About Us

The Railway & Canal Historical Society is for everyone with an interest in the history of transport in Britain — not just inland waterways and railways, but also tramroads, roads, aviation, coastal shipping, ports and pipelines — from pre-Roman times to the day before yesterday.

We’re here to put you in touch with people who share your interest through meetings, events and publications; and to give advice and encouragement to help you carry out and publish your own research.  Many of the best books on transport during the more than sixty years of the Society’s existence have been written by its members.

We’re serious about history — but we want to make studying it interesting and enjoyable.

Society activities (click on titles for further information or examples of each) include:

  • Journal containing authoritative articles  and objective book reviews, published three times a year.
  • Bulletin of Society news and events, published six times a year.
  • Annual Bibliography of transport books and articles.
  • ‘Book of the Year’ awards. Links are: Book Award Winners and Book Awards
  • Five Regional Groups organising winter lecture and summer visit programmes in London, East Midlands, West Midlands, North East and North West.
  • National Events including the AGM Weekend which lasts four days (sometimes more) with visits to places of interest, with full written notes to accompany the visits; also conferences, seminars and workshops.
  • Special Interest Groups circulating occasional papers on Early Railways (Tramroads), Road Transport, Air Transport, Railway Chronology, Modern (post-1948) Transport, and Materials Handling — and two internet groups devoted specifically to research: Railway History, and Waterways History.
  • Research advice including the location of primary and secondary research resources.
  • Research Grants to assist towards research costs.
  • The opportunity to make contact with others working in the same field; lists of members’ interests are available and the Society has links with kindred organisations.
  • Photographic collections.
  • Book publications programme.
  • Grants to purchase and preserve historic documents and records.

For details about the Society’s constitution, including the Annual Reports, and information about its Council members and officers use this link.

For how to contact the Society see our Contact List or, for general enquiries, use our  Contact Us. link.

……. and to become a member, use this link.