steam train

Welcome to the Railway Studies Friendswelcome to Railway Studies Friends

About Us


60163 Tornado passing under Luxton’s Steps Bridge, Bishopsteignton on an up Torbay Express bound for Bristol. © DGW

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


Caption 46100 Royal Scot passing Teignmouth on up Torbay Express bound for Bristol. August 2016

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 :-

The existing entry for the meeting on the 17th October should be put back to the meeting to be held on the 21st Nov. It is replaced by the following
Date 2017 Subject and speaker
19th September 50 Years of Railway Photography an illustrated talk by Amyas Crump
21st November A talk on “The derailment at Norton Fitzwarren on 4th November 1940” by John Heaton.
19th December A Friends Social Evening
16th January 2018 Swiss Rails An illustrated talk by David Goodyear
20th February 2018 The Changing Landscape – A 40 year pictorial journey by Steam, Diesel through the West Country by Barry Jones
20th March 2018 The Teign Valley Line an illustrated talk by Mark Chambers
17th April 2018 The Vale of Berkeley Railway an illustrated talk by Howard Parker Chairman of the Vale of Berkley Railway Trust
15th May 2018 Annual General Meeting followed by a selection of Photographs from the Collection – Graham Walker


Opening Hours of the Railway Studies Collection

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

Sherryl Healey, the Railway Studies Librarian, is there on Tuesdays and Wednesday. At other times the Library staff will be able to assist with queries. A Friends Volunteer is on duty on Saturday mornings from 10am to 1pm.


Digitisation of a Railway Archive


34052 Lord Dowding passing Powderham on The Dartmouth Express a Kingswear to Woking Steam Special 11.06.2016. © DGW

For several years Don Steggles one of the co founders of the Collection has created a an archive of railway related printed material,from books, web to sites etc. The paper collection fills several shelves of the Collection's Archival Storage Room and as a result of the donation of Railway Timetables both from Godfrey Yeomans and David St John Thomas space is now at a premium.

Thus the Railway Archive is being digitised. It's contents follow the Ottley Categories used in the Railway Studies Collection. The searchable catelogue of the archive already exists on line and in the future will be linked to the images.


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 and the Devon County Council Library Services

The following new titles have been acquired by the Collection:


Photograph Collection

The Collection's Photographs now numbers over 61,000. Gradually being incorporated on to the data base are the photographs of the late Godfrey Yeomans which include significant numbers of photographs of the former Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway & the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. There are still to be added to the Collection several hundreds of Godfrey Yeoman's Collection & these include several images of the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway both in its GWR & BR days as well as in its current preservation status.

A further addition to the Collection are some photographs from our late President David St John Thomas. Unfortunately several of the negatives have deteriorated and have been taken to a local photographic company to see if they can be restored. There are also numerous enprints which along with their negatives which will be reproduced in a more manageable size.

Ottley's Bibliography of British Railway History

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


Collection Details


35028 Clan Line passes Yeoford on The Cathedrals Explorer Express en route to Okehampton. 10th May 2013. © DGW.

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 Library Service 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

It's a MysteryIt's a Mystery

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

devon county council logo Newton Abbot Railway Studies Collection Website