Technical and test records

Loco design, performance, testing and history.


An extremely popular topic: the technical history of locomotives and rolling stock. When our museum was formed in 1975, we inherited all kinds of volumes, reports, files, record cards and more. Whether you're an enthusiast, an author, a modeller or a restorer, the information from these archives is hugely valuable.

These PDF files list the technical records we have in our collections. They may not be complete. If you are having trouble opening them, try right-clicking and saving the document to your computer (and making sure the file is named '.pdf' at the end).

If you'd like to access something from our archives, see Search Engine.

1. The 'Technical Archive'

Most of our technical and test records are grouped into this large section. Here you'll find locomotive record cards, carriage and wagon records, stock books, LNER and BR correspondence, specs, testing reports and more.
Technical archive list

2. Diesel and electric locomotive manuals

Mostly from private manufacturers but supplied to British Railways.
Diesel & electric manuals archive list

3. Railway company engineering brochures

Publications by railway companies and railway works that publicized their products. There's a selection from overseas as well as the UK.
Railway engineering works brochures archive list

4. Records from the Rugby Locomotive Testing Station

There's much more information about this batch of records in the PDF below.
Rugby Locomotive Testing Station archive list

5. Vacuum brake patent papers and archive list

Introduction to Vacuum Brake Patent Papers and archive list

Background: Suitcase with railway luggage labels