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Transport History Collection

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.

Finding aids

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.

There are pdf lists of items in the Clinker collection available:

Clinker Collection Finding Aid: Index Categories
 CR1                Signalling (General & Notices)  CR16              Accident Reports (Note A)
 CR2                Weekly Engineering Notices                                        CR17              Train Performance Logs
 CR3                Annual Reports  CR18              Railway Mania Project
 CR4                Bristol Area  CR19              Railway Invigoration
 CR5                Plans and Diagrams  CR20              Clinker Lectures
 CR6                Maps  CR21              The Borley Papers
 CR7                Timetables (Note A)  CR22              Canals
 CR8                Operating Publications (Note A)           CR23              Loco & Rolling Stock
 CR9                G.W.R. Conversion of Gauge  CR24              Staff & Personnel
 CR10              Strikes  CR25              Other Subjects
 CR11              War   CR26              Lists of Historical Data
 CR12              Commerical Publications  
 CR13              Individual Railway Companies                     
 CR14              Locations (and surrounding area) (Note A)    
 CR15              Published Books                                                             

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. You can check when we are open on the Using our collections page.

Railway photographs

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.