Drawings and papers from railway works and companies

Working drawings for steam locos, carriages and wagons.


We have 100,000s for steam locomotives and rolling stock, from the mid-1900s to the early 1960s. (We don't have many drawings of diesel and electric locomotives because they've been retained by British Rail.)

Below you'll find:

  • Selected images of the drawings - just the ones that we've already scanned in because people have ordered copies.
  • Fuller PDF lists of the drawings we have. They're not always complete. (PDFs marked microfilm list aperture cards: cards mounted with pieces of microfilm.)

You can come and see drawings from these lists by visiting our library and archive centre, or order your own copies with our copying service.

General lists

Drawing registers

These are original lists of drawings, compiled by actual staff from the various works at the time.

Oxford Publishing Company microfilm collection

This is a partial list of microfilm aperture cards from various railway companies. This list was originally created as a quick way to look up the most popular drawings, so check this first before looking at the more complete microfilm lists below.

Companies

British Railways Eastern Region - Civil Defence archive

The Civil Defence Archive for British Railways Eastern Region comprises a wide range of papers related to preparations to keep the railway running in the event of a nuclear attack.

Great Western Railway (GWR)

A small set of drawings of bridges and crossings from the Civil Engineer’s Office at Paddington. We don't have a list of this collection, but you can come and see some parts of it.

London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS)

Carriage and wagon drawings, from works including Derby Newton Heath and Wolverton as well as some private manufacturers.

London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)

Carriage and wagon drawings.

Midland Railway (MR)

Architectural civil engineering drawings of the Midland Railway extension to London St Pancras.

North Eastern Railway (NER), London & North Eastern Railway (LNER)

Architectural civil engineering drawings.

Works

Ashford Works

Built many of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway's Class D locomotives – including 737, which is in the National Collection.

Bow Road Works

This North London Railway works built the Class 75, one of which is preserved on the Bluebell Railway.

Brighton Works

One of the earliest railway-owned locomotive repair works, which at one point was building one loco every 4.5 days.

Darlington Works

Built several of Sir Nigel Gresley's Class H4. (As well as the list below, we also have a list of plans for the building of the works. But that list isn't available at the moment.)

Derby Locomotive Works

Constructed almost 3000 steam engines. One of their Midland Compounds is preserved in the National Collection.

Derby Carriage and Wagon Works

Produced rolling stock for Midland Railway, LMS and British Railways. It's still operating today.

Doncaster Works

Also known as 'The Plant', Doncaster built many famous locomotives including Flying Scotsman and Mallard.

Eastleigh works

Produced locos for LSWR, Southern Railway and British Rail, including Cheltenham. (Original drawings from Eastleigh are in the Southern Railway list above).

Gorton Works

Several of the Class 8K locomotives that Gorton built are preserved in the UK and Australia, including 102 (pictured).

Highbridge Works

Only built three locomotives of its own.

Horwich Works

Built Wren, and the Hughes Crab and Black Five classes. (The majority of these drawings are now available to view)

Longhedge Works

A London, Chatham and Dover Railway works in Battersea, South London. Built William Kirtley's 'M' series, including Class M3 (pictured).

Melton Constable Works

This Midland and Great Northern Railway works mainly carried out locomotive repairs.

Newton Heath Works

See the London Midland and Scottish Railway section above – there are some Newton Heath drawings there too.

Plaistow Works

Supplied the London Tilbury and Southend Railway.

Stoke Works

Set up by the North Staffordshire Railway. Built L Class 2, which is preserved in the National Collection (pictured).

Stratford Works

The centre for drawings by the Great Eastern Railway and its successors.

Swindon Works

Records of the Great Western Railway and predecessor company steam locomotives, more coming soon.

Wolverton Works

Located on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, Wolverton produced highly decorated and luxurious carriages for the very wealthy – including the royal family.

Stations

Curzon Street Station

Architectural drawings for this now-closed Birmingham station, from the London & Birmingham Railway and London & North Western Railway.

Filey Station

Operational documents of the North Yorkshire station.

Photos used under a Creative Commons license:
Curzon Street Station: Tony Hisgett
Stratford Works: Ben Brooksbank
NSR Class L 2: James E Petts

Background: Suitcase with railway luggage labels