary,
G. Walker,
68 Mile End Road,
Newton Abbot TQ12 1RW.

Tel: 01626 352077

Newton Abbot Railway Studies Collection Website