The Collection began over 20 years ago and has been growing ever since. It is the second largest collection of railway material in the country, beaten only by the National Railway Museum in York

All the books in the Collection are arranged according to a classification scheme based on that devised by George Ottley for his Bibliography of Railway History, A guide to this is available in the library. Items in the Collection form part of the Devon Libraries catalogue on the web.

There is comprehensive material on Westcountry railways from the GWR and LSWR era up to the present day with a substantial amount of information on the remainder of the UK railway network. As well as covering standard gauge railways the Collection also caters for other areas of interest, for example, broad/narrow gauge, industrial/underground , miniature/model and preserved railways.


An extensive collection of both working and passenger timetables.


Books to satisfy your curiosity about Britain’s railways.


Over 60,000 photographs, postcards and prints.


Over 200 periodicals from British Railways Illustrated, Great Western Magazine, Irish Mail, to Railway Magazine, Railway Observer, Steam Days and Today’s Railways plus many others and newsletters from many railway societies.

Contributing to the collection

Donations are always welcome but please contact us first as space is at a premium.

Related collections

We have close connections with the Newton Abbot Town & GWR Museum, the South Devon Railway and the Stover Canal Society all of whom have their own archived material.