For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway


When the Great Eastern Railway Society was formed in 1973 the number of significant books about the GER could be counted on the fingers of one hand, albeit there were some booklets, but now the number is considerably larger, running to nearly a thousand. A review of those that were available on the Society's twentieth anniversary in 1993 appeared in the Journal at the time (Journal 74). Copies are available - to members only - but may be consulted at a number of libraries and other "corporate" members. For details see the relevant webpages - Membership and Journal. Book reviews feature regularly in Great Eastern News.

This list has been grouped as follows:

General Bibliography

A short bibliography relating to the Great Eastern Railway will be of interest to historians and some general readers and would include the following books; the first group dealing with general history and development of the railways in East Anglia:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
The Great Eastern Railway Cecil J. Allen Ian Allan 978 0711006591
The Great Eastern Railway: The Early History 1811-1862 Charles Phillips Pen and Sword 978 1399024709
Railways of East Anglia Oliver Densham Crowood Press 978 0719840333
A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol. 5: Eastern Counties Donald Ian Gordon David & Charles 978 0715343210
East Anglia's First Railways H. Moffat Terence Dalton 978 0861380381
Forgotten Railways - Vol. 7: East Anglia R.S. Joby David & Charles 978 0946537259
Regional Railway Handbooks, No. 2: East Anglia R.S. Joby David & Charles 978 0946537364
A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol. 3: Greater London H.P. White Thomas 978 0946537365
Railways of the Eastern Region Vol. 1: Southern Geoffrey Body Patrick Stephens
978 0850597127
British Railway Journal: Special Great Eastern Edition J. Watling (Ed.) Wild Swan N/A
Cambridge Station - Its Development and Operation as a Rail Centre Rob Shorland-Ball Pen and Sword 978 1473869042

Railway Memoirs

A second group is more specific and include the memoirs of two railwaymen who had a significant relationship with the Great Eastern in recent times:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
I Tried to Run a Railway G.F. Fiennes Ian Allan 978 0711004471
Steam in the Blood R.H.N. Hardy Ian Allan 978 0711006547
Under the Griffin's Wing Frederick G Cobb Leeco Publications 978 1916356405


This group of books primarily deal with railway infrastructure, such as stations, track and signalling:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Anglia East - The Transformation of a Railway I. Cowley David & Charles 978 0 7153 8978 5
Great Eastern Railway Engine Sheds Part 1 C. Hawkins & G. Reeve Wild Swan 978 0 906867 40 1
Great Eastern Railway Engine Sheds Part 2 C. Hawkins & G. Reeve Wild Swan 978 0 906867 48 7
Gradients of the London and North Eastern Railway Voyageur Railway Pub.  

Locomotive Stock

The locomotive stock has been dealt with in two works, and the engines absorbed by the GER's successor, the LNER, have been comprehensively covered by the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society in a series often referred to as the "green guide". It should be said, however, as our President reported in Journal 74, that a guide or review of the company's rolling stock remains to be written.

Title Author Publisher ISBN
The Locomotives of the Great Eastern Railway 1862 - 1962 C. Langley Aldrich C. Langley Aldrich
Locomotives of the L.N.E.R. - Parts 1 to 11   RCTS
Locomotive & Train Working in the Latter Part of the Nineteenth Century, Volume 1 A.L. Ahrons Heffer

GER-Related Merchant Shipping

Brief details of the companies shipping stock have been described in a paperback. Shipping activities were commenced at the earliest stages of the railway's activities and continue to influence train running in East Anglia:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Merchant Fleets - Britain's Railway Steamers - Eastern & North Western Companies + Zeeland and Stena D. Haws Author 978 0 946378 22 3

Photograph Albums

There have been a number of albums of pictures published since the first - seen at the top of this table. They include much information of use to the railway modeller. Some of these, and others, have been indexed by the Society. Details can be found in the Sales List on our Sales page.

