For those enthusiasts interested in historical railway rolling stock, information is fairly well organised and adequately indexed at many collections around the country.
This is not always the case for the enthusiast or railway historian trying to locate material relating to buildings, civil engineering and other lineside fixed equipment. Information there is in plenty, but where it is located can be one of the deepest mysteries of modern times. The National Railway Museum has a large collection as does the Public Records Office at Kew - so too do numerous County Records offices, Railway Civil Engineering offices, Railway Preservation Societies and numerous similar places. Quite what is where however, can often be difficult to ascertain.
A numbering system has been developed by the Signalling Records Society that is not only extremely easy to understand but also lends itself well to computerised search and retrieval techniques. This system gives a two letter reference code (based on the pre-1923 companies) and a unique three digit number to each piece of railway in the country. Every signalling installation along that line is then given a three digit location number. For example NW050 is the London & North Western Railway line form Roade Junction to Rugby via Northampton and NW050.071 is the reference for the signal cabin that was situated at Althorp Park until 1965.
Railref have adapted the system described above and using mile-post mileage's as a method of setting datum points, any given position on any line in England can be easily and uniquely located. The reference NW050/71.70 gives a Railref mileage base reference to Althorp Signal Box.
Railref is well under way with references available for in excess of 50% of the country but we need your help to complete the project.
Click on the button below to find out more about Railref and also ways in which you can help with this exciting project.