Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain: a Chronology
by Michael Quick
ORIGINAL VOLUME OUT OF PRINT
However five supplements containing later information are available for free download – see below
Over thirty years ago, Michael Quick amused himself by drawing maps showing the changing aspects of Britain’s railway network over time. Discovery of many gaps and anomalies in recording station names led him into the task of recording the names, name changes, opening dates and (if closed) closing dates of every railway passenger station in England, Wales and Scotland. In the process, he uncovered what he refers to as ‘vast gaps in the provision of even remotely accurate information about opening dates’. Quick’s compilation was first published in 1995, though, in his own view, it was still in many ways premature. But publication had the great value of bringing him into contact with many others with an interest in this aspect of railway and local history and who shared his concern with accuracy. Indeed, he says ‘the book as it stands should really be seen as the co-operative effort of many people’.
The 2009 edition of ‘Quick’, incorporating a vast amount of further research, is unrivalled as a reference and information source on its subject. This is due to two aspects – its completeness and its extremely high level of accuracy. Original and contemporary information sources have been used as much as possible; and where secondary sources have been used, they are noted and have been checked for general authority and accuracy. No other chronological directory approaches this depth of research and range of detail. Conceived very much as a research tool, its huge range of quoted sources gives invaluable pointers to further research. The book takes full account of what Quick calls the ‘evolutionary nature of railway history’ and the consequent vagaries and variations of station naming. Finally, apart from the basic facts, it offers much information on unusual and unorthodox uses of stations, and about special occasions at particular stations.
Consequently it is both an authoritative reference book and a mine of serendipitous information. Where else in modern print would one discover that special stations were provided in 1849 at Redstone Hill when Prince Albert came there to lay the foundation stone of a Reformatory Chapel, and in 1858 at Werrington Junction to provide the best view of an eclipse of the sun?
This edition of ‘Quick’s Directory’, unfortunately now out of print, takes its place among the handful of basic and essential reference works on British railways.
“A very big plus is the availability . . . of a country-wide list of opening dates … this is a book which can be thoroughly recommended to all interested in the history of railway passenger stations” — Transport Ticket Society Journal, on the 2002 edition.
FIVE SUPPLEMENTS to this volume are now available free of charge as downloadable pdf files below. The page size and layout are the same as the printed volume. If the pdf pages are printed out at 100% onto A4 paper, pages the same size as in the volume can be cut out if desired by following the outline provided. In addition recent newsletters of the RCHS Railway Chronology Group (86-90) have included additional information; this has been incorporated into Supplement 5. Stewart Smith’s helpful index to the 5 supplements can also be downloaded below.
FUTURE POSSIBLE CORRECTIONS should be sent to Ted Cheers, Coordinator of the RCHS Railway Chronology Group, as per details below.
The Railway & Canal Historical Society’s Railway Chronology Group seeks to bring together members interested in producing databases of railway Acts, line and station opening and closing dates, station renamings, etc, with a view to eventual publication. A regular Newsletter is issued to members which includes both full-length articles and listings and also shorter contributions in the form of Notes and Queries.
Click to see a recent Chronology Newsletter: Newsletter 92. If you have any questions regarding the group please contact Ted Cheers, the Group Coordinator by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 7 Wealden Hatch, Wolverhampton, WV10 8TY.