The Transport History Collection consists largely of material relating to British railway history and the Channel Tunnel. There have been two substantial bequests of railway history materials: the Clinker collection bequeathed by the railway historian, Charles Clinker, in 1983 and the Garnett collection bequeathed by David Garnett in 1984. The Channel Tunnel Association’s archives were received later.
The railway history materials include: books, railway maps, Bradshaw guides, timetables, journals and photographs. The collection's books cover British railway history from the earliest times to the early 1980s. The railway maps include early Airey and Railway Clearing House maps, and also Ordnance Survey maps and railway junction diagrams. There are substantial collections of Bradshaw guides, and working and passenger timetables. Railway archive material includes: Charles Clinker's notes and correspondence concerning his Register of closed stations, and papers relating to his revision of MacDermot's History of the Great Western Railway.
The National Archives All change site provides a timeline with key dates in railway history.
You may find a detailed description of the collection on Archives Hub.
Many printed items, including books, maps, timetables and journals, are listed in the Library’s catalogue.
Please contact Special Collections for assistance with locating other material in the collection. The Channel Tunnel Association archive may also be of interest.
Access to collection
The collection is available by appointment only. To request an appointment please e-mail Special.Collections@brunel.ac.uk giving at least 2 working days notice. Appointments are subject to staff availability and only available between 9.30am and 5pm Monday – Friday in Brunel University term-time (Monday – Wednesday during university holidays). You can check when we are open on the Using our collections page.
The collection also includes sets of railway photographs taken by Charles Clinker, Charles Mowat and Chris Wookey. Charles Mowat was a Professor of History at the University of Bangor, 1958 to 1970, whilst Chris Wookey was a student at Brunel University. Prints of the photographs are currently unavailable.