Locomotive Stock Books 1940s


A PDF file for your personal use. Each page carries a small RCTS logo.


The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society began publishing locomotive stock books in early 1935, just a few years after the Society was formed in 1928.  Initially, they were issued as supplements to the Society’s monthly magazine The Railway Observer but later issues were released as independent books.

Information about locomotives  – and railways in general – was scarce in the early days.  The RCTS was a pioneer in gathering, sharing, and collating data for the benefit of railway enthusiasts, usually via The Railway Observer.

The Railway Observer continued to be published every month of the War but the stock books were suspended until 1946. Remarkably, an update covering 1939-42 was made available under censorship conditions in 1943.  Paper shortages in 1946 meant that the resumed edition was for members only.

By the 1948 edition, British Railways had been formed.

The format of the stock books continued to differ from the tabular layout of Ian Allan’s ABC guides which also emerged in the 1940s and were targeted at spotters.  The pages of the RCTS stock books were arranged as compact lists, to be used as a reference source for the mature enthusiast.

The Society is now reissuing these historically important reference books as facsimiles.  It is not possible to match the production standards of a modern original, but we have done our best.  The text has been whitened, blemishes removed, and half-tone images processed into pixels.

Various other supplements, covering locomotive sheds, allocations, naming, and renumbering, are included where appropriate.

There are four volumes in the series.  The books and supplements included in Volume 2 are:

  • Locomotive Stock Alterations 1939-42
  • Locomotive Allocations – LMSR and SR – February 1946
  • The Locomotive Stock Book 1946 – 7th Edition
  • Locomotive Sheds February 1947
  • Locomotive Allocations – LNER and SR – January 1947
  • Appendix 1947
  • Locomotive Allocations – GWR – June 1947
  • The Locomotive Stock Book 1948 – 8th Edition
  • British Railways Locomotive Renumbering Scheme May 1948
  • British Railways Renumbering of W.D. Locomotives March 1949
  • Locomotive Allocations – SR – June 1949

Additional information