Railways and the First World War

News of our upcoming First World War exhibition and selected resources from our collection.

World War One resources at the National Railway Museum

First World War Centenary

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, our exhibition from July 2016 tells the story of the ambulance trains used to transport sick and injured troops.

You can follow our progress with the exhibition, including our recreation of an ambulance carriage, on our blog.

On this page you will find images and resources relating to the role of the railways in the war, as well as our list of fallen railwaymen.

List of fallen railway workers

Take a look at our Ambulance Trains website for more information on the story behind this exhibition.

On the website you will find a searchable database of fallen railwaymen, which includes entries based on personal stories told by people who built, travelled in and worked on ambulance trains.

The database contains details of more than 20,000 railway employees who died in the First World War. It combines information from items in our archive and library collections (such as railway staff magazines), and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

If you see a reference to a magazine, that means information or a photo of that railway worker was printed in the magazine issue mentioned. Some of that information is usually in the table itself (under Notes, or Company), but you can come and look at the magazines themselves in our research and archive centre.

We've got a variety of material relating to railways and the First World War - see the Further Reading list at the bottom of this page for more info.

Images from the collection

View a selected number of images from our Collection. Make an appointment with our Search Engine to see more.

World War One archive images at the NRM

Related resources

Flickr user familyhistory1 has uploaded a set of photos of Great Western Railway workers who died during World War One.

Swindon Central Library has a Flickr photo set of Great Western Railway staff magazine scans, showing soldiers from Swindon Works who died.

The Midland Railway Study Centre has a list of Midland Railway staff who died during World War One which comes from a different source to ours.

From the blog

Further reading

Background: Class 87