For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

WLD.DL: Railway Timetables across the World c.1930 as a Download.

NEW OCTOBER 2020.  This is a totally unique item, produced in the 1930's - more than 150 foolscap pages (each roughly the width of an A4 sheet but quite a lot taller), all crammed with handwritten timetables for railways in selected countries across the world. The writing is miniscule, and the originals are hard to read without the help of a magnifying glass!  All the information they contain, and the massive effort the unknown compiler clearly put in, mean they deserve to be preserved. Although nothing directly to do with the GER, we offer the scans here so anyone who just happens to need any of this otherwise nearly impossible-to-find information or simply would be interested in it may share it. 

The countries covered are Austria; Hungary; Finland; Romania; Egypt and the Sudan; Palestine, Syria and Iraq; India, Ceylon and Burma; and Argentina - an amazing assortment. The Indian timetables generally relate to 1926, the others to around 1933 and 1934. In some cases but not all, neat hand-drawn maps of a railway system are included.

It is railways that feature mainly, of many gauges, state-owned and private. Nevertheless other related forms of transport do get squeezed in. Austrian post bus timetables are there, for example, complete with the altitude in metres of each calling place; so too are the state motor bus services of Finland - all 149 tables of them.  Timetables for river steamers and ferries are also listed for locations such as the Danube, the Upper Nile and the Ganges delta.

To give you a better idea of what to expect, you may download a sample page HERE. It is presented at a scale of 100%, but you will need to enlarge it to at least 200% to study it.  The handwriting is not very comfortable to read but is mostly legible (and is fantastic considering its size).  It is usually possible to decide on ambiguous numerals by looking at the ones immediately above and below. In tables where the station names are in the centre, read the left-hand columns downwards and from right to left!  The other side goes upwards and from left to right. 'R' by a station's name indicates a restaurant there, 'B' a buffet. 'H' is a halt. A hut symbol represents a border post. The blue line beside a train's timings means it conveys sleeping cars. 'f' tells you the train will stop if required.

You can also download a rather more detailed contents list HERE.

Nothing is known of the original writer of this work, or the reason for doing it. The only certainty is that this was the same person who had a 1929 Roadways book of timetables of bus services in England and Wales, and updated it as a kind of scrapbook: that is also available here as BUS.DL.

The files in total come to around 574 MB, so are too large to store on our website. If you purchase this you will initially download two files: one is a link to where they are stored, and the other is a set of instructions for how to go about acquiring them from there.

The files are arranged in the format of a ‘virtual CD’, though it is available only as a download. What you will get is a zipped folder. With Windows on a PC, right-click on the folder to get a menu and choose 'extract all...' or 'unzip...'.

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