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Great Eastern Album R.C. Riley Ian Allan 978 0 7110 0063 8
East Anglian Rails in the 1980s M.J. Collins Ian Allan 978 0 7110 1310 1
The Great Eastern Since 1900 C. Phillips Ian Allan 978 0 7110 1402 7
Steam in the Eastern Counties J. Brodribb Ian Allan 978 0 7110 1558 9
On Great Eastern Lines P. Swinger Ian Allan 978 0 7110 2502 9
Glory Days - Steam in East Anglia P. Swinger Ian Allan 978 0 7110 2687 4
Steam in East Anglia - A Colour Portfolio R.C. Riley Ian Allen 978 0 7110 2892 3
Railway History in Pictures - East Anglia P. Swinger David & Charles 978 0 7153 8205 5
East Anglian Branch Line Album I.C. Allen Oxford Publishing 978 0 86093 013 0
Diesels in East Anglia I.C. Allen Oxford Publishing 978 0 86093 105 6
55 Years of East Anglian Steam I.C. Allen Oxford Publishing 978 0 86093 182 9
Steam on Stratford Shed B. Morrison Oxford Publishing 978 0 86093 454 3
The Colour of Steam - Vol. 9: The Great Eastern Line R.C. Riley Atlantic 978 0 906899 38 9
Steam in East Anglia C. Shewring Becknell 978 0 907087 01 9
Essex Steam C. Phillips Becknell 978 0 907087 10 8
Colchester Steam J.D. Mann South Anglia 978 0 9504562 4 1
Great Eastern in Town & Country C. Hawkins Irwell Press 978 1 871608 16 3
Doctor on the Line I.C. Allen Irwell Press 978 1 871608 24 4


Transport on rails in East Anglia was not entirely confined to railways and included a number of tramways. Whilst these are not entirely within the scope of the Great Eastern Railway Society, the distinction between a train and a tram is sometimes somewhat unclear - the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway being a case in point. Some books of interest in this connection are:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Tramways in Metropolitan Essex - Vol. 1 V.E. Burrows Advertiser Press  
The Tramways of East Anglia R.C. Anderson LRTL  
Lost Tramways of East Anglia L. Oppitz Countryside Books 978 1 85306 872 1

Ottley's Bibliography

Finally, there is the work of George Ottley, and his associates, now running to three volumes, which describes the published written material available to a railway historian in the UK.

Title Author Publisher ISBN
A Bibliography of British Railway History G. Ottley HMSO 978 0 11 290334 7
Supplement to a Bibliography of British Railway History G. Ottley HMSO 978 0 11 290364 9
Ottley's Bibliography of British Railway History - Second Supplement G. Boyes, M. Searle & D. Steggles NRM 978 1 872826 10 5

Publishing Companies

There are a number of specialist publishers of railway books. Amongst those of most interest are:

Middleton Press are publishers of line guides and include a number covering places in Great Eastern territory. The home page of the website includes a useful location search tool.

Wild Swan are publishers of many railway books, with a bias towards modelling.

Lightmoor Press is a a wide ranging publishing imprint, with important sections on railway, maritime and canal history.

Oakwood Press (now owned by Stenlake Publishing) have issued a large number of railway titles over the years. Two line histories in the East Anglia area have recently been published. These were written by Society member Peter Paye who, over the years, has written a number of detailed line histories. Some are still available from Wild Swan, amongst other publishers, but many are out of print.

Irwell Press have a number of GER titles to their credit and of particular note are "Great Eastern Railway in Town and Country" now running to three volumes.

Capital Transport boasts a number of titles of interest to students of London's railways.

Pen and Sword have published many railway books, including several by Society members.

Past Publishing Companies

Several large publishing companies have been taken over or closed in recent times, the more notable of which are:

Ian Allan who were by far the largest and who took on the titles formerly published by the Oxford Publishing Company.

David & Charles were a very large publisher who had a significant collection of railway related titles.

Connor & Butler, published the works of Society member Jim Connor, who was brought up in the East End and has written a number of railway titles.

Oxford Publishing Company (OPC) also had a significant collection of railway related titles, and were taken over by Ian Allan Publishing before Ian Allan also closed.

Secondhand Books and Shops

Pre-owned railway books can be found at a number of good second-hand bookshops. Often these specialise in a limited number of specific topics. Many can be searched via the Internet. Two good tools are Abebooks and Addall. Both websites require a little "personalisation" to ensure that they return results for second-hand books and in £ Sterling, etc.

Finally, see the Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop, who offer a quirky selection of railway and railway-modelling books